Reputation also becomes exposed to environmental, technical, and economic risks. Take the recent Megogo crisis case. Users in Ukraine had problems accessing the broadcast before the Usyk-Joshua fight and had to pay twice when trying to log in. This malfunction caused a barrage of negative comments and reactions on the Internet.
To protect yourself and your business from reputational losses, you should at least understand the basics of online reputation management.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management (ORM) comprises activities that create a positive perception of a business, brand, or person. ORM includes monitoring mentions of your target queries (e.g. brand or company name, key info breaks, a product, a CEO, or top management), reviewing and analyzing online content or customer feedback that may hurt the reputation, as well as applying crisis prevention strategies and damage control.
The difference between ORM and SEO
People often confuse or consider online reputation management (ORM) and search engine optimization (SEO) to be the same thing. However, there is a difference. For better understanding, we can picture ORM as a big cake where SEO is a small piece.
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Why is it so?
SEO is the practice of improving a web page or online article so that it appears higher in the SERPs. The ultimate goal is to increase visibility in search results and improve quantitative and qualitative indicators of online traffic.
ORM transcends the objective of “coming out on top” for a particular search term and your online content performance. Still, SEO will always be one of the tools of a successful ORM strategy.
4 effective ORM practices
Regularly monitor online brand mentions
You can easily conduct a quick brand reputation audit. It is necessary to do it occasionally so as not to miss something important or detrimental to your reputation.
Open your browser window in incognito mode and enter your brand name. Carefully study the sites that appear on the first page and evaluate your presence on it: comments, reviews, ratings, and photos created by users. Assessing the general sentiment will be an important step before setting your next priorities.
In case there are many mentions for your key query, it is better to use an automated monitoring program right away. This way you will collect the necessary data much faster. For example, LOOQME platform tools allow you to track and analyze the sentiment of your information field and immediately respond to negative mentions.
Measure and compare reputation with competitors
Reputation is not a constant and cannot stand alone in a vacuum, protected against the impact of the environment and competitors. If your brand has continuously maintained its good reputation, then you are lucky. Yet, we cannot put a “perfect reputation” in a box and take it out only when it is profitable. It does not work this way.
Reputation itself is ever changing and occasionally becomes overgrown with either positive or negative information layers. The best way to influence it and see the dynamics is to evaluate it regularly using special tools, such as the R-index metric, which shows the level of trust in the brand and visibility in the media and social networks. You can use it to measure the reputation of your brand and competitors. It is convenient as it helps to form an objective assessment of reputation.
Small brands often have a misconception that global companies always enjoy a better reputation. However, this is not always the case. In contrast, big companies often assume that it is easier for smaller brands to maintain a positive online reputation. Rather than taking a wild guess, it is always better to check it and rely on real data.
[You cannot just go ahead and improve your reputation]
PR metrics: from basic to advanced
Expand your online presence
If they talk about a brand on the Internet, then it is viable. Not bad for a start.
What should you do next?
There may be several scenarios for development. Once everything is going smoothly with your reputation and you have dealt with the sources of negativity, you can go ahead and increase your online presence.
For this, you could use PRNEWS.IO. The platform will not only help with publications in different types of media but also facilitate working with content distribution and link building. It is nice to have everything in one place.
You should start by solving serious problems with negativity in case you have them. Work out the main sources that spread the negative mentions. Once you have done that, you can increase the volume of positive publications on the Internet. At this stage, the PRNEWS.IO service will come in handy.
Support your content platforms
Use your active content platforms — blogs, telegram channels, social media pages, and forum groups. Tell your audience about the products, the initiatives you have launched, and the events you have attended. Show your work and team behind the scenes. The above actions will not save you from reputation mishaps, but if you find yourself in a crisis, it will not hurt to have a loyal community.
It is necessary to understand the needs of your audience when working with your content platforms as well as with external resources. You should not impose what is not interesting. It is best to work with trending newsbreaks and similar info styles.
Working with reputation can seem like a rather complicated and chaotic process. For better structure and clarity, start by prioritizing the ORM.
Balance the key factors that influence your decision:
Set ОRM goals. E.g. to reduce the amount of negativity online by 50% in six months. You can filter your mentions in the brand-monitoring tool by the criteria of your choice and track them. Upload interim reports at the end of the month.
Define your limits and boundaries. Establish how many resources you can allocate for an ORM. Keep in mind that this is an ongoing process. So be realistic when assessing your abilities.
Prioritize by the degree of impact. Although you may feel like you have to deal with everything all at once, be realistic about the amount of work. The impact is the most important criterion for your selection, as you should try to allocate your resources to the channels with the highest stakes for your business.
Prioritize tasks. What tasks is it essential to solve in the first place? There must be a plan for addressing critical and complex problems. It is not always the best option to pick easier tasks first.
You can take into account all of the above tips and create your work algorithm. You are likely to start working with the channels that will come up within these criteria.
This material first came out in the PRNEWS.IO blog