Online reputation – Maintaining a positive image on the Internet
Online reputation – Your Internet reputation is very important – it is a deciding factor for the success or failure of campaigns, products and entire companies. Negative entries and comments on social media portals, including Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, critical articles in blogs or other places on the Internet can very quickly lead to a plunge in sales. However, there are simple ways of controlling one’s own reputation on the Internet and preventing image losses.
ORM (Online Reputation Management) – a good reputation is worth its weight in gold
ORM – short for Online Reputation Management – is absolutely essential in the digital world. Specialized reputation management agencies look after the good reputation of a company on the Internet. The amounts paid for these services reflect the importance of online reputation. But, with a bit of skill, you can handle ORM yourself.
ORM reduces or removes harmful entries. The main thing is the positioning of negative entries in search engines. Negative entries on the back pages are generally harmless. In most cases, people who want to find out about a company or a product generally look at the search results on the first Google page. This is why it is particularly important to check the first ten search results.
A Google analysis provides answers
What is being said about your company or your product on the Web? Is Online Reputation Management worthwhile? A simple question Google provides initial answers to:
- Are there any negative entries?
- Are most of the entries outside of your control?
- If you answer one or two questions with a “yes”, then you ought to engage in Online Reputation Management.
Part of an effective Online Reputation Management is, above all, being able to determine the top Google entries oneself wherever possible. This means that you must have your own website, your own blog as well as your own social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and co. Important is that you use your own company or product name as the account name. Online services such as KnowEm can help you find out whether your own name is already being used elsewhere. The more of your own social media profiles you offer, the easier it is to control the content of the top results in the search engines.
However, the account name alone is not everything: You will have to provide valuable content to secure the top Google positions. These can include content that has been created by the users themselves (user generated content), for instance customer reviews.
clickworker offers Sentiment Analysis – the analysis of entries and comments on the net by tonality – as a service. Find out more details!
Always up-to-date with ORM tools (Online Reputation Management Tools)
Monitoring your own brand is obviously not a one-time measure. We recommend regular controls to be on the safe side. Many online tools can be useful aids. For example:
- Google Alerts is popular, well-known and practical. This tool automatically sends you an email alert when new web content for any given search term appears. This alert warns you in a timely manner giving you the opportunity to quickly respond.
- Twitter Search provides another simple and practical option. Is someone tweeting about a specific subject that involves your company? Prompt information about it makes a quick response possible.
- socialmention.com also offers a real-time analysis about comments in blogs, micro blogs as well as bookmarks, images and videos.
However, a certain amount of caution and tact are needed when reacting to negative information or comments. This is in particular to avoid the so-called Streisand effect: The attempt to stifle information often makes a larger circle of people aware of the undesired information. The name of the effect goes back to the actress Barbra Streisand who actually made people aware that a certain property belonged to her by protesting against an aerial shot of the property.
Customer comments for a good reputation
If you do not know what is being said about your own brand you will not be able to react to responses quickly enough. It is of course best if customers comment on products and services on your own homepage – and not on your competitor’s page or in a forum that you cannot influence. These three aspects are important to the customer when it comes to customer reviews and comments:
- Are customer questions being answered and if yes, how quickly?
- How does the company respond to harsh criticism? Are they still friendly and obliging?
- Do the answers of the company offer constructive solutions?
Admitting a mistake can often work wonders. Customers very much appreciate transparency. Let your customers see how you plan to solve the problem mentioned.
Important: You do not always have to win every dispute. What is important is that your own company makes an open and customer-friendly impression.
If your customers are satisfied they will also provide positive feedback about the company or the brand on the web. This is why a good customer service is still the best way to avoid acquiring a bad image on the Internet. Encourage your customers to rate your company or product. React to their reviews – even if their comments are negative. This shows your customers that you take them seriously.
Building up a successful brand is time-consuming. But, you can lose your good reputation in a matter of seconds – if you are not alert. It is dangerous to simply ignore it. But it is even more dangerous to be in the dark. Today, Online Reputation Management is an important part of marketing – at least as important as SEO – actually it is part of it.