What is Online Reputation Management?
Over 80% of shoppers will actually Google your business before they make a purchase, and that’s online OR in-store… this makes your ONLINE reputation more important than ever. Read on to really learn about what is online reputation management all about in 2020.
Today we want to talk about online reputation management. Managing your online reputation, especially for a business, is about closing the gap between two separate concepts: so that is how your COMPANY perceives itself VS how the PUBLIC perceives it.
If you’re lucky, these 2 concepts won’t be too far off from one another, but that’s not always the case. For those of you asking “what is online reputation management?”, reputation management in the traditional sense (meaning offline) is really closely related to PR, or public relations.
Before Google (which is basically before the Internet), managing your business reputation and shaping the public perception of your company was mostly based on offline activities, so companies were focused on reaching out to journalists, trying to get in touch with reporters, or attending events and other networking opportunities.
The goal was simple, though: these businesses wanted to build their reputation and get people talking about them — because this was the best way for potential customers and clients to learn more about a company: through “word of mouth”, especially if what they heard came from a friend or relative, based on a personal experience that they had with the brand — like a “peer recommendation”.
The goal is still the same today, but a lot has changed in the reputation management landscape, with the biggest difference being that most of these “peer recommendations” now happen online, across the web, and especially in social media… which is why it’s become so important for companies to keep an eye on their ONLINE reputation.
With the Internet having evolved into what it is today, it’s not surprising to see the same changes reflected in how businesses need to manage their online reputation. And this requires that companies pay special attention to 2 specific areas, and that’s social media and Google search.
Social media — because it’s become the best place for companies to (a) DISCOVER what kind of reputation they have among their audience, and (b) address any issues or negative feedback before they have a chance to escalate and damage their reputation.
Online search results have gained significance because they show you the first thing that people see when they’re looking for more information about your product or your brand online, especially on Google, which now generates over 90% of all search engine traffic around the world.
Now, when we say social media, at least in this video about online reputation management, we are also referring to blogs, forums, and review sites since these are all public platforms that let people voice their opinions in very social ways that anybody on the Internet can respond to or comment on.
Online reputation management in social media has become super relevant, because previously, where companies would have been scrambling to connect with journalists and editors of big, important offline publications… well, now they’ve become much more interested in connecting directly with their customers or building relationships with popular bloggers and other people who have significant social media followings, like Key Opinion Leaders and social media influencers — and it’s not without good reason: since the Internet put the focus on DIGITAL word of mouth, it’s become a LOT easier for consumers and regular people (just like us) to directly influence a company’s reputation.
Everything just happens faster now, and posting a negative 1-star review on a review site will reach a lot more people in a lot less time than it would have just a few years ago. The same goes for bloggers when they write about a particular experience that they had with a company.
Or even with your friends and family on Facebook: anytime someone vents about a bad experience with a business, or even just comments on a similar post from someone else — it only takes a few seconds for their Facebook friends, then friends of their friends, to be able to read all about it.
These are just a couple reasons why companies need to practice reputation management in social media, and it begins with online reputation MONITORING. You can monitor your reputation with an Internet monitoring tool like Repwarn.
We’ve added a link to the Repwarn website below, so you can check that out to see how it works. The second area that companies need to pay attention to, is their Google Search Results and SEO rankings.
This shows you what kind of content people see when they Google you: do you have a lot of negative reviews popping up for your company, or are they mostly positive? If you have more NEGATIVE reviews than positive ones, it’s really important to analyze them because they can show you exactly where your business needs improvement.
If however, you find that these negative reviews are not authentic (and it does happen), you can implement a few Search Engine Reputation Management techniques, to try to decrease their ranking in Google search, so that they’re no longer the first thing that people see when they look you up.
And we’ll definitely go over a few of those techniques in one of our next articles for you. So, this is just a general look at online reputation management — remember to monitor your business reputation in social media as well as your search results in Google! Closing the gap between how YOU think people perceive your company versus how the PUBLIC actually perceives it, is key to managing your online reputation.
Thanks so much for reading this article, What is Online Reputation Management? — if you have any questions or something to add, just let us know in the Comments section!
Find out more about Repwarn