What is Online Reputation Managment (and why it is important)?

Updated: 24 April 2024

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What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?

Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of monitoring and managing a brand’s reputation online to enhance social proof, create greater trust and maintain a positive online presence.. ORM encompasses a range of strategies and tactics, including review monitoring, social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), and content creation, and is aimed at shaping public perception and maintaining a positive online presence. Brand who practice effective ORM proactively manage their online brand perception by taking appropriate actions to address any areas of concern, especially where they have high online visibility.

Why is Online Reputation Management (ORM) important?

As the internet becomes the primary source of information for most consumers, the way a brand is perceived online can significantly impact its success or failure. Here are key reasons why it is essential for any brand.

Customer Trust and Brand Image

Trust is a foundational element of customer loyalty and brand success. ORM helps in building and maintaining this trust by:
  • Ensuring positive first impressions through favorable search results and reviews.
  • Addressing negative feedback promptly to demonstrate commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Maintaining consistency in the brand’s message and values across all online platforms.

Influence on Buying Decisions

Online reviews and social media can significantly influence purchasing decisions. Effective ORM strategies can steer this influence to favor the brand:
  • Highlighting positive reviews and testimonials to enhance credibility.
  • Engaging with customers online to create a positive, interactive community.
  • Utilizing feedback to improve products and services, further bolstering customer approval and sales.

Competitive Advantage

A strong online reputation can differentiate a brand from its competitors. ORM plays a critical role in:
  • Monitoring competitors’ reputation strategies to stay ahead in the market.
  • Capitalizing on the competitors’ ORM missteps by offering a superior customer experience.
  • Positioning the brand as a leader in its industry through thought leadership and influential content.

Crisis Management

ORM is essential for mitigating the impact of any negative incidents that can tarnish a brand’s reputation:
  • Implementing rapid response measures to address any unfavorable news or customer complaints.
  • Maintaining transparency with the public to rebuild trust and manage brand damage.
  • Using ORM tools to monitor and swiftly react to any brand mentions or discussions online.

Long-Term Brand Value

Consistently managing online reputation helps in building long-term value for a brand:
  • Ensuring a positive online presence boosts brand equity over time.
  • Attracting better business opportunities and partnerships due to a well-regarded brand image.
  • Influencing shareholder value positively through sustained customer loyalty and business growth.
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Teams Involved in Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Effective online reputation management (ORM) usually leverages the capabilities of many teams within an organization. Many brands fail to recognise this, and this leads to gaps in their approach. Here are some of the teams that we think should be involved, and what aspects of online reputation they look after:

Digital Team

  • Managing the brand’s website, social media accounts, and other digital assets to ensure customer comments and feedback is managed appropriately.

Marketing Team

  • Working with affiliates and online reviewers to create positive reviews that are accurate and fair.
  • Where reviews are unfavourable, work with the reviewer to understand their issues, and where possible, correct these.

Brand Team

  • Monitoring brand reputation online and ensuring that non-owned content is actively monitored and managed. This can include review websites such as TrustPilot.

Retail Marketing Team

  • Monitoring and managing ratings and reviews on local online platforms such as Google Business Profiles.

Human Resources (HR) Team

  • Actively monitoring and managing HR based online review platforms such as Glassdoor and Indeed.

Public Relations (PR) Team

  • Dealing with crisis communication to mitigate any damage to the brand’s online presence.
  • Engaging with media outlets and influencers to promote positive brand stories and and counteract negative content.

Customer Service Team

  • Handling online customer inquiries and complaints promptly and fairly.

Summary

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is essential for brands in a world where public perception can dramatically sway consumer behavior and directly impact a company’s bottom line. A positive online reputation boosts a brand’s credibility, attracts new customers, and fosters loyalty among existing ones.

Moreover, effective ORM can protect against the volatile nature of the internet, where negative reviews, misinformation, and harmful rumors can spread rapidly.

ORM is not only about mitigating negativity but also strategically building and maintaining a brand image that resonates with core values and promises made to customers. The key benefits include:

  • Enhanced customer trust and loyalty, leading to repeat business and referrals.
  • Improved visibility and higher rankings in search engine results, directly affecting traffic and sales.
  • Ability to influence consumer perceptions and decisions by actively managing and responding to customer feedback.

Proactive online reputation management helps brands maintain control over their online narrative and is indispensable for any brand looking to thrive and sustain its competitive edge in a crowded marketplace.

Work with us

If improving your online reputation is an area you would like to explore more closely, let’s set up a call to talk through your current performance, where you would like to be, and how you can get there.

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