With the evolution of the virtual media, the need to be present on the internet is now more important than ever. But today, much importance is being directed towards the reputation or the image a company, brand or a person carries on the internet. Because there is a colossal amount of information available on every available sphere on the internet, a net user has the option of discounting information as per his/her discretion. Moreover, where a search engine like Google is concerned, a net user usually limits his information source to the first page of the search query result.
With so much at ready disposal of the net user, it is important to ensure that the reputation of an entity is protected from derogatory or negative exposure, that can surface on occasional count. This is where Online Reputation Management (ORM) comes into force. This process allows you to protect and manage the reputation of a company, brand or a person by employing methods that suppress or push the negative mentions to the back of the search engine page result and instead promote positive ones.
There are three key steps involved in the process of online reputation management (ORM):
1. Monitoring: With the advent and popularization of social media and social networking sites, people today tend to be vocal about their opinions more readily and freely on the internet. Whether the mentions refer to good experiences or bad ones with the company or a brand, it usually finds a place in social forums almost instantly. Hence, it is important to monitor these online conversations to understand what is being said or written about an entity on the internet. A news alert option is often considered a feasible way to update oneself with what is being spoken of an entity in real time basis.
2. Analyzing: After tracking and monitoring online conversations, it is important to analyze the finds objectively. Healthy conversation usually account for both positive and negative mentions. After evaluating the degree of each, the next steps calls for evaluating the impact a mention can possibly have. If there is something negative floating around, an opportunity now exists to improve the conversation in a favorable light by the entity. This will not only improve the relation between the entity and the net-user but will help generate a goodwill in favor if the entity for being proactive.
3. Influencing: This step calls for consistent and pro-active engagement on part of the entity to let the consumers know that they care enough and are readily available for any feedback, query or suggestions. Social Media is one such way that allows an entity to interact and converse with their consumers and subsequently influence the consumers in favorable light. But before engaging in conversations, it is advisable to evaluate the right social platforms where existing and prospective consumers are more likely to be found. This will help reduce wastage of efforts and attract a targeted audience. One can also alter their website interface to be more social interactive and inviting so that the consumer feels you care enough to appeal to their better side.