Online Reputation Management (ORM) what is it? How important is it for my business and my people?
ORM or online reputation management although being a relatively new industry has come into its own during the Wed 2.0 revolution. With both professional journalistic content and user generated content available (UGC) through search engines, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage your business, product or personal brand online.
With the advent of Google real-time search display, understanding ORM and having a plan and implementation of that plan is becoming increasingly important. This is because now all the little tweets of the world surrounding your brand or name become more visible to the everyday searcher.
There are three core components to managing your online reputation, they are; monitor, repair and manage.
To monitor, you need to have clear objectives about why and what you are monitoring. You need to have worked out what keywords relate to your business and which keywords you are going to monitor. It may be a product name, business name or for your personal brand it will be your name. Lastly select the software tools that you are going to use to monitor.
To repair, know the reasons or motivation behind why people write what they do. Be clear in your mind on how to handle negative comments, at the heat of the moment you need to be clear about your brand temple and the face that you want to show the world. Most importantly be proactive, if there is any perceived problem/s with your brand don't hide from it, face it and fix it. Remember other customers or potential customers will be watching how you handle the challenge.
To manage your online reputation you need to have a clear strategy in place on how to handle a 'brand melt'. You need to have a solid idea of how to deal with the issues, be able to have multiple conversations in a number of conversation channels when needed. Importantly you need to be actively building your brand online in a positive light and in a number of channels.
A great example of someone who has had a horror year for his personal brand is Kanye West; how is his online reputation?
As we all know Kanye has a dubious record when it comes to awards evenings, and a lot of negative chatter has ensured. However if you Google Kanye West, his search pages comes up pretty clean, how did he do it? The answer Kanye produces tonnes of content that he wants people to see. He manages his online reputation by being involved in a lot of discussion boards and he publishes his own site, all this works to help him to manage what comes up in searches for his primary keyword and brand name Kanye West.
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