Online Reputation Management (ORM) has been the buzzword since the early days of digital marketing, a decade ago. However, the term has, in the recent past, regained significance as an increasing number of businesses have turned to digital formats, driven by the pandemic. It is estimated that today, more than 90% of the customers, both B2C and B2B, research the internet for gaining insights and genuine customer reviews about a product/ service and the overall brand, before arriving at a final purchase decision. And rightly so! From e-commerce, active websites that offer detailed product and service information, and live customer supports through automated chat-boxes, to almost omnipresent Google reviews and numerous customer portals, social media and WhatsApp groups, consumer engagement and feedback has become almost omnipresent, and almost uncontrolled! The fact that several brands have also been increasingly turning to digital and social media platforms for marketing communication, has further enhanced the urgent need for efficient and well strategised online reputation monitoring and management for brands.
Simply put, Online Reputation Management (ORM), refers to the brand or company’s image in the online space, especially related to the spokesperson / leadership image, product or service reviews or any other element that can hamper or enhance a brands reputation across the ever expanding digital ecosystem. Given the volatility of the digital media and the almost virulent nature of information sharing and access that it brings, it has become vital for brands to engage in proactive online reputation monitoring and management. Hiring an expert ORM consultant can further help brands to not only monitor and control the online narrative but to eventually shape it and leverage the vast social and digital ecosystem to the best advantage for the brand. Some of the key aspects that impact the quality of online reputation is the content an organisation disseminates, the reactions of and interactions with web users, the product and after sales/ customer service experience, the product or service quality and the reaction of the stakeholders to companies overall philosophy and core activities across digital ecosystem.
Needless to say, with so much potential, a creative and consistent ORM Strategy can work wonders for a brands success and positive top of mind recall. Effectively managing online reputation of the company, along with building positive visibility of the promoters/founders, can lead to building consumer and stakeholder’s trust, increased and consistent engagement with stakeholders, attracting and retaining talent by increasing the aspiration value among potential employees, and eventually reflect on the brand’s overall growth and profits.
An Online Reputation Management consultant can vouch that an efficient strategy is one that combines a fine tooth monitoring approach followed by a prompt response mechanism. By using a specified set of keywords, it is possible to monitor Online Reputation of a brand in consumer, influencer, and stakeholder conversations, across the digital ecosystem, which can then be used to develop an impactful response strategy that can enhance the quality of brand conversations and build positive brand reputation.
Some of the major Online Reputation Management strategies include a combination of tools, listed below: