Every business owner knows that their reputation both on and offline directs their potential customers to either reject or accept their products and services. In the increasingly online world that we live in, reputation management is becoming necessary to ensure that negative messages are reduced and positive messages are enhanced.
Reputation management then is often called online reputation management (ORM) due to the fact that most people now get their information online. People are influenced by what they read online whether it is a Facebook post or a product review site. Companies that have good reputations often utilize many avenues to promote their products and services. These avenues can help enhance the company’s image and also provide the company with a source of revenue.
Pitfalls of Online Promotion
Every online business often takes a huge risk when putting their products and services online. Promoting products and services that are defective create a “black hole” with customers who spread the word about the defective products and services through their social media sites. Anyone who has had a bad experience with a product or service can actively and anonymously complain.
A bad reputation online can ruin your business. Yet there are ways to avoid negative comments and reviews by:
- Testing and making sure your products and services are up to par and functioning at peak efficiency.
- Providing customers with multiple avenues for resolving issues.
- Being honest and accurate with what the products can do and can’t do.
- Making sure that your supply chain is up to speed on production and delivery.
Online reputation management often involves effective customer communications and a willingness to resolve issues to the customer’s satisfaction. Being responsive to customer needs will go a long way towards avoiding negative comments.
Do-it-Yourself Reputation Management vs Online Reputation Management Company
It is a well-known fact that you can control what others see about you online. You can do this by:
- Researching your name on Google and posting positive information about yourself.
- Avoiding posting anything that you don’t want to go public.
- Continuously monitoring your social media sites for negative posts and comments.
- Buying your domain name and creating content for your sites.
- Linking your social media sites together in one place.
You really can’t have a good handle on your company’s reputation online if you continuously have to monitor dozens of sites for negative and potentially harmful reviews and comments. Small businesses and individuals can usually get away with doing their own monitoring for a short time. However, businesses that intend to grow exponentially need to really consider either hiring a good PR agency that deals with reputation management or an experienced online reputation management company.
An online reputation management company can provide you with the tools you need to manage your company’s reputation online. Online reputation management companies also provide the 24/7 monitoring you need to ensure your company’s image remains positive. You do need to be careful when selecting an online reputation management company to handle and maintain your company’s image online.
Many supposedly legitimate reputation management companies promise to erase negative images and press for a fee. Some organizations use unseemly methods to extort funds from you. So what can a good online reputation company do for you?
A good online reputation company can:
- Provide you with 24/7 monitoring on all your websites and other websites.
- Offer you strategies to fix issues that could potentially cause damage to your company’s reputation.
- Provide you with the tools you need to promote your products and services.
- Correct inaccurate information on web directories and other sites.
Reputation management can be a time stealing endeavor that can decrease productivity and increase frustration. Hiring an online reputation management company or a good PR agency is a good investment because they can help you save time and embarrassment.
Taking a Risk – The Basics of Reputation Management
Most individual business owners understand that risk is a part of doing business.When you are first starting out as a business owner, you need to have a good strategy for developing, producing and distributing your product.
Your company’s reputation is built on how reliable you are in producing and delivering your products and services. Reputation management doesn’t work when the company doesn’t do its part to ensure their products and services are meeting their customers’ expectations.
Reputation management software can help you manage your content and provide you with the tools you need to accurately get your message out to the public. It is up to you to do the hard work at making sure your products and services perform as promised.
The very first thing you need to understand is that every business needs reputation management tools and services. It is foolhardy to think that you’ll never need to implement reputation tools for your business. As a small business, you may not have enough capital to invest in a PR firm or an online reputation management firm. You may not need all the tools a typical PR firm or online reputation management firm has to offer.
Do-It-Yourself reputation monitoring can be done quite easily when your company is just starting out. All you need is patience and time to develop your own personal strategy for getting the word out. You can quite easily sign up and join social networks to gain traction with your products and services. With some reputation management software packages, you can track hits on your website(s) and monitor interest.
Once your business gains traction, however, you may not be able to monitor and update all your information. You’ll need the services of an online reputation management company then. It is prudent to take a look at how your products and services are being received to determine your best course of action.