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December 2021 | Digital Marketing

The Business Guide to Online Reputation Management

The Business Guide to Online Reputation Management

There are various misconceptions about online reputation management. Some people believe that it is all about social media marketing and then there are some who think it comes under public relations.

However, we think it neither comes under PR or Social Media, it is a function of whichever platform the audience chooses to interact with.

When you are trying to unwrap all the nuances of reputation management online, the objective of any customer relationship organization should be to provide an organic opportunity to curate new customer relationships, build a strong brand presence, be present and help when things go wrong, and try to understand how people truly feel about your company.

In simple terms, online reputation is how people perceive and connect with the brand or services on the internet. Furthermore, first impressions matter and it goes a long way in determining the overall sentiment that will stick with people. By extension, online reputation management is about influencing people’s perception of the brand/product/service.

Now the question arises: Why is reputation management important for your business?

As discussed above, we now know why online reputation management is vital for the brand but let us discuss how exactly can an efficient ORM strategy benefit your business.

1. Impact on consumer’s buying decision

If you lack at managing the online presence of your business, it can cost you your customer base. Around 81% of buyers do thorough research before making a purchase. Hence, how you appear online is the make-it-or-break-it-factor in the customer’s mind. Moreover, customers go through the comments that other people have left regarding your business to figure out if the business is reliable or not.

2. ORM is the online version of Word-of-mouth

Around 85% of consumers see online reviews as personal recommendations and blindly trust them. It is a great thing if your views are impeccable, however, what happens if someone posts a negative review about your business/product? In today’s age of social media, the news spread like wildfire. Let us take an example:

United Airlines lost around $1 billion in market value after a video of a passenger being dragged away from an overbooked flight went viral. The video had millions of views and mentions that day itself. The airline was under a lot of pressure as they failed to deal with the situation and the lack of PR crisis management was alarming. Hence, in a situation like this, it is of paramount importance to already have a strategy in place to handle something of this magnitude.

3. No such “Delete "Button for negative reviews

The internet never forgets, well, almost. Whatever people are saying about the business on the internet, it is likely to stay there. Although, you have a chance of altering a negative comment related to your brand. This can be done through a proper response- you can turn an unhappy customer into a happy one.

4. Get valuable feedback

Monitoring is one of the most crucial parts of managing the online reputation. Start by collecting some useful insights on customer satisfaction and feedback regarding the products/service. So before you start taking surveys, polls, and going around asking, you can simply pay attention to what your customers have to say about the business.

What is the best way of responding to negative online reviews?

As mentioned above, you should have a strong strategy in place on how to deal with negative reviews. Moreover, it cannot be overstressed enough, ignoring negative reviews is the worst policy. When you answer such reviews it shows that you truly care about your brand, your customers, and will go to extreme lengths to resolve their issues.

According to a study done by RightNow around 34% of consumers will remove their original bad reviews once they hear something back from the organization. So, always reply back to reviews.

A Recap

ORM is an essential part of any business, growth strategy, marketing for any brand out there. People are talking about you and they will continue to do so. Your main job is to set up a solid online presence backed by a strategy that will help navigate through all the online conversations, provide fixes here and there and provoke only positive sentiments.

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