Reputation management, also known as online reputation management or ORM, focuses on managing the public perception of brands and individuals online.

Whatever the size of your business, people are talking about you. Past, current and potential customers share their experiences on social media, blogs and websites every single day. It takes just one bad experience for those shares to turn nasty. There are countless stories of brands who have gone through a public relations disaster after a mis-thought Tweet, poorly worded Facebook post, or even an in-person experience that has left a customer less than thrilled. Thanks to the rise of social media, no brand can afford to be anything but transparent.

If you assumed that it was only well-known or famous companies and people who needed to think about building (and maintaining) a reputation online, think again. The reality of the internet age is that every single brand and person has an online reputation to uphold and protect. Ignoring the public’s opinions, reviews and comments can put your reputation in great danger.

How reputation management helps you thrive online

Do you know what people are saying about you or your company? How will you react to negative publicity? What do you do in the face of a potential social media scandal? Knowing how and when to react is key. The wrong reaction can cost you far more than you bargained for – more ways than one.

A Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report released in 2015 showed that 83% of people trust brand recommendations from friends, and almost 70% trust consumer opinions more than paid advertisements. This makes a lot of sense. After all, people are more likely to trust those they know. With more trust placed on personal recommendations, brands have to be even more careful to ensure that they are not alienating audiences.

Some of the benefits offered by online reputation management include the following:

Create the right impression

New customers will make up their minds in a matter of seconds. Strategies such as Digital PR help to ensure that you always make the right impression by building a positive brand image.

Stay ahead of your competition

South African brands Marmite and Bovril have enjoyed plenty of competition over the years – most of it friendly. In a recent video on their Facebook page, Marmite made a not-too-subtle dig at Bovril for its beef content. While this competition has been a signature of both brands, your competitors could easily take sabotage your efforts in a bid to stay on top. Managing your reputation is the best way to ward off negative propaganda and potential attacks.

Build trust

Reputation is not all smoke and mirrors. In fact, it is about building trust with your audience by being transparent. When you are working to create and maintain a solid reputation, you have more chance of turning potential prospects into customers, and keeping them for the long haul.

The only way to efficiently manage your reputation online is to be proactive. To learn more about our approach to reputation management, leave a comment below or leave your details on our contact page.

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