Today, life without the internet is unimaginable. It is the first source of information that billions of people use to perform a variety of tasks. According to Statista, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide in January 2021, approximately 50% of the global population.

Internet users heavily rely on the information available online, therefore having an online presence is essential to survive in this age of digital transformation. Focus on building a strong brand identity is one of the most practical steps you need to grow and scale your business. For businesses or brands that offer services or sell products, maintaining their online reputation has become a necessity. 

Today, many established enterprises and large corporations are willing to invest more in strengthening their online marketing efforts to get more traffic and generate more sales. Did you know 97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses and 85% of consumers read online reviews before making a final decision on what they find online. If you want to survive in this digital world, it is important to build your online reputation.

If you are wondering what is Online reputation management (ORM), why your brand needs online reputation management, online reputation management best practices, how to manage your online reputation, top Online Reputation Management tools, this blog includes everything you need to create a better understanding of online reputation management.

Let’s explore.

What is Online Reputation Management?

This is for business owners who are unaware of the term online reputation management:

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a process of building a positive brand image by managing how online users see when they search for your brand. It includes all the techniques and strategies that help you ensure users find positive reviews when they look for your brand via Google searches, social media sites, forums, video sites and social networking platforms and different other platforms.

In short, it includes controlling and managing how people are searching for your brand and addressing anything that can affect your brand image. By following the best online reputation management practices, you can positively improve your brand image on online platforms.

Online reputation management is not limited to businesses only, it is important for entrepreneurs, celebrities, freelancers, students, and professionals to enhance your personal brand and closely monitor your online reputation.

Online Reputation Management Best Practices

In this tech-savvy world where everything is digital, creating a website, building a mobile app, or regularly posting on social media isn’t enough. You need to maintain your online presence to grow your brand and generate awareness. If review platforms are not closely monitored and respond quickly, it will have a negative impact on your bottom line.

Here are some of the best online reputation management strategies you should follow to create a positive brand image:

–       Monitor online platforms regularly to actively engage with your audience. Respond to positive reviews and negative comments both to show authentically that your brand actually cares what people think about your services or products.

–      Make sure to keep your responses authentic and positive. Specially thank your customers for posting positive comments about your brand.

–      Address complaints and bad reviews on social media and networking sites by contacting the customer directly and discussing the best possible options to solve his/her complaint.

–      Don’t delete bad reviews or comments. Instead, send a timely response to your customers who have had a bad experience with your brand. Do your best to maintain your online reputation by quickly responding to negative comments or reviews. 

–      Listen and engage with your customers and try your best to improve your products’ quality. By hearing your customers’ opinions and experiences about your brand, you can make positive tweaks to your branding and digital marketing strategy.

Why Does Your Brand Need Online Reputation Management?

It is important for every business to closely watch their online reputation across every online information platform and engage properly. Keep in mind your online reputation is the first thing people look for when searching for your brand online. People won’t buy your products or services, if they see other users don’t trust their brand. So, do your best and improve your online reputation.

Remember, building up your online reputation is a time-consuming process that gives you excellent results. Here is the list of reasons why your business should maintain online reputation management. 

–      Develop credibility among consumers

–      It helps eliminates negative publicity

–     Gives your brand higher online visibility

–      Support transparency and consumer engagement

–      Improves your website search engine rankings

–      Manages low reputation by making necessary adjustments

–      Increases positive returns

–      Builds trust

–      It boosts sales

–      Builds a positive brand image

Top Online Reputation Management Tools

 Thanks to the latest technology, there are a number of tools that will help you efficiently monitor your online reputation.

•         Mention

•         SimilarWeb

•         Reputology

•         The Brand Grader

•         The Mozbar

•         Go Fish Digital

•         Buffer

•         Get Five Stars

•         SendInBlue

•         Buzzsumo

•         Social Mention

•         SEMrush

•         SentiOne

•         ReviewPush

•         Chatmeter

•         RankRanger

•         Meltwater

•         HootSuite

How to Manage Your Online Reputation?

2021 is the right time to strengthen and protect your online reputation as people search your brand to see what your customers think about your company. 84% of marketers agree that building a strong digital presence is necessary to earn customer trust. 76% of retailers harness the power of user-generated content to build brand credibility.

The key to a successful, positive online reputation is to ensure only good things are written about your brand. Building a strong online reputation management strategy can help you achieve this goal. Here are some important techniques that will help you manage your brand’s online reputation.

Embrace Social Media Marketing for ORM

Social media marketing, if done right can have a strong impact on your brand. Today, many brands are leveraging social media marketing platforms for managing their online reputation. You should also create accounts on the popular social media sites, including

•         Facebook

•         Instagram

•         Twitter

•         LinkedIn

•         YouTube

Post relevant and informative content to create user engagement and build brand credibility. Stay active on social media by connecting with others within your industry and like/comment on others’ posts.

Participate in Forums and Discussion Boards

Online forums and discussion boards, such as Reddit and Quora are the perfect places to strengthen your online presence. These are the places where people discuss their problems and look for the best possible solutions. Participating in forums, threads and discussion boards can be an excellent way to connect with your potential customers and industry influencers in your niche community.

Think twice before posting anything on these forums and online discussion sites as any wrong information or controversial statement can lead to an argument or harmful conversation online that may affect your brand reputation.

Your customers or potential customers are most likely to share their experience with your brand on these platforms. Carefully monitor these discussion points and threads to see what people are saying about your brand to instantly reply to bad comments to prevent your brand from negative publicity. 

Post Regularly on Blogs

Blogs are the platforms that share useful information to educate users and help them make a well-informed decision. It is essential to post high-quality and relevant content on your blogs. Every post you write can help your business website rank higher on search engines, thereby improving your online reputation.

Create more content for your target audience to help them solve their problems and increase your chances of getting a top position in the SERPs. You can choose famous blogging platforms such as Blogger, Medium, Tumblr, WordPress, or your own website for blogging.

Create Unique, Interesting Content

When it comes to online reputation management, it is important to create unique, high-quality, and informative content for your audience. Video, images, infographics, slideshows, webinars, podcasts are some of the best content types that your brand should consider to present yourself. Remember, fresh and unique content has higher chances of getting top position in the search engines compared to outdated content.

Review Sites and Online Directories

Today’s consumers are tech-savvy. They love to share their positive experience on review sites and online directories. Google My Business, Bing Maps, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s list are a few listing websites for local businesses. These comments serve as an endorsement for brands and help them attract more and more customers.

While it sounds great to read all positive comments about your brand. But what if someone shared a negative comment. It can be extremely damaging for your business, if not addressed properly. Respond to the review promptly and take the comment seriously. Come up with a better alternative solution to fix the situation and turn the negative experience into a positive one. 

Final Words

All in all, online reputation management matters a lot for businesses to stay ahead of the curve in this competitive market. It will only be possible when you improve your personal brand and follow the best online reputation management practices. Hopefully, this online reputation management guide will provide you with an in-depth understanding of this important aspect that plays a vital role in your business’s success.

June 23, 2021
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