A reputation management system provides comprehensive protection as you build your brand image in the digital environment.
In today’s highly-connected digital world, what people are saying about you online can have dramatic impacts on your personal and professional lives.
Whether you are an individual or a business owner, the public perception of your brand influences decision-making processes. Your online reputation — that public perception — can open new doors of opportunity, or it can stand in the way of you achieving your goals.
What if there was a reputation management solution that could build brand awareness, improve your visibility in search results, and positively influence purchasing decisions made by your customers? Could a system achieve all of these factors, and what would it take?
In this guide, we will explore the value of a comprehensive system to manage and monitor your digital reputation, positioning you for continued success.
What is an Online Reputation?
Online reputation is defined as:
“The consensus public perception of an individual or business based on their online presence.”
People often turn to search engines like Google to learn about the world around them. In fact, most consumers use Google to research companies before making purchasing decisions. The information they find in search results can have a profound impact on the next steps taken.
The quality and quantity of information in these Google search results helps define your internet reputation, or how others perceive you or your company. Information in results may include:
- Social media mentions
- News articles
- Marketing campaigns
- Images and videos
- Blog posts
- Online reviews on Google or on third-party review sites
- Customer ratings
- Customer stories and feedback across online platforms
If the information is positive, an individual or business is likely to have a positive digital reputation. Negative information, by contrast, can harm your digital reputation.
Can you afford to miss out on business or professional opportunities because negative information and negative reviews are easy to find on the web? If the answer to that question is “no”, then online reputation management offers a robust solution.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Now that we’ve learned what an internet reputation is and how important it can be for both individuals and businesses, how can we help to ensure a positive reputation?
The answer is online reputation management. Referred to as ORM, this is a set of processes and tactics to establish, grow, and protect a positive digital footprint. ORM professionals use a range of strategies, including:
- Content removal
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Public relations
- Social media management
- Crisis management
- Review management
- Google My Business/business listing services
ORM teams carefully analyze a person’s or business’s existing reputation, then develop a game plan to boost search visibility and brand awareness. This may include web property and content creation, public relations campaigns, content promotion, and content removal to take down negative, defamatory, or false information from the web.
Why is reputation management important? Simple: because people tend to believe what they read on the web. If positive news about you or your business is read by customers, that helps to build trust.
By comparison, negative information can erode trust, potentially causing customers to turn to your competitors. A negative reputation may also keep you from getting a job, securing a home or vehicle loan, or being accepted into the school of your choice.
Because social media platforms have become so valuable from a digital footprint perspective, robust social media monitoring and management are an important component of ORM. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be leveraged to produce engagement with customers.
Social media posts published on a regular schedule are one of the key features of social media strategies. As new social media platforms launch, creating accounts can further build and solidify your reputation.
How Do Online Reviews Affect Digital Reputations?
Service-based businesses are at the mercy of internet reviews. After all, people typically read reviews before making decisions on whether or not to use your business.
With 94% of people reading online reviews before making purchasing decisions, and as many as 91% of people trusting digital reviews as much or more than personal recommendations, your review profile is more important than ever.
Whether you have a single business or operate multiple locations, the reviews posted on the web can make or break your business. Great reviews help to spur more business, while bad reviews can spoil everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Monitoring reviews is one tactic ORM professionals use. They may also help business owners craft response strategies, conduct review generation campaigns, and take down any false or defamatory reviews. When you manage online reviews, you are taking charge of the digital conversation, helping to build and protect your reputation in the digital environment.
Reputation Management Software: Key Features and Considerations
ORM professionals use a wide range of systems and software to help clients stand out on the web. Here is a deeper look at what some of those software suites can do to build and protect your reputation:
In the digital environment, your brand tells others who you are, what you stand for, and what values you contribute. Your brand is arguably the most valuable intangible asset you have — making your brand stand out is the goal of brand management.
Brand managers use many of the same tools as marketing teams to improve brand awareness and visibility, grow brands across multiple websites, and create business listings that allow others to find you. Whether you are a small local business or a large corporation, controlling your brand can help you stand out
From review widgets to response tools and review monitoring platforms, the concept of review management has become an essential part of reputation management software. Management consists of identifying the reviews that are helping or harming your business prospects, crafting a response strategy, and creating engagement between a company and its customers.
Review management can also help generate reviews; when a business can showcase reviews on popular sites like Google, Yelp, and TrustPilot, this can encourage other customers to leave their own reviews. A positive customer experience is a powerful review generation factor; with review and response management, business owners can stand out even in competitive marketplaces.
As mentioned in our review management overview, review monitoring is part of the strategy. This helps business owners to conduct sentiment analysis, or what customers are thinking and saying about the business in the online environment.
Identifying negative reviews using monitoring tools gives business owners a competitive advantage while allowing them to address customer complaints before they can harm the company’s internet reputation. Customers want their concerns to be heard, and when businesses monitor reviews, this gives them a chance to respond quickly.
This monitoring can also improve review collection; customers see that your business cares, helping to encourage the posting of overwhelmingly positive reviews well into the future.
Search Engine Optimization
The best digital presence in the world is all but useless if customers can’t find you online. With search engine optimization (SEO), you stack the deck in your favor, allowing easier discovery by customers in your area.
SEO uses a wide range of on-page and off-page factors to help search algorithms accurately categorize and index your website and web properties. The goal of SEO is to help secure top slots in search results, allowing you to stand out from your competition. In fact, SEO is so important that reputation management software commonly comes with SEO modules designed to give you assistance in creating great search visibility.
Just as review management looks for customer comments and sentiments, reputation monitoring allows individuals and business owners to conduct sentiment analysis. In simple terms, it gives you the power to identify problems before they can cause harm to your reputation.
For example, if negative information is posted, ORM professionals can use strategies to take these pieces of information down. Monitoring your reputation is an ongoing process; all it takes is one piece of negative content to damage your hard-earned reputation.
Social Media Monitoring
Social media monitoring provides value in the digital environment. Having profiles on platforms like Twitter and YouTube are critical; monitoring these platforms for negative comments and unflattering images can protect you from embarrassing information that can damage your business prospects.
Social media discussions between a business and its customers can also help to solidify your reputation as you build engagement and trust. Monitoring these platforms is all but essential in the modern business environment.
Together, the tools and strategies above form a robust system, allowing you to control the digital conversation, build brand recognition, and stand out in online searches.
Top Reputation Management Software
Reputation management software allows business owners and reputation management professionals to create efficient processes as they work to establish, build, and preserve digital reputations. Reputation management software helps you to get the most from your investment.
How does reputation management software work? Most solutions, whether subscription-based or free, use automated webcrawlers to identify brand mentions. Each reputation management tool has different purposes and often works together with others to provide a robust reputation management plan, eliminating guesswork and inefficiency.
The best reputation management software allows you to monitor and manage multiple social media accounts, review platforms, and business listings. Most of the leading tools can be downloaded from the web, but a few may require on-site installation.
Here is a brief look at our top five favorite reputation management software solutions:
BrightLocal is designed as a local SEO tool, allowing businesses to stand out in local search. People use search engines every day to learn about local businesses. Whether you have a single location or multi-location businesses, Bright Local offers a range of tools to help you achieve top rankings, generate more traffic, and improve your internet reputation.
Employed by some of the largest global corporations to small businesses around the world, Bright Local is used for improving local SEO performance and managing and generating online reviews. Bright Local is a subscription service, but the company offers a free trial before signing a contract.
It is no secret that social media has revolutionized the way in which businesses and customers connect. Today, most businesses use social media accounts to engage new customers, identify qualified leads, and collect reviews.
What if you could supercharge your digital presence by managing social media? Monitor social media with ease with Sprout Social. The platform allows users to uncover trends, gain actionable insights to build brand engagement, and reinforce the digital reputations that are so critical in the modern business environment.
Billed as an all-in-one software to grow local businesses, Birdeye is powerful review management software designed to collect reviews, convert leads, and generate new reviews.
Birdeye lets you analyze reviews on all platforms, including Google reviews, industry-specific review sites, and third-party review sites like Yelp, Better Business Bureau, TrustPilot, and TripAdvisor. Users can scrutinize customer interactions and customer feedback to reveal insights into how a company’s reputation can be protected. As a tool to manage reviews, Birdeye is used by over 80,000 local businesses.
Promising to help elevate customer experiences, provide insights into consumer preferences, and integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) and other reputation management tools you already use, ReviewTrackers is a powerful solution for taking control of your digital reputation.
More than a review monitoring tool, ReviewTrackers also provides tools to optimize your digital presence for local SEO. Improve customer engagement, get more star ratings, and encourage customers to leave more positive reviews — all with the help of this popular online reputation management software.
Whether you are an individual or a business owner, your brand helps define who you are and what you stand for in the digital environment. Brand management is an essential component of digital marketing strategies, and Brand24 offers solutions.
Brand24 is a listening tool that scours the web for brand mentions on social media platforms, blogs, websites, podcasts, reviews, and video-sharing outlets. It provides actionable insights into follower preferences and customer sentiment analysis. Ultimately, the software is designed to improve customer satisfaction. Brand24 has several tiers of service, making the reputation management software cost attainable for both large corporations and small businesses.
Choosing a Reputation Management Company
The best reputation management software allows for a powerful reputation management solution. However, these tools are only part of the overall picture.
It takes experience, skill, and industry knowledge to get the most out of a reputation management strategy, and this is achievable by hiring a digital reputation management service provider. A dedicated team of ORM professionals conducts detailed analyses of a client’s current reputation, then develops solutions to improve visibility and brand awareness online.
Some tips for choosing the best ORM company include:
- Read the reviews — what are other clients saying about the company? If positive reviews are coming from satisfied clients, that’s a good sign of quality. Negative reviews, on the other hand, suggest problems with service delivery.
- What are the company’s media monitoring capabilities? Do they use social listening tools or other media monitoring practices to conduct consumer sentiment analysis?
- Is the company transparent about costs, timeframes, and services needed to build or repair your digital reputation? The best companies explain the process, which may take months or even years to complete.
- What other marketing tools does the company use? Leading ORM providers use SEO, public relations, web and content development, and social marketing strategies to enhance the client experience while delivering superior results.
Contact OnlineReputation to Learn More
Want to learn more about reputation management and the need for a comprehensive digital reputation management system? Call OnlineReputation today at 941-845-6446 to speak with brand reputation experts who can help you protect your hard-earned online reputation.
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