“Online Reputation Management: Making sure all that happens in Vegas and stays on Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., is well hidden.” – Redefined by Ethinos
Online Reputation Management (ORM) comes from the term reputation management originally used in the public relations sector. It refers to influencing the public’s perception concerning a group or individual’s reputation. Reputation management used to refer to media relations, where the information available about a person or organisation will be used to shape the public’s perception of them. However, in modern terms, we refer to ORM because most of the information we have available is on the internet and social media platforms.
Online Reputation Management
ORM focuses on managing the search website results of products and services. It involves monitoring the individual or organisation’s reputation on the internet, attempting to protect their image by having positive feedback displayed. While monitoring search results, negative or potentially damaging content can be addressed. By addressing negative customer feedback in a professional way, you can avoid damage to your online reputation. A major part of online reputation management includes suppressing negative feedback and highlighting positive feedback.
Examples of ORM:
- Pushing down of negative feedback by improving tagging and SEO of company-published material
- Publishing original, positive social media pages and websites with positive customer reviews
- Submitting online press releases to suppress negative feedback
- Getting mentions on third-party sites that rank highly on Google (e.g. Facebook, Tumblr)
How can you manage your online reputation?
The best way to stay on top of your reputation is by being aware of what people are saying about your brand. Do a Google search for your own or your company’s name and see what comes up. You can also set up Google Alerts so you will get notified when people are searching for you. Monitor your social media pages daily and address any comments made. Also have a look at the social media platforms you don’t have, as sometimes people will mention your name there as well; Facebook even creates temporary pages for businesses mentioned that do not have their own pages.
Ignoring online feedback
When you ignore feedback you receive online, you have no control over the way people perceive the brand. Equally bad is not to monitor the feedback. It is very important to be aware of how people view your brand in order to use it to your advantage. It is never a good idea to just delete negative feedback; rather show the public how you address it effectively.
Ethical grey areas
Unethical reputation management can do much harm a brand’s reputation; maybe even more than unmonitored feedback. Apart from deleting negative feedback, the following is considered ethical grey areas:
- Paying people to publish fake 5-star reviews
- Censoring complaints
- Astroturfing review sites
- Using SEO tactics to influence results
The perfect example of brilliant but unethical ORM is the #1 restaurant in London, The Shed At Dulwich. It doesn’t exist.
A brand is no longer what an organisation tells people it is, it is what people tell each other which is important. The best way to make sure you have a good online reputation is to manage it effectively.