It has been duly noted by most companies today that an online footprint is essential for success of their business. More importantly, there is a growing realization to make oneself visible on search engine page results to be within the visible range of web customers. But more often than never, companies find themselves being perceived in highly negative light. Often there are those peeved customers who are dissatisfied with a company or a service, and then there are those who exploit the social media to point fingers just for, perhaps, just the sake of it. From big players like Dell to a simple web user stuck with the ghosts of his ugly pasts, all have faced the brunt of bad press and negative babble that can accumulate around an entity at any given point.
In the light of this, search results get flooded with negative talks about an entity, mottling its reputation severely. To ease the pain of bad press and banter, Online Reputation Management (ORM) is most sought after remedy that there is. ORM is process that involves tracking and monitoring web conversations about an entity and subsequently managing the positive/ negative conversation to maintain or improve that particular entity’s reputation. The idea is to push back or completely remove derogatory conversations and reinforce the positive ones with more positive notes.
To understand the impact of ORM better, let’s look at some examples:
Computing giant Dell had always enjoyed a superlative reputation for its quality services and support systems. In the process of cutting costs in the mid of 2000s, Dell decided to outsource services for its support system. Unfortunately, while the costs of operation went down, so did its reputation. Customers were unhappy with the fall in quality of services, and in an effort to vent out their frustration; they lashed out on the internet. A single post on a popular blog resulted in a terrible fallout as other frustrated customers joined in the conversation. In an effort to redeem their reputation, Dell went on a massive ORM spree. It went on to launch a new website Direct2Dell.com for customer support, a YouTube channel by the name of ‘StudioDell’ to promote and reaffirm the brands value and its very own social network called IdeaStorm.com to encourage customer feedback. These steps proved highly effective as customers realized that the company cared enough for them to actually learn from their errors.
At a more individual level, there have been many instances accounted where an average web user has approached ORM services to help him/her eradicate the impact of negative conversations about them and sometimes even their ugly pasts. Some wanted to take off a wrong accusation about them on a social networking site, while some wanted to take down their images on Google search result which happened to appear with the pictures of their ex. There were those who somehow found themselves listed on absurd websites and wanted to erase the listing so as to not to hamper their social standing. In an age when a person’s reputation is increasingly defined by Google, Facebook and Twitter, ORM has surfaced as a provisional tool to push back the bad in favor of the better, no matter how big or small.
Content plays a vital role in ensuring that ORM is running its due course in proper mandate. Flooding a site with positive content will not ensure improved reputation standards, but it is the resourceful utilization of web portal coined with just the right amount of content that will creates that desired effect.