In a world where the first thing disgruntled employees, irate customers, or people with political agendas do is flood the Web with negative reviews, online reputation management (or ORM) has become more important than ever. Every business ought to pay more attention to it since the best way to connect with your main audience in this digital age is by building a trustworthy brand presence online.
For small businesses, a complete absence of proactive reputation management leaves them vulnerable like a sitting duck. With nothing more than a website (and maybe some local search portal listings) to represent your business online, you’re in a perilous position if anyone creates a site to target you or merely posts something on social media. Bad reviews, even if fake, could rank for your business name searches. Now the question arises: is every business at the mercy of a few naughty Twitteratis, fake Insta-warriors or Google Review miscreants? Of course not! This is where the online reputation management agencies come in!
For a business, the damage that can be done online spreads to everyone – its owners, customers, stakeholders, investors, suppliers, employees, family, friends and its digital community. ORM agencies, thus, exist because the online world is just not fair. These agencies are passionate about people, businesses and brands being represented fairly online. If your business is already in a reputation crisis, these specialists will take your reputation challenges seriously and provide you with a calm, precise and expert service to see it through and put you back in control. Even if you’re not in crisis, you can use their services to get proactive, build and maintain your online reputation. Either way, using their services is a must in today’s digital landscape.
Now here is where another question arises: What are the benefits of hiring an ORM agency? Well, let’s take a look.
An online reputation management agency will:
Create a presence on all relevant platforms
This benefit is a must-have for alltypes of businesses, especially startups. Your company should already have an official account on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, at minimum. If you’re in a highly competitive market and vertical, you may need to be active on some additional platforms as well. Sulekha, Grotal, IndiaMart, TradeIndia, Just Dial, Glassdoor – there are so many available, some of which may be specific to your industry. For many B2B, high-tech or service-basedcompanies, having executives and employees integrate with LinkedIn may be valuable. For visually-oriented products or services, using Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr may be needed. And, most businesses will benefit from a number of videos shared through sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. All this and more is professionally handled by an ORM agency without you even having to mention it. What’s more, such agencies don’t just create a presence on relevant platforms but also work consciously to strengthen it.
Hear (carefully) what people think and say about your business
Brand reputation management starts with, well, brand monitoring! To react to online mentions, the agency has to be aware of everything that is being said about your company, product, or service online. Now, you might wonder that can’t any of your employee or even yourself do this manually? Like, say by typing your company’s name into any search engine and examining the results one by one? Sure, this manual approach does have one benefit — it’s affordable. But then the list of disadvantages is a bit longer. For starters, manually searching for online mentions will take a lot of your time.Also, you risk missing some crucial comments. That might spiral out of control and hurt your brand’s reputation in the long run. An ORMagency, on the other hand, will offer additional analytics metrics that will help you measure the results of your marketing campaign, your hashtag reach, or sentiment around your brand. Their experience in monitoring ‘echos’ of business mentions is what makes the difference!
Protect& promote individuals associated with a business
Developing a strong social media presence for a company’s founders, owners, or executives’ names, particularly if they are distinctive, is one of the best ways to boost reputation online. After all, keeping a low profile to preserve your privacy just leaves you wide open for any drive-by defamers. There are quite a number of businesses where the company’s identity is fairly entangled with their employees, and a solid reputation management strategy is vital for these. For example, consumers often search by name for individuals who offer valuable services – doctors, dentists, lawyers and tutors (to name a few). Accordingly, an experienced ORM agency will strategize collateral (articles, interview podcasts, success stories, press releases, client reviews, etc.) to rank these individuals if they don’t already have a digital presence.
Tackle criticism or defamatory content quickly
Many strategic approaches can come into play if and when you do get slammed by some unfair or over-the-top criticism. ORM agencies first get all collateral pieces in place from an SEO perspective — your website, blog, social media handles, Google Knowledge Panel, local listings, and more. These pieces are then set up optimally to rank for your brand names. and help those collateral pieces to outrank any negative materials. Then, if things turn ugly, the agencywill go further by sharing your side of the story, taking legal action, deleting the defaming statements, counter-attacking (kicking them where it hurts) and monitoring the social echo.
And lastly, understand your audience
Yep, it’s that simple! A reputation management company knows how various demographics resonate with your brand. Accordingly, it helps you speak their lingo, create content that meets their needs and not say things they wouldn’t like to hear. All in all, ORM agencies know your audience well, and so the number of problems you face will reduce drastically. They do thorough research around your buyers’ personas on a regular basis, and that’s fundamental to building a strong brand.
Now that you know the key benefits of having an experienced ORM company on your side, it’s time you hired one for your organization. Whether you’re a startup wishing to enhance your reputation online or a multinational corporation looking for a unique strategy to squash a PR crisis, an ORM agency can work wonders for your business.