Whether you know it or not, your brand has an online reputation. Digital accessibility has made it easy for potential customers to find out more about a brand online. Unfortunately, a quick Google search may reveal more about your business than you’d like. And this is why your brand’s online reputation matters.
What is online brand reputation management?
Your customers may do more than search for information, they might just contribute to that information too. Therefore, it’s not a question of whether your brand has a reputation at all, but how you can take control of it.
Online reputation management is also known as ORM. It’s the process of monitoring and managing the public perception of your brand by taking control of online conversations. You can do this in a variety of ways, from encouraging positive reviews to dealing professionally with negative feedback. Your brand’s reputation is not just manageable, but it’s also malleable.
Online reputation management strategies
Business owners are becoming increasingly aware that their brand is almost entirely shaped by the consumer. The best marketing and PR agencies know that it’s not only important to include the consumer. But it’s also important to work with them to cultivate a positive brand image. This is what the strongest brand management strategies do best.
Online brand reputation management can help you deal with negative search results and strengthen a positive reputation for your brand. It can also help you modify the way you appear in search results. Here are some of our top tips to build a successful online reputation management strategy.
Perform a brand audit
The first step to boosting your reputation online should always be to conduct a brand audit. A brand audit involves conducting online research so that you can understand how your company’s reputation is currently being perceived. Understanding your brand perception will help you:
- understand how your brand is currently performing
- discover your company’s strengths and weaknesses
- discover and manage any negative content
- determine your competitive advantage
- improve customer experience
- create a framework for your ORM strategy
A reputation management audit can help you take a step back and see the bigger picture behind your brand perception. The data collected can be valuable when deciding on an appropriate strategy for success.
Search engine optimisation
Online reputation management involves using tools to actively monitor your brand mentions, and eliminating as much online criticism as possible. It broadly falls under the influence of search engine optimisation.
SEO attempts to build a strong portfolio of optimised content to increase the visibility of your brand on search results. By optimising your online content so that it appears on the first page of results, you can control public perception.
By controlling public perception, you can foster a strong brand reputation. In fact, 75% of searchers won’t look past the first page of Google search engine results for any queries.
Respond to online reviews
More customers than ever before are relying on online reviews to help them make purchase decisions. While it’s always great to receive positive customer feedback, negative reviews are an inevitable part of online visibility.
It’s always easy to become defensive but it’s always best practice to answer a negative comment quickly and professionally. After all, while 93% of customers read online reviews, 89% of consumers read company responses to reviews.
Monitoring social media
Social media marketing is integral to your ORM strategy. Social media channels and PR are based on communication and engagement. This is why they are so effective when used together.
As you grow on social media, so does your opportunity to cultivate a persona that will satisfy your target market. Campaigns using social media channels may involve:
- organic social media posts
- social media ads
- asking customers for reviews
- monitoring mentions
- driving traffic to your own website
- building brand awareness
There are plenty of opportunities for online reputation management on social media. By simply cultivating social media interactions, for example, will allow you to create and grow your online visibility.
ORM and public relations go hand in hand. While traditional media is still very much a part of PR, public relations also deals with online reputations as well. Using a combination of methods, not dissimilar to digital marketing, PR utilises online platforms to manage your online reputation. Services include content marketing to improve ranking in search results, SEO, influencer marketing and crisis management.
PR also involves strategic planning of communications, through media relations, for example, social media and digital. A strategic approach to PR can help develop better relationships and do more to protect your brand reputation online.
Monitor brand mentions
Brand monitoring is an incredibly effective way to manage your business online. By setting up alerts for your brand name, and related keywords, you can monitor any mentions as they happen.
This allows you to respond and react quickly any time your brand is mentioned on social media. Or on review sites, for example, and in blog posts and forums.
The faster you can contain and respond to any negative comments, the better. You’ll look more professional to people who are assessing whether to do business with you. Monitoring brand mentions will also help you share and promote any positive content that might come through from third parties.
The best tools to manage your online brand reputation
Executing your online brand reputation management strategy is far more straightforward when you have a host of tools to help. These tools are specially designed to help you keep track of, monitor and manage your online reputation with ease. Here are some of our favourites:
A content change detection and notification service that’s offered by Google. It sends emails to the user when it finds a result.
A platform that helps monitor your competitors, brand mentions and industry updates. It offers alerts to ensure you catch important events.
A social media listening platform that monitors billions of conversations happening online every day.
One of the industry’s most comprehensive social listening platforms. It offers unlimited keyword search capability with no caps on result volumes.
Uses your domain to find backlinks to your site in your brand mentions. You can discover new promo channels and gain customer insights.
A social media and web monitoring tool that measures customer engagement, impact scoring, influencer tracking, sentiment analysis and more.
Get started with ORM
Online reputation management is constantly evolving as digital channels grow and change. To ensure business success, your online reputation has to be cultivated, maintained and monitored constantly.
Book your strategy call with us to learn how we can cultivate a positive online reputation for your brand.