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    Guide to Online Reputation Management 2020

    Not only has the internet become a go-to for information, but many also trust whatever it tells them,. Amazingly, they make decisions based on the information got. This is to say either you are a business, professionals, brands, or even an individual, your prospective customers, suppliers, employers, or partners will always turn to the internet to dig out information about you. What will they find?

    Let’s face it: you have a top-notch customer service, you make it a priority to always keep customers happy. You are always working tirelessly to meet the ever-changing customer demand. Well, at one point or another, your reputation online will take a hit every now and then. An unhappy customer who wouldn’t hesitate to rant about your product or services online. One star ratings on Google. Some malicious rumors bent on destroying career and brand reputation. News media criticisms making headlines on the internet and spreading like wildfire. This is where online reputation comes in: to take care of these little blows here and there.

    Online reputation makes you control what people see online when they google your business or brand. Online reputation involves influencing and improving your reputation while protecting it against any negativity. This is to say you are not folding arms and leaving your reputation to chance but taking ownership of it and using it your advantage. People are searching for your business online, are you ready to make it a good one?

    Some online statistics that shows online reputation isn’t a thing of choice but of necessity

    Here are some online reputation management statistics that show the power of reputation management. This is to get you started and make you understand the importance of building an online reputation that people can trust.

    Think about this:

    • 91% of online adults make use of search engines as their source of information.
    • 65% of people consider search engine result as reliable above everything else
    • 91% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 
    • 93% of customers say that online reviews do have a huge impact on their buying decision
    • 60% of consumers say that negative reviews convinced them not to do business with a brand.
    • 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they can be convinced to use a business.
    • On average, consumers read 7 reviews before trusting a business.
    • 1 to 2 stars reviews failed to convert 86% of prospective customers.

    Personal online reputation management also matters as the image of professionals or individuals online has a huge impact on how recruiters or prospective employers perceive them 

    • 95% of businesses are employing social recruiting in their recruiting process
    • 93% of companies say that  LinkedIn is the most effective site for finding qualified candidates.
    • 70% of employers check out social media platforms during candidates selection
    • Up to 69% of job seekers said they would turn down a job offered by a company with a bad reputation even if they are unemployed. 

    Essential channels for online reputation management

    To ensure your brand is using the best channels that will bring it to the limelight and put your best foot forward, it is crucial to understand what and how these channels can work for your good. 

    Paid media

    This type of online reputation management is fairly straightforward as you have control over where your brand is being positioned. It is one of the ways in which businesses create brand awareness, drive traffic towards owned media, and acquire customers. It requires paying for channels such as campaigns on Google AdWords, Facebook ads, PPC, and branded content. Each and every message passed across resonates your brand and create awareness that drives positive results 

    Social media

    Maybe your target audience is actively involved in channels that you are ignoring. Your competitors might already be active on some channels that you have no presence. If you are not engaging with your audience on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, you are simply missing out on a whole lot of opportunities. 

    Not only should you have a social presence. Be active. Leverage social media to engage with your audience and most importantly, monitor your online reputation. Respond speedily and with empathy to any negative mentions, complaints, or comments. Acknowledge any positive reviews or comments. Another good rule of thumb, think before you tweet. 

    Earned media

    These are channels you did not own nor pay for but your brand earns it from external platforms. This can be word of mouth, any of your content going viral, guest blogs, and many more. 

    Reviews sites such as Yelp or pissed consumer complaints also fall into this category as customers turn to these reviews sites to express their perceptions about your brand. As much as you do not have control over what people say on these platforms, you can respond positively. This way you can avoid any form of skepticism about your brand and strengthens brand advocacy.

    Owned media

    Owned media is the biggest player in ORM because this is where all your online reputation management lies and where you have full control. It entails your websites, blogs, press release, podcasts, and many more. 

    This channel can be used to create brand awareness, inform and engage with your audience, and boosts rankings on Google. The good thing is it is often cheaper than paid advertising. 

    Overall connect with your audience across these channels and adopt an effective professional reputation management plan. Build an online reputation that wins the confidence, trust, and heart of your audience. 

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