It’s common knowledge the internet is loaded with cyber bullies hiding behind their computer screens to openly and aggressively spread bile about people, companies and products. Online Reputation Management (ORM) is paramount in this anonymous cyber age to assure customer confidence and brand protection. Preventing a negative smear campaign that damages reputation and business growth potential is a war that can now be fought using ORM tools and services.
Social Media Reputation Management
Controlling reputation is more than managing bad reviews on blogs or social media platforms. In the past, companies were not actively engaging customers, but instead selling to a much more passive audience. Today, websites are no longer static brochures as customer interaction and social engagement are critical to an organization’s success.
Monitoring social spaces such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit and Disqus are part of the solution for many brands and businesses. There are also review sites like Yelp, Glassdoor, Vitals and TripAdvisor where your customers, clients or prospects are talking about you. And it isn’t always nice. At least on most review sites or social spots like Facebook, businesses often have the opportunity to engage the end user by rebutting false or negatives posts.
Social media monitoring tools allow companies to gather public online content from blog posts, tweets and reviews to determine whether something negative or positive is being posted about their business. Google Alert is an example of a free web monitoring tool accessible to anyone. Social Mention and Trackur also monitor nearly 100 social media sites to determine the ratio of positive to negative mentions.
Prevention is better than a cure for problems. So we recommend reserving social media accounts in your business’ name before launch. It’s also advised to reserve the domains you think might be common misspellings of your business or product names as others could seize those later and post unflattering things in the guise of you. Even if you do not use them, it is still better that you own them instead of a disgruntled employee, estranged partner, angry customer or scrupulous competitor.
Searching For Your Reputation
Whereas individual blog postings or reviews can often be addressed when found, negative links displayed high on search engines can be a trickier thorn to counter attack.
In fact, the biggest concern for most of our clients are negative results on search engines like Google. It is imperative to be aware of what Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) reveal about you or your brand. Improving SERP results are what count for 99 percent of our clients’ needs.
Often, a searcher’s first experience with your brand happens on Google’s SERPs. The sites you see on that first SERP on Google will capture as much as 92 percent of search traffic clicks. In contrast, second-page results are far from a close second coming in at less than six percent of all website clicks.
Thus, having the ability to influence a user’s first impression on that first SERP page can go a long way toward improving your brand’s reputation, customer perception and conversion rates. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the strategy designed to have your pages or positive third-party pages appear on that vital first displayed search result.
How Reputation Management And SEO Work In Tandem
If false or negative information is being displayed on that first page, the first thing your online reputation management agency should do is devise an SEO strategy that increases the ranking of positive content to provide the most positive first impression of a business or individual. To do so, we rank multiple positive properties – websites, blogs and social media – in search engine results, not just the property you own.
Using skilled SEO for reputation management dives deeper into the SERPS as positive content that has been submerged past pages two and three may need to be unearthed and pulled up. That will ensure your most favorable review-related links will appear higher and thus push down the negative sites. It’s nearly impossible to permanently remove negative sites, but getting them out of the searcher’s eye on SERP page one is key.
Online Reputation Management In Today’s World
ORM is a necessity to shape the perception of your organization. In this age of people finding a powerful voice behind the anonymity of their devices, the real issue for your business is whether or not negative content is visible. Our ORM services improve what shows up on search engine result pages, harnesses social media to build the best reputation and manages review sites to promote only the positive reviews. We call these strategies our “multi-channel approach” where each channel drives positive public opinion about an organization’s products, services and reputation.
ORM analyzes and monitors top search engine results to determine whether they are positive, negative or neutral, and then decides how best to categorize them. ORM also cultivates social media, ramps up content creation and marketing, public relations, and helps perform maintenance of review sites to determine if posts on sites like Yelp or Google are fake. Battling inaccurate or misleading posts will boost your star ratings in search results.
The Importance Of Transparency
The effectiveness of an ORM and SEO client-agency collaboration is defined by transparent, open communication, mutually understood expectations and an appreciation that the process is a team effort. This team effort requires feedback, cooperation and a shared commitment. Our goal is complete transparency in devising a clear plan of action, reasonable completion time tables and outlining all applicable fees.
Successful ORM is often a long-term process and expectations need to be well managed. It is unlikely you will see fast results and be wary of an agency promising a quick fix. Understand the process and ask many questions. If your ORM agency cannot explain the logic of their strategy, find another service. Remember, it’s literally your reputation on the line.
The Future Of Your Reputation
Reputation management focuses on proactive work that will shape your positive online presence today and tomorrow. The creation and growth of regularly updated blogs, developing multi social media properties and reaching out to other websites to share positive links do more than shape your online presence right now. They also insulate your reputation for the future. By consistently and proactively working to build a positive online presence through multiple channels, it’s much easier to combat negative results or posts as they materialize.
Of course, trying to grow your business is already a full-time job, so where do you find the time to spend hours monitoring your online reputation? That’s where a company like the Avita Group can help manage and maintain a positive multi-channel online reputation. Relationships with clients are transparent and inclusive. Results are tangible for positive brand protection and increased conversion rates.
Best of all, you choose how Avita Group works for you. We can teach you the skills to manage your online reputation on your own. We can work ongoing with you to guide your team to the best reputation protection strategies. Or we can manage the entire ORM process on your behalf. That way, you can focus on the most important thing: growing your business successfully.