Reputation management is the process of taking control of your online presence and participating in discussions about your brand name and products. Instead of passively letting people share negative reviews and unfair social media comments, your brand has the power to jump in and rectify the situation with customer service and assistance.
There are many online reputation management (ORM) strategies that you can use for your brand. Here are three key tactics and explanations for why they work.
1. SEO Reputation Management
With SEO reputation management, an SEO agency will consider how your brand ranks in the Google SERPs (search engine results pages). When you search for your brand, is your home page the first thing that pops up? What about an interview with Forbes on how you build your brand? These are positive stories that highlight your company name and boost your trustworthiness and brand reputation.
However, there are times when search results aren’t as flattering. There could be a negative news article that ranks highly for your brand name. Your competitors could also be trying to rank for your terms.
The agency you hire will develop a content marketing strategy to improve the rankings for your brand and within related searches in your industry. This process will involve creating blog posts with targeted anchor texts as well as link building on high-authority websites. While these agencies can’t promise that a single piece of content will rank for first place on Google, they will work to make sure the majority of results direct to relevant and accurate information for your brand.
2. Reputation Management for Online Reviews
Your online reputation extends beyond search engine results. There are plenty of locations outside of Google where people can leave negative reviews and comments about your brand. For example, Yelp is a key driver of traffic for businesses. Potential customers read the reviews before deciding whether or not to visit a business. A few bad reviews can pull down your overall star rating and drive new customers to stay away. Many local businesses have lost earning potential because of negative reviews.
ORM seeks to address this negative content. Teams will scour the web for online reviews and respond to both negative reviews and positive ones. By responding to negative reviews, companies have a chance to address problems that some customers might have experienced and fix any issues they have. This is important for keeping up retention rates, so people return to your business. Responding to positive reviews by happy customers breeds goodwill and shows that your brand is actively engaged in social listening.
3. Social Media Reputation Management
Another source of online reputation management opportunities is social media. If your customers have a bad experience with your small business, they’re going to post about it on their social profiles.
This can affect companies on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. Through social ORM, teams will identify social media accounts that are posting about your brand and engage with these fans or customers. This ORM is typically done through a social media agency or a comprehensive digital marketing firm.
The fact is, customers are going to talk about your brand online, whether they’re writing Google reviews or sharing their experience on social media. ORM allows brands to listen to what is being said and react to the messages. It also gives a small business a voice to share their side of the story.
Reputation management is a long-term process. Instead of expecting all of the negative content to be removed from the web overnight, focus on marketing your small business in a positive manner and identifying the best ways to fix issues that your customers have. This will allow you to influence your online narrative for proactive ORM.