Online reputation management (ORM) can make or break a brand. How?
Imagine this: your brand has a stellar product, a dedicated team, and a strong mission. But in today’s age of social media and online reviews, one negative comment can ruin your reputation.
In this post, we’ll reveal advanced tactics for online reputation management that will keep your brand on top, no matter what the internet throws your way. By learning and using these techniques, you can both influence your audience and turn regular customers into devoted brand supporters.
What is Online Reputation Management for Brands?
Your brand is a high-wire act, balancing the scales of reputation.
On one side, a positive image leads to customer loyalty, referrals, and higher revenue. On the other side, a negative image threatens to tip the scales, damaging your company’s image. You lose customer trust and even lead to legal problems.
Take United Airlines as an example. In 2017, the company faced public outrage after it removed a passenger from his flight. It led to a backlash on social media, and United’s stock price dropped.
When a brand faces a significant setback like this, online reputation management (ORM) can help control public perception through social media, customer reviews, and negative press.
Wait, doesn’t that sound similar to Public Relations?
Difference Between Online Reputation Management vs. Public Relations
Public relations (PR) creates a positive image through relationships. It can be offline or online. ORM, on the other hand, focuses specifically on managing a brand’s online reputation.
There are four main channels for ORM media, which include paid media (search ads and sponsored posts), earned media (coverage from third-party platforms), shared media (social media content), and owned media (brand-controlled media, such as a website or blog).
PR and ORM are distinct strategies for managing the public perception of a brand, with ORM focusing on online reputation specifically.
Key Metrics to Track
Before you can manage your brand’s online reputation, you must know what you’re looking for. Identifying key metrics to monitor is a critical step in the process.
But how do you decide which metrics are most important? Here are some metrics to consider:
- Online Mentions. Watch what people say about your brand on social media, in the news, on blogs, and on forums. It will help you see patterns and make any necessary changes.
- Sentiments. Pay attention to the feelings expressed in online comments about your brand. It can help you understand customers’ emotions and change your messages to address their concerns.
- Review ratings. Track ratings and reviews across platforms to see how customers rank your brand.
- Response time. Measure your team’s responsiveness to social media and review site comments.
- Share of voice. Check the percentage of industry-related online conversations that mention your brand. Compare it to your competitors.
Advanced Strategies For Online Reputation Management
1. Use Chatbots and Social Listening Tools
Chatbots can automatically answer customer service inquiries. They reply faster, which saves time and money. Social listening tools let brands track customer sentiment and comments.
Together, chatbots and social listening tools can improve brand reputation. Here’s how to use them effectively:
- Determine the channels where customers are most likely to interact with the brand, such as social media or websites.
- Implement chatbots on these channels to respond immediately to customer queries and complaints.
- Use social listening tools to track these channels for mentions of the brand, products, or services.
- Respond to any negative sentiment or comment promptly and appropriately.
- Use the insights gained from social listening tools to adjust the brand’s online reputation management strategy as needed.
2. Do Sentiment Analysis and Proactive Planning
Another two effective online reputation management strategies for brands are sentiment analysis and proactive planning.
Sentiment analysis analyzes brand sentiment using statistics, NLP, and ML algorithms. It helps brands improve their messaging, products, and services.
Proactive planning involves developing a comprehensive plan for managing a brand’s online reputation. Identifying potential issues, monitoring online presence, creating brand-aligned messaging, and responding to negative feedback are all part of this.
Listed are some practical ways to use sentiment analysis and proactive planning in online reputation management:
- Use sentiment analysis tools to monitor social media channels and customer feedback for mentions of the brand.
- Analyze the sentiment of the mentions and identify any potential issues or negative opinions.
- Use the insights gained from sentiment analysis to develop a comprehensive plan for managing the brand’s online reputation.
- Implement the plan and regularly review and adjust it to maintain the brand’s reputation.
3. Conduct Online Crisis Simulations and Scenario Planning
Online crisis simulations and scenario planning are important strategies for businesses to manage their online reputation and reduce brand misconceptions. Here’s how to use them:
Online Crisis Simulations
An online crisis simulation tests how your company can manage a crisis, such as a social media attack, negative press, or customer complaints. Here’s how to conduct an online crisis simulation:
- Step 1: Create simulated crises based on real-life events, such as data breaches, negative product reviews, or bad employee behavior.
- Step 2: Assign tasks to your spokespersons, social media managers, and customer service representatives. Ensure they understand their responsibilities during the simulation.
- Step 3: Run a practice scenario and see how your team performs. Use negative social media comments, fake news, and customer complaints to test your team’s skills.
- Step 4: Review your team’s performance and identify areas for improvement. Adjust your crisis management plan and train your team accordingly.
Scenario planning involves creating strategies to address future issues and prepare for worst-case scenarios. Here’s how to use scenario planning:
- Step 1: Consider different situations that could impact your brand’s reputation and be prepared for changes in customer behavior. Your scenarios should include a range of different events.
- Step 2: Test how each scenario could affect your online brand management and identify the key challenges and opportunities in each situation.
- Step 3: Develop a plan of action for each scenario, applicable to actual events and predicted situations.
- Step 4: Regularly review and update your plans as you gather new information to stay prepared for any changes in the business environment.
4. Dominate the Search Engine Results
You can use SEO techniques to your advantage by promoting positive content on search engine results pages (SERPs). It can help push down negative content and make it less visible.
Here are some strategies to use the power of SEO for online reputation management:
Optimize Your Website
Ensure your website is clean, mobile-friendly, and voice search-optimized. Use keywords and meta tags that are relevant to your audience. Optimize your URLs, and use internal and external links to improve your search engine rankings.
Create and Promote Positive Content
Make your website content interesting and informative, highlighting your brand’s strengths. Use different types of content like blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, and videos.
Share this content on social media platforms, third-party websites, and your own website. It will increase your brand’s visibility and encourage more people to share it.
Manage Online Reviews
Encourage customers to share feedback on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp. Respond to negative reviews and show your dedication to customer satisfaction. Authentic reviews can enhance your brand’s image and improve your search engine rankings.
Leverage Social Media
Use targeted keywords and consistent branding on your social media pages. Share valuable content to increase visibility and authority on SERPs. Be sure to keep your audience interested. Building a solid following also helps!
Monitoring your brand’s position in search engines is important for businesses. It helps you understand patterns and chances to improve your online presence. Google Analytics, Moz, and SEMrush are tools you can use for this purpose.
5. Automate Online Reputation Management
Here are some ways to use reputation management automation:
Social Media Monitoring
Tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Mention track mentions on social media. Real-time alerts let you respond to positive and negative feedback.
Online Review Management
You can use ReviewTrackers or Reputation.com to automate tracking and responding to online reviews. These tools update you on new reviews. In addition, they also make the response process easier.
Brandwatch and similar tools can help you study online sentiment. With this, you can see patterns in public perception.
Content Creation and Distribution
HubSpot, SEMrush, Buffer, and similar tools automatically create, publish, and promote content. These platforms manage your content calendar and schedule social media posts. They can also track performance to ensure effective brand messaging.
Reporting and Analytics
Use automated analytics tools like Google Data Studio, Tableau, or Domo. They visualize your brand’s online reputation. You’ll gain valuable information to improve your reputation management strategy.
Case Studies of Brands That Repaired Their Online Reputation
Let’s look at some popular brands that have faced challenges to their reputation and how they’ve employed advanced strategies for online reputation management to get back on top.
In the late 2000s, a video about Domino’s went viral, showing employees doing unsanitary things to the food. It caused many people to stop buying from them and hurt their sales. But Domino’s didn’t just sit there and do nothing.
The company introduced the “Pizza Turnaround” campaign in 2009. They promised an overhaul of its pizza recipe. Also, they interacted with customers, asked for feedback, and responded to concerns.
The result? Domino’s sales and customer satisfaction increased again.
Starbucks uses chatbots and social listening tools as part of its social media reputation management. The “My Starbucks Barista” app lets customers order on their smartphones. This cuts wait times and make customers satisfied.
The famous cafe monitors what people say about them online with listening tools. They use tools to know what people are talking about and respond to customer feedback. It helps keep customers happy and loyal to their brand.
Microsoft faced several problems in the 2000s, such as lawsuits and complaints about its products. To recover, Microsoft improved customer engagement, transparency, and product quality.
They listened to customers’ concerns and introduced cloud-based services, Office 365 and Azure. Microsoft regained its position as a leading technology company by focusing on customer needs and improving its products.
Apple had some issues with how they treated their workers and how they sourced their products. They were also causing harm to the environment. So, they made some changes to solve these problems.
They became more open and honest about what they were doing. They checked their suppliers to make sure they followed the rules. Apple also worked to reduce its environmental impact by using better materials and energy sources.
Apple started sharing yearly reports about how they were doing. It made people see them as a more responsible company. They also got more customers who cared about the environment.
The British luxury fashion brand faced a crisis in the early 2000s. The company’s iconic check pattern became connected to counterfeiting and negative subcultures. It weakened the brand’s exclusivity.
With this, Burberry focused on rebranding and taking control of its image. Burberry fixed its reputation by making changes, such as using its check pattern less and closing stores that weren’t doing well.
They also worked with famous designers and celebrities and used social media to connect with customers. These actions helped bring back Burberry’s reputation as a luxury brand.
Why Your Business Needs Online Reputation Management?
Here are four reasons why your business needs online reputation management:
- Consumer behavior. 91% of shoppers read online reviews before buying, and 84% trust them as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal.
- Crisis management. PwC found that 69% of businesses suffered a crisis in the past five years, and those with a plan were more likely to recover fast.
- Competitive advantage. According to a survey by Moz, online reviews are among the top factors influencing local search rankings. By managing your online reputation, you can attract more customers than your competitors.
- Employee recruitment. A positive online reputation can also impact employee recruitment. CareerBuilder found that 71% of job searchers researched companies before applying, and 59% had turned down job offers due to a company’s online reputation.
The Bottom Line
Remember, in the digital age, your brand’s reputation can be made or broken with just a few clicks. Whether responding to negative reviews with empathy or using SEO tools to improve your online visibility, there are many ways to enhance your brand’s reputation. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different tactics and find what works best for your business. After all, a good reputation is worth its weight in gold!