Online Reputation Management (ORM) deals with everything about your company’s brand in the online community. This community includes the entire web – search engines, forums, blogs, news sites, social networking sites, etc…
Online Reputation Management is first being mindful of your company’s online brand then building on that brand in the search engines (chances are this is where you are sought for the most) through social media and other websites that produce and disseminate content.
Online Reputation Management is done through a funnel of three main processes:
Being mindful of your company’s online brand (Monitoring)
First and foremost, you have a brand – as the owner and manager of that brand, you have to be mindful about it. Know what’s happening to your brand. Know what’s the latest news about it. Know what people think about it. Where are you mentioned? What are they talking about when your brand is mentioned?
There are tons of tools that you can use in order to monitor your brand in the online world:
This will be your best friend when you’re monitoring your brand online. You can track web results, news, blogs, video results, and groups results. There is no better way to get all of your brand mentions than Google Alerts. ‘Nuff said.
Set up for free to track news by keyword, stocks, local news, feeds and more. Receive notifications via email, Yahoo Messenger or mobile.
Twitter has grown to be one of the best places to monitor your brand in. Almost everyone in the Twitter world retweets content with or without hashtag. The beauty of Twitter search is that it also lets you set-up search parameters such as dates, links, location, sentiment, Twitter account, and more.
Social mention is the social media version of Google Alerts. It helps you monitor your brand in different social platform throughout the web. you can subscribe to the feed, get email alerts or download the Excel file.
Building on that brand (Prevention)
Online Reputation Management extends to these factors connected to you:
- Your Name
- High profile employees
If one of these things get affected by a bad reputation, it would usually spread itself to the others like a festering disease. Protecting your name, company, products and high profile employees are carry less impact compared to your brand (which should almost always be your username). For this tutorial, we will be discussing more about your brand and how to protect it.
BRAND / USERNAME:
This is the best thing you can do in managing your online reputation. Build and build and build and build on your brand. Branding is key to ORM. Surprisingly, it’s also arguably your most powerful asset when it comes to SEO. Building your brand can start from getting all of your brand’s social media usernames. You can find it out using Knowem.
As soon as you know on which social media sites your brand is still available as a username, grab the opportunity to register it there. These accounts are your online licenses to build ‘online real estates’. It will boost the chances of you filling up the first page of your brand SERP if you own powerful social media accounts with your brand as a username.
Some of the key social media accounts you SHOULD get are:
If you have these accounts, interlink them with each other and link to them from your blog / website and they should rank really well in the search engines.
Another great way to prevent bad reputation webpages from ranking as your brand is to create and maintain a blog. Search engines love blogs. That’s enough for you to know that you SHOULD get a blog for yourself in order for you to rank well and to have that powerful leverage for your brand that you can flexibly use whenever there is any newly published bad reputation out there.
There are a lot more reasons why you should have a blog for your company – you can publish company news, establish a readership, promote products and services, etc…
We will be discussing more about ORM Prevention methods in the next lessons of this tutorial.
Fixing any damaging content to your brand (Cleaning)
Once the damage is done and you don’t have any ammo to fire back, here’s what you need to immediately do:
- Hire an ORM consultant
- Contact the owner of the bad reputation site and humbly ask if he/she can put it down
- If it is against the law, contact any possibly concerned government body and ask them for help to bring it down
- Ask Google to de-index it if there are any elements in the page against Google’s guidelines
If all of those are not an option for you, start with getting all those powerful social media accounts and create a network of links to them using your website. Start a blog and interlink that blog with those social accounts and with your main website. It will take more time for these to rank – and most probably the damage will already be done by then.
ORM work is mostly about establishing that bullet-proof reputation in the web by getting all the possible ‘real estate accounts’ you can for your brand.
As much as possible, the Online Reputation Management campaign / work SHOULD NOT reach the Cleaning stage. It amplifies the workload on any Online Reputation Manager – all the while the damage has already occurred. The funny thing is, most companies that look for Online Reputation Management only do so whenever there is damage already done. Online Reputation Management is not about damage control, it is about establishing online brand foundations.
Tips for Keeps: If you have not already taken your brand name as your username in all the powerful social networking sites, do it. Now.