Online Reputation Management - An Introduction:
A lot of our purchasing decisions depend on our brand recall factor. We are influenced by various advertisements both offline and online when we decide to buy a product or use a service. Brand recall, a major factor in the success of a company, is largely influenced by what is called reputation management. In today’s internet-driven world, online reputation management is considered an important component while planning marketing and branding strategies by companies. Following a well-designed Online Reputation Management guide becomes a key factor to push a company onto the path of success.
In this comprehensive guide to Online Reputation Management, we will cover a few essential topics:
- What is Reputation Management
- What is Online Reputation Management
- Why is Online Reputation Management necessary?
- What is the significance of Online Reputation Management?
- What is Online Reputation Management Business?
- What key factors are to be considered while starting an Online Reputation Management Business
- Basic functions of an Online Reputation Management Business
- How to improve Online Reputation Management?
- What is Corporate Reputation Management and why it is necessary
- How much does Online Reputation Management cost?
While internet services are a boon in a thousand ways, the same vehicle can also be used by disgruntled elements to tarnish reputation remorselessly. Negating the impact of such wilful acts by correctly proposing the facts and propagating a true picture of a product/service/company/celebrity is essential for a sustained growth. This process of projecting facts and opinions is usually referred to as Reputation management. Through reputation management, a company strives to position a positive image of the company, brand, product and/or service in the consumer’s mind. Reputation management is the process through which a company can monitor its reputation, address feedback, and complaints, provide redressal and ensure that there is no negative impact on its reputation.
Reputation management is generally done through:
- Advertising – online, printing in magazines and newspapers, outdoor advertising through hoardings and advertising displays
- Sponsored articles and blogs
- Various charity events and tournament sponsorships
- Seminars, brand meets, and launches.
- Social media and websites
Online Reputation Management:
Online Reputation Management is the process by which a company, an organization or an individual will create content and strategies so as to create a positive perception among the general public towards themselves, their products and services or their organization as a whole.
Online reputation management involves monitoring websites, social media, and various forums and ensuring that a positive image is maintained at all times. Positive feedback and comments need to be shared widely. Any negative feedback or comments must be immediately redressed to make sure that negative word doesn’t spread.
Why is online reputation management necessary?
Today, Online Reputation Management is becoming a crucial component of organizational functioning. So much so that organizations and businesses both big and small are creating separate departments to deal with Online Reputation Management. Companies are heavily investing in Reputation Management Services to make sure that they are at all times the talk of the town and a clean image is maintained at all times.
The medium of Internet is lightning fast and ruthless. Word spreads like wildfire. Organizations have to be on constant guard at all times. Once the damage is done, damage-control and recovery take quite a lot of time, effort and that can be very expensive. This is one of the major reasons why the concept of Online Reputation Management is gaining such a lot of significance recently.
Significance of Online Reputation Management:
- Consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet to do their research before making any product or service purchase decisions.
- Ensuring that the company and its products and services are reflected among the top search results is an important factor in increasing customer base.
- Companies need to ensure continuing positive brand image to ensure that they always stay on top of search engine results.
- Companies can monitor feedback constantly and make any necessary changes in their product and service offerings.
Online Reputation Management Business:
With so many companies and organizations – both big and small, turning to Online Reputation Companies to assist them in turning around their online reputations, the Online Reputation Management Business has become the next big thing in today’s organizational environment. Start-ups as well as large organizations with a well-established product and service portfolio are increasingly using the services of Online Reputation Agencies. There is a huge scope in this ever-increasing market for new companies and agencies to step in.
Factors to be Considered when Starting an Online Reputation Management Business:
The much-in-demand online reputation management business is a challenging area for entrepreneurs and start-ups. In order to start an Online Reputation Management Business, a potential reputation management agency needs to follow a set of steps. These are
- Deciding on the target group:
Online reputation management is much sought out not only by big organizations and companies but also by film personalities, top political leaders, socialites, small business ventures, educational institutions, doctors, lawyers, charity organizations etc. it is first important for an online reputation management agency start-up to decide on which type of customers it is planning to target.
- Deciding on niche specialization:
Online Reputation Management is a vast field that has a number of aspects that need to be taken care of.
- Social media marketing – involving creating and managing accounts on social media and addressing any feedback in a timely manner
- Reputation marketing – concentrating on creating a positive reputation for the client on all media.
- Strategy management – helping the client in planning reputation management strategies irrespective of the target media
- Online content management – helping the client in creating effective online content on websites and various forums.
- SEO management – managing the client’s online content for ensuring maximum online visibility
- Size of the client company: Online reputation management for big companies differs in many ways from small business reputation management. A start-up has to decide if it wants to take baby steps starting with a small organization or take the bull by its horns and approach large organizations.
- Designing a reputation management strategy:
Once the niche and core specializations have been decided, the reputation management agency must then decide on a blueprint for strategies to tackle various aspects of reputation management. This will be useful when approaching potential clients
- Create a media presence:
This is very important to let the world know that they have entered the business which will help in attracting potential clients. Word-of-mouth is also effective.
What does an Online Reputation Management Company Do:
If you are planning to start an Online Reputation Management Agency, you need to first understand the functions that need to be performed. Here is a short and simple list of the very basic functions that need to be performed by an Online Reputation Management Company.
- Online Reputation Management starts with web presence. Make sure that your client has a website. Most of the companies and organisations have their own websites. Help them create one if they don’t have.
- The second important step is to make sure that the client has a presence on all social media, most significant of which include:
All these social media channels are extremely important to create a strong customer base through networking. Apart from these, the client needs to also have accounts on all important forums where the client’s related products and services may find a mention. Presence on all consumer forums is another important aspect of the client’s online presence.
- All social media channels need to be connected to the client’s website.
- Having constantly updated blogs at important forums and websites helps in giving potential clients any updated related to the clients
- Another very important aspect of Online Reputation Management is focussing on SEOs. It is necessary to ensure that all the online content is optimized for all search engines. This will improve online rankings and ensure the client’s visibility on all search engines. Visibility on first-page search results will help in maintaining a very good Online Reputation.
- A good knowledge of all online tools and applications that help monitor online content and online ranking is another essential aspect of maintaining good Online Reputation
Improving online reputation management:
Online Reputation Management is an ongoing process. Constant positive reinforcement in all forms of media and quick complaint redressal is very important on a regular basis to ensure that a positive image is regularly maintained. Following a few steps can help an organization in Improving The Online Reputation.
- Ensure constant presence on all social media especially Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Update website content on a regular basis and having a presence on various forums related to their products and services.
- Update websites and forums with positive reviews that have been received from clients and customers
- Keep a constant eye over the internet and quickly redressing any complaint – especially on websites related to consumer forums.
- Ensure employee satisfaction in order to improve the overall image of the company or organization in the real world.
- Ensure that factors like SEO and related tools are given due diligence when dealing with online content.
- Have an eye on high ranking keywords and ensure that websites and blogs feature content around them.
- Ensure that all positive feedback is pushed to the top of search engine results and negative results are pushed back.
- Find any articles that might be putting a negative impact on reputation and take measures to fix.
- Ensure that the website and any related blogs have the highest ranks on search engines.
These key factors go a long way in ensuring an overall positive image for the company/organization or individual online.
Corporate reputation management:
Warren Buffet once said, “It takes twenty years to build a business and five minutes to destroy it”. His quote gives an idea of how important business reputation management is for huge companies and organizations that have a number of brands and portfolios under their belt. A single complaint or an incorrect move may damage the overall image of the company and even result in a drop in market value putting a huge dent in their business.
Apart from the regular reputation management strategies, few additional steps can help large organizations manage their reputation.
- Paying attention to the customer feedback
- Emphasis on creating a good customer experience
- Crisis planning and management.
- Actively participate in philanthropy activities and charity events as a part of social responsibility
- Sponsor sporting events, marathons etc.
- Ensure that all good-will related activities are given enough media and online coverage.
Huge corporate companies, due to their already established reputation and brand value need to go that extra step to ensure to maintain it.
How much does reputation management cost?
In general, online reputation management packages start at about 20,000 INR per month. While it is only an indicative price, the actuals depend on the various aspects to be covered for specific needs. Get in touch with leading Digital Marketing corporate for a definite price quote.
In this current context of the business environment, reputation is as important as the quality of the product or service of business owners. A satisfied customer is an asset hard to ignore. A dissatisfied customer is a liability even hard to carry. The choice is clear-following a well-conceived management reputation guide and maintaining a spotless reputation is the way forward for a longer tenancy in the marketplace.