The amount of information available online is growing rapidly. People are able to find your product or service and whether or not you offer quality control through reviews. This is why online reputation management (ORM) is becoming an important tool for both B2B and B2C companies.
ORM gives companies the tools to address issues as they arise and proactively prevent these issues from becoming public knowledge.
This article will define what online reputation management is and how you can use it to grow your business.
Traditional Reputation Management Versus Online Reputation Management
There are two types of reputation management – traditional and online. Traditional reputation management includes any action taken on behalf of the company to control the impressions of its products or services in the eyes of the public. This can include things like creating a media plan to increase brand awareness, sending out company-sponsored journalists to write positive news stories about the brand, and establishing brand ambassadorships with influential bloggers and journalists.
These actions help to create a positive brand image which companies can use to drive business. Traditional reputation management is usually done at the corporate level and includes high-level thinkers and senior executives.
In contrast, online reputation management focuses on the activities of individuals in relation to a brand. These individuals include customers, potential customers, and other people who interact with your product or service in some way. This can include anything from leaving a review on a company website to sharing photos of yourself using the product on social media.
This is where traditional and online reputation management differ the most. With online reputation management, the actions of individuals are analyzed to determine the success or failure of a brand. This can be compared to a traditional approach where the purpose of a brand’s existence is to make as many sales as possible. While this may be an important consideration for a brand’s bottom line, it’s not what drives a brand’s reputation.
Based on the actions of individuals, a brand’s reputation forms online and influences future actions of individuals toward the brand. At this point, a brand’s reputation is considered “digital” as opposed to “traditional” due to the fact that it exists in a digital landscape. Think of it as a digital mirror that is always up to date with the latest news about your brand.
How Does Reputation Management Affect Your Brand’s Bottom Line?
Reputation is directly related to a brand’s bottom line in both a traditional and an online sense. In a traditional sense, a brand’s reputation is directly tied to increased sales via word of mouth and referrals. When people have a good perception of your brand, they are more likely to buy your product or service. As mentioned, this can include both word of mouth and referrals as well as the increased likelihood of people being exposed to your brand online.
In an online sense, a brand’s reputation is related to its bottom line in that a poor reputation can cost a brand sales in the form of lost opportunities to sell to existing customers as well as potential customers who may have been discouraged from buying from your brand due to a bad reputation.
Even if you’re not currently in a position where you can track the success of your digital reputation management efforts, you can use tools like Google Analytics to track the results of your efforts. Doing this can give you vital information about how your digital reputation strategies are performing and allow you to make important adjustments where necessary.
What is important to note is that a brand’s reputation is a dynamic attribute that can change over time. This means that the results of your digital reputation management strategies, while important, may not be directly reflected in the short term.
Why Should Product Managers Care About Online Reputation Management?
You may be wondering why you (as a product manager) should be concerned about a brand’s reputation. After all, you’re not directly responsible for the actions of your customers, right?
While you may not be responsible for your customers’ actions, you are responsible for the quality and safety of your product. If someone writes about a product on Twitter and includes a link to your website with a negative review, it is your responsibility to respond and address the issue. In this manner, you can help to ensure that your product is of good quality and safe for use.
If you’re unable to respond effectively to negative reviews, it may hurt your product’s reputation and discourage potential customers from using the product. In this case, you directly contributed to a brand’s poor reputation by being unable to respond effectively to negative reviews.
Therefore, taking the time to manage a brand’s reputation can help to protect your product from the potential harm that bad reviews and bad publicity can cause. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no guarantee that responding to reviews will prevent further damage to your product’s reputation. However, it’s better to be proactive than reactive in these situations.
How Can I Manage My Brand’s Reputation In The Right Way?
Once you understand the various aspects of reputation management and the potential impact that it can have on your brand’s bottom line, it becomes easier to determine how to properly manage reputation. This involves performing a detailed analysis of both your brand’s existing reputation as well as the reputation that you are trying to build.
To start, you should examine how existing customers are perceiving your brand. This can be done by using tools like Google My Business to find out what existing customers are saying about your brand. Once you know what people are saying, you can determine whether or not these statements are positive or negative in nature.
For example, if you discover that most of your existing customers are giving you positive reviews, this can indicate that you are doing something right and promoting your brand successfully. However, if you discover that most of your existing customers are giving you negative reviews, this may be an indication that something is wrong and you should take action to fix the problem.
This analysis of your brand’s reputation can be done in a formal manner through a third-party reputation management firm. However, it is also important to constantly monitor and analyze your brand’s reputation on a daily basis. You can do this by using tools like Hootsuite, which can allow you to manage your social media accounts from one place. Doing this can make it easier to identify problems before they become major issues and to take action before it is too late.
What Are Some Effective Ways To Manage My Reputation?
Now that you understand the basics of online reputation management, it is time to get practical and discuss some of the most effective ways to manage your brand’s reputation. First, it is important to make sure that the information about your brand is correct and up-to-date. In order to do this, it is crucial to conduct background checks on industry experts who can speak to your brand’s legitimacy. In some cases, individuals must undergo a series of background checks before they are accepted as a brand spokesperson. This can be a time-consuming process, but it is worth it in the end.
Once you have established credibility with industry experts, it is time to start creating and executing a media plan. A media plan can be an important part of a brand’s reputation management strategy and involves deciding which platforms your brand will use to distribute its message. Platforms like Twitter can be used to quickly and easily distribute important information about your brand via short, 140-character messages. In some cases, companies will choose to use tools like Hootsuite to manage their social media accounts from one place.
A brand’s social media accounts can be used to distribute important information about your brand via short, 140-character messages. In some cases, companies will choose to use tools like Hootsuite to manage their social media accounts from one place. In other cases, brands may choose to create dedicated Twitter accounts for the sole purpose of monitoring and responding to customers’ tweets about their brand. These dedicated accounts can be used to quickly and easily distribute important information about your brand via short, 140-character messages and remove any negative tweets in real-time.
Once you have an idea of which platforms you will use to distribute the most important information about your brand, create a content schedule. A content schedule involves creating posts and videos at regular intervals throughout the year. This can be done to keep your brand’s information fresh in the minds of your target audience.
Additionally, it is important to conduct outreach to key influencers in your industry. These influencers can help to promote your brand and gain credibility by referencing it in their social media posts. In some cases, companies will choose to pay influencers to mention their brand in their posts. However, in other cases, influencers may simply choose to reference your brand because they believe in your product or service.