Online Reputation can be defined as what people see online when they try to seek information about you. In this digital era, your Online Reputation is the key to the success of your business. Since most people use the internet to gain information about various businesses, it is beneficial to have an online presence. An online presence is prone to both favourable and adverse comments from people which can create a positive or negative reputation. It is in the interest of the business to put its best foot forward for attracting clients towards it. Hence, Online Reputation Management or ORM as it is popularly known has become an important aspect of a business.
Need to have a good Online Reputation:
1. If your business does not have a presence on the internet or if it has a negative image, it will adversely affect your business. This is because, in such cases, your prospective customers will look for substitutes.
2. A positive Online Reputation sends positive vibes to your investors. They will be more confident to invest in you.
3. People who are considering working for you will also check your Online Reputation before they decide to work for you.
4. Your Online Reputation also influences other businesses who might be looking to utilize your products or services.
Factors that affect the Online Reputation:
Companies which do not monitor the reviews they receive are often caught unaware when their reputation becomes negative. Managing negative reviews is possible if the company regularly monitors its reviews and addresses it in time.
In a highly competitive market, it is not unusual for businesses to post fake comments and reviews to spoil the image of a firm. Due to the easy accessibility of the internet, this type of ‘hate competition’ is quite common.
Opinion of experts
1. Whenever a customer is looking to deal with a new enterprise, they will try to get opinion of experts. If the expert has a negative opinion of the business, it will damage its Online Reputation.
2. Other than these external reasons, there are some causes which are intrinsic to the business which is damaging its Online Reputation:
3. Companies are not attaching due importance to their Online Reputation. They are not attending to issues affecting their reputation
4. Companies are not keeping themselves updated about their reputation on social media accounts.
5. Companies sometimes tend to respond in an irresponsible manner to comments and reviews posted online.
6. However, if a Company realizes the importance of maintaining its Online Reputation, it is possible to maintain it. For managing your Online Reputation, it is necessary that you closely monitor it.
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Methods to monitor your Online Reputation
It is a good idea to set up a google alert every time the name of your business or even the owner of the business appears online. You can get information on your email inbox every day.
Google’s Me On The Web
This helps in monitoring the mention of your name online including social media sites.
Software for Monitoring
There are numerous softwares available for monitoring the reputation. Some are free and some paid.
Tips to Maintain Your Online Reputation:
1. Using Social Media Effectively
There are numerous social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, available to businesses to use for their ORM. However, a business should select a site that is relevant for its purpose. It is a good idea to associate with more social media sites as this will make it easy to bring in clientele.
Criteria for utilization of social media
1. Information posted should be informative and should be presented in an attractive manner.
2. Information posted should be such that it helps in establishing you as an expert in your field.
3. The business should post frequently on social media sites.
4. Social media is all about relationships. Therefore, a business can benefit by interacting on social media.
5. Social media can be used for both advertising and maintaining Online Reputation. But just advertising on social media is not viewed very positively by users of social media.
With the rising popularity of social media, not being associated with it could result in a business being left behind.
Want ORM Of Your Website
2. Posting Blogs
Blogging has become one of the most popular ways for businesses to showcase their activities online. Most Companies blog on their own website while some have separate blog sites. Blogs aim at informing the reader about the products/ services provided by the business in an entertaining manner so as to market them. The blog helps in maintaining a positive and reliable Online Reputation. A blog is an important tool which enables a Company in putting its best foot forward.
With blog posting certain criteria must be borne in mind:
1. The content of the blog should be interesting to read.
2. Blog posting should be done on a regular basis. This establishes the authenticity of the site.
3. Invite comments to the blogs and respond to them.
4. Answer any queries arising to the blog.
A blog is easy to set up. Managing it requires a few hours of your devoted time per week. It is an inexpensive means of getting to know people’s perception of your site. Involving Google Plus with the blog helps in reaching a higher number of readers. It serves the purpose of connecting your blog to social media. This goes a long way in establishing your reputation as a knowledgeable and reliable business.
They have become an important means of enhancing Online Reputation. Video postings of your business help in establishing its credibility. One popular platform for posting videos is YouTube. You can upload videos on a weekly or biweekly basis relevant to your business area. This will generate interest in the minds of customers who seek such products/ services. It is a good idea to keep the videos short, as long videos tend to have distracted viewers.
4. Press Releases
Many Companies have stopped using press releases for ORM. If a business is introducing a new product or service, press release works as an effective tool. Nowadays, press releases are catered to on websites. If you intend to issue a press release, you only need to send the content of the press release to the website. They will publish it for you. Utilizing a press release effectively implies releasing it on several websites; use it on your own blog and publish a link via social media, etc. All these steps help in increasing your reach.
5. Use SEO effectively for your Business Website
The objective of Search Engine Optimisation is to utilize your keywords so as to give your website high search engine rankings. Therefore, keywords should be placed appropriately that they are easily visible. Since the SEO of the website is crucial for its success, many firms engage professional SEO Companies for managing it.
For maintaining Online Reputation, it has become necessary to have a website. If a Company does not have a website, it will be almost impossible for it to manage its Online Reputation.
6. Coping with Negativity
However good the Online Reputation of a firm is, it can still receive negative comments online. Generally, these are from ex-employees or customers who have not had a satisfactory experience. However, these comments should not be ignored or taken lightly. This is because negative reviews are seen by potential customers and they influence their decision to use the services provided by the business.
One way of handling a negative comment is, by offering an apology publicly and asking the person who has posted the comment to communicate on a personal level. This will help in creating a positive image about your business. It will show the readers that you attempt to solve your customers’ problems. If the person does not contact you, you can post that also publicly.
However, if the comment is malicious and damaging then you could think of taking legal action.
These are some means of managing Online Reputation. However, this list is not exhaustive. But following these methods will help you manage your Online Reputation to a large extent.
Online Reputation Management is vital for the success of a business. It is now becoming a specialized field. There are individuals in organizations who work to manage the Online Reputation of their business. There are also firms which have professionals who manage the Online Reputation of their clients.
Webguruz Technologies is a firm with a team of professionals with expertise in Online Reputation Management. We offer you our services to carefully manage your Online Reputation. With us, you can rest assured that your image will not be tarnished. So, go ahead and avail our services.