The Internet has become the resource we use for almost everything in our daily lives. In fact, it’s impossible to imagine what we would do if it disappeared. How would brands and businesses survive? Due to its scope, it’s important that we start to consider the importance of online reputation and its management.
What is Online Reputation?
Online reputation is the projection of the prestige of a person, company or brand on the Internet. It can be created by the brand itself, or, by the people who exchange opinions through reviews on web pages, blogs, social networks etc.
What Does Online Reputation Management (ORM) Mean?
Online reputation management means being in charge of the online conversation. By using techniques and strategies, you can guarantee that the correct information is found when looking for something about on the Internet.
At this point, it is necessary to understand the difference between:
- Online Reputation: that focuses exclusively on the Internet and on aspects that are not under our control.
- Brand image (corporate identity): which covers the relationship between client and brand or business in its wide range and which can be controlled through the messages transmitted by the brand or business itself.
How Does Online Reputation Impact Businesses and Individuals?
Brands and Businesses
From the marketing side, it is essential for companies to have a reputation management strategy since consumers or users have changed their decision-making process. All product reviews, comments and recommendations will influence directly on the sale of our product.
Individual or Personal Reputation
Our own personal reputation depends on the content we upload by ourselves. This means photos, videos, cv, posts, comments and answers. We highlight what we want the internet to project about us. It is important that we are aware that everything we upload to social networks, is exposed to the opinion of other people.
How Can We Measure the Online Reputation?
Since personal reputation is something you can control easily, because it usually depends on each one of us, I’m going to focus this explanation on the part related to companies and brands (which turns out to impact directly on marketing).
1. Keywords Associated to the Brand, Business or Product
You must keep the keywords up to date. This way you will be able to achieve two things: on the one hand, to contribute to the improvement of positioning in search engines and, on the other, to reach new potential customers.
2. Position of Your Brand or Business Within the Search Engines
In addition to social networks, you need to monitor the position of your brand or business and the place it occupies. It will be useful as an indicator to adjust the marketing strategy.
3. The Mentions of Your Brand, Business, Product
It is a great metric to know both how often users write, and how many people you need to manage, in addition to the kind of comments made about your brand, business or product.
4. The Place Your Brand Occupies Among Users or Consumers Should be Analyzed Emotionally
From the reviews left by users or consumers, you can measure the acceptance of your business, brand or product. You can also adjust your marketing strategy and see if these comments change.
5. Identify bad critiques
There is such a large variety of complex problems and reputation crises that we could write a whole post with them (which I will certainly do soon). But generally speaking, you can’t always expect everyone to like your brand, business or product. By accepting this and replying to negative feedback, you can change an unsatisfied customer’s mind or a bad opinion.
Summing up Online Reputation Management
Reputation is a very complex issue which does not respond to a single solution, like everything that is dissociated from scientific or quantitative elements and goes over to the qualitative side. Common sense and empathy serve, in short, to improve the treatment of customers and therefore to improve your assessment as a brand, business or product.
If you find a balance between all your stakeholders, you will practically have the conflicts resolved. However, we all know that this is a utopia and that not everyone will always agree. My advice: minimize the damage. Analyze the risks of making the client happy versus satisfying the business, since one or the other is not right. Value the benefits and losses and act accordingly. In the end, the strategy you decide will directly impact on reputation. And we already know that everything that is written online usually lasts over time.