Online Reputation Management or ORM

Online Reputation Management or ORM
Online reputation management, or ORM, is a key part of your overall online marketing plan. It includes all the available methods and processes for controlling your company’s online image and attracting more clients and customers, as well as responding to potentially damaging feedback both on the personal and public level. Think of it as public relations for the digital world. Some companies have and maintain a very strong positive public face, but other companies struggle with their online reputations to the detriment of their business. There are a number of factors that affect ORM, and when these problem factors appear, they have to be dealt with decisively and quickly. The best cure for a poor online reputation is to prevent it by delivering what is required in a timely, efficient and courteous manner. However, there is simply no pleasing everyone, and sometimes even your best efforts won’t be enough. This is where ORM comes into play for your company. Below are some common questions we receive about ORM.1. Is my online reputation really that important?The answer to this is an unequivocal yes! The majority of your clients and customers find your company through Google, Bing and Yahoo searches. If the first things they see are laundry lists of negative reviews, complaints and curse-laden diatribes about your business, they are far less likely to want to try your services.2. What factors affect ORM?

A poor review on Yelp!, Google Local Places, Bing or other search engines can pull your reputation down. Even worse is when people start taking to their blogs to rail about your company. This kind of reputation damage is very difficult to work against, largely because it is notoriously hard to overcome a person’s opinion and perceptions with facts. However, it is possible to do this with a strong policy of transparency and open communication, even with people who are not happy with your business. The strongest ORM method has always been prevention, which includes delivering great customer service, keeping new and prospective clients appraised of developments both personally and publicly and creating positive user-facing content that shows your company in the best possible light.

3. How much damage can bad ORM do?

Forbes Magazine reported recently about an ORM expert who was called in to review a struggling business’s online reputation and advance suggestions. This man found a number of derogatory comments about the company across the social media spectrum, on blogs and even on the company’s home page. He estimated the company’s poor online reputation was losing the business roughly $2 million each year. When he checked his figures by asking the company, they admitted they were losing money, but said his figure for their losses was actually low!

4. If my ORM is poor, how long do I have to correct it?

When an online reputation crisis begins, it needs to be dealt with immediately before it has a chance to get out of hand. Sometimes rectifying an ORM problem is as simple as reaching out to the complaining party and offering to correct the problem. In other cases, especially where ORM has been mismanaged or ignored for an extended period, a complete overhaul of your online reputation might be necessary to retool your image and give you a chance to win back your existing and possible client base.

5. How do I fix bad ORM?

The reasons a company’s online image may suffer are as diverse as the people using your business. If you own a pizzeria and a client thinks they didn’t get enough pepperoni on their pie, this is relatively simple to deal with. However, if you’re a book publisher with a host of dissatisfied authors and readers, your ORM might be sinking faster than you can bail it out. Identifying the root causes of the problem and making an effort to fix them while putting the best possible public face forward is the essence of ORM. Unfortunately, many companies lack the time, budget or human resources to put together a full-time ORM team whose only task is to maintain and protect the business’s image, which means slower response times and potentially far more damage than is strictly necessary.

Online Advantages incorporates a comprehensive ORM checkup and ongoing image management into every facet of our design, development and Internet marketing activities. We constantly monitor our clients’ search engine returns for any negative feedback which may compromise their image and get to work to consult with them immediately when a problem arises. By keeping clients informed about what the problem is, what they can do to repair it on their end and what we’re doing on ours, we offer real-time solutions to problems that occur at cyberspace speeds. For more information, email us at info@onlineadvantages.net or call us at 408-645-7102