You may have a fantastic product or service, and a good brand name with your existing customers. But when prospective customers, clients or employees search for you on the Internet, what do they see? Thumbs-up reviews, hate sites, or no mention of you at all? Or is there a news report telling the story of your incredible growth in the industry? That is your online reputation! Online Reputation Management involves managing search engine results to protect and enhance your company’s brand reputation online.
ORM is Important for Businesses in Today’s Environment
When people review your online presence, they don’t just find your website. They find customer review sites, blogs, discussion groups, social media comments and rankings. Does everything they see throw a positive light on your business? Here are some hard facts about online reputation:
- Consumers, business partners, stock holders, marketers, journalists, prospective employers, co-workers, personal contacts and others care about your online reputation. So should you!
- People from all walks of life use search engines to research and gather information, so that they can make informed decisions. Negative information about your brand can ultimately lead to problems in many areas including sales, investor relations, recruitment, financials, image and reputation. In other words – damage to your brand reputation.
- The online world is inter-linked by search engines, social media networks and blogs. What is said by one can be heard by millions (a good word, or a negative one). Positive buzz carries more weight with consumers. A positive reputation brings trust, confidence and sales.
- Personal reputation matters. Here’s an example: A search for the International Monetary Federation (IMF) on May 15, 2011 showed among the top few search results, “IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn charged with attempted rape of a housekeeper at a Manhattan hotel”. Your personal reputation affects your brand too!
- Managing your online reputation isn’t promotion; it’s a means of defence. If you don’t control your brand online, someone else will. You can’t control perceptions….but you can certainly influence them.
That concludes part one: an Introduction to Online Reputation Management. Stay tuned for part two to see the steps you should take to maintain or improve your Online Reputation.
If you want to speak to us with any Reputation Issue you are struggling with at the moment don’t hesitate to call on: 01454 261111.