The internet has completely changed the way people consume information. For every question you have, there is an answer available on Google. Any disaster, a cricket match, or perhaps a few good tips for your next trip to the other side of the world, you can find ample ideas, content, for just about every need of yours. So where is this busy world of internet taking all of us? Of course, to an ongoing innovation that isn’t confined by any boundaries. However, with all those good things come a few bad things which can hurt your reputation, especially, if you are a brand. Of course, the internet has offered us several great ideas to promote our brand and socialize with other people around, but that doesn’t really mean everything will turn out well. But let’s just assume, everything in this universe has two different sides and the internet shouldn’t be an exclusion.
So what is Online Reputation Management – let’s understand it!
You must have already gotten an idea of what ORM is. It is the process of managing the reputation of a company or an individual through different techniques such as SEO, SMO, blogging, monitoring your search results regularly, sharing content that is worthwhile and can help others, eliminating the negative reviews posted by someone, etc. In concise, ORM is all about letting the right voice reach out to your users. Follow the three step strategy – Ignore, Respond and Remove! There are millions of individuals out there who can post negative reviews, feedback about your services or products and you can’t have a control over such things. Your brand is only as good as your online reputation is. People take your brand as it is envisioned by them on the Internet. Any information, reviews posted by someone, can make or break your brand. Read out this three step process to help you out when a negative review comes in.
Many people complain just for the sake of complaining without any feasible reason to do so. They might visit your page and may tell that you aren’t a good brand or company, without backing up with a reason to support their statement. Just don’t get disturbed by a negative review posted by an anonymous who didn’t have a reason to back it up. Try to ignore. Responding back will only catch more attention from other people over the internet, which will only hurt your reputation, and even worse this time.
Of course, there might be instances when the comments posted by someone are valid and may hurt your reputation if left unresolved. If somebody is posting strong comments about your company or brand, you have to respond back calmly. Take the comments and back it up with a valid reason. If it is your mistake and a customer isn’t happy, you have to say thanks to the commenter for correcting you. This way you can use negative comments to your advantage and can build even more trust among your customers. This tells your users that you value other people’s opinion of you or in other words, you respect them. Conversely, if you are right, you have to stand by your opinion without offending the other person. Sometimes, you may receive negative comments for your products, but this shouldn’t hurt you in anyway. Remember that the user’s feedback is extremely crucial for the success of your products. Be thankful to the person for helping you to improve rather than the other way.
In case, your competitors are trying to let you down through harsh comments, you have the option to remove such comments. Negative comments generally come from competitors or other people who are usually known as “trolls”. If the comments posted by these people aren’t helpful in anyway, simply remove them. In case, the comments are not removable, there are other techniques such as SEO, SMO to get them down. Even better if you could have some positive reviews placed up in order.
“This 5-step process can give your brand a boost – Let’s follow it to gain even more interest of your users.”
After this whole conversation, you might be wondering if there is a technique to building a great online reputation, you will be more than pleased to follow it. Well, there are certain techniques that you can do to avoid pitfalls and encourage your brand’s reputation. Let’s find them out here.
#1. Spread your online reach
Your objective should be to occupy as many slots on Google as possible. Make a blog, socialize with people on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Google+ and the others, share useful content or viral videos that can help others, follow SEO techniques, use hashtags on keywords that you think can help diversify your reach. Respond back timely to any comments that you receive from your users. There is never a dearth of ideas when it comes to building a brand.
#2. Optimizing web pages with your company’s name
Webpages added with your brand name are more likely to appear up in the searches. Since not many people are attentive to this fact, they typically miss this critical side of the ORM. Not only will it give your website a greater identification among the search engines, but also, it can help push down the negative content posted by your competitors.
#3. Monitor the search results
Keep searching your brand on Google time and again for what other people say about you. Go to Yelp, blogs or your YouTube channel to monitor activities of other individuals. In case, anything seems not in your favor, take an action before the things get worse.
#4. Counteract (in a nice way) if anything seems unflattering
In case, you happen to meet a review that doesn’t sound good for your business, you can directly contact the person or company who has posted that comment. If there is no way to contacting them, simply respond by saying that you will take the possible measures to sort out the issue. Don’t try to elongate the conversation as it may turn into a never-ending argument later on.
#5. Be Social
That said, be in touch with your users by posting viral videos, tutorials, quizzes, and arrange contests for them. Getting involved in activities such as starting a group, participating in activities such as Q&A, writing guest posts to be posted on other sites, donating to a charity or sponsor events, conducting interviews with the industry leaders can significantly help promote your brand and build your online reputation. In addition, discover the most active bloggers over the web and leave comments under posts written by them with links that go back to your site. And the final words, do more than what your competitors might be doing. Spread more buzz and share them on your social media networks for other people to see and leave comments. Attend business meetings to gain more awareness and recognition. It will surely help bring your name up in Google. And while it may take some time to be on the top, I am sure your hard efforts aren’t going to be in vain.