When the average person hears the phrase "reputation management", it sometimes puts a bad taste in their mouth. After all, if someone had a clean reputation then they wouldn't need to manage and monitor it, right? Wrong...
As shady as online reputation management might seem, it's actually more of a requirement for all brands and businesses, than something that is needed when things go sour.
With this mentality in mind, we have three different ways for any brand or individual to not only better manage their ORM and look better online, but also to improve their ORM efforts with each positive or negative action they find.
How to Manage Your Online Reputation with Ethics in Play
No matter how big of a role ORM currently plays for your brand or business, it's important to understand that people are going to come to the internet not only to complain, but also to find out about your brand and what you have to offer as well. ORM is the process of catering to both of these areas... even though they can be seen as two completely different things.
Make the Search Engines Your Friend... Not a Villain!
No matter what industry or business you are in, the majority of online searches and content starts at Google. What appears at the top of the search results for your brand or name can quickly give a negative or positive first impression.
One of the best ways to keep a good impression when someone searches for your name online, is to simply own the first page of the search results.
This can easily be accomplished by creating your own branded content, such as a web site, blog and putting your social media profiles to use. Link all of these accounts together so people can easily find you, and your rankings will usually increase as well.
However, it's not just about "creating a page or site", you actually need to provide value in the process. Create something that helps your audience find what they are looking for, even if it's just more information and reviews on your own products or company.
Negative Feedback is Going to Happen... Make Use Of It!
No one likes to hear negative feedback or opinions -- but it's going to happen.
Now imagine you are a restaurant or a well known brand around the world. People are going to have complaints and post negative content and reviews online... it's simply a numbers game at some point.
Instead of taking these complaints and bad reviews as just a negative, you should also be looking at them as a positive and implementing changes into your organization so future complaints and reviews don't keep popping up for the same reasons.
It's also important to never talk down to individuals who make online complaints as this will make your brand look like a villain. This can only turn out bad and lead to more ORM needed on your end!
Don't Just Monitor Your Name Mentions... Take Action!
The internet is loaded with juicy tools to help individuals, brands and business monitor name / keywords mentions for whenever they appear on web sites, media outlet, social media and blogs. Sure, you might already be using tools like Google Alerts and maybe even some other premium tracking services... but is that all?
Here is where many brands and marketers fail.
When you get a message that your brand or name was mentioned somewhere, don't just see if it was positive or negative and then leave it at that. If it was positive, see how you can get more people to see these highlights on your brand, and when possible, also give thanks.
If another brand mention alert comes in and it's negative, then it's time for you to address the situation. Why did it happen and how can you stop it from happening again.
ORM = Awareness and Responsibility
Whether you are managing your own online reputation management or outsourcing it to another agency, you need to make sure the necessary actions are always taking place. It's also important to realize that action should almost always be taken -- whether it's positive or negative feedback.
Run through the list above and see how many of these ORM practices you are currently implementing in your existing brand or business. It's your brand, you should know every aspect of it!