An ORM strategy utilizes the most effective tactics to address all components of reputation management. Wikipedia defines three important components of a good online reputation management strategy:
“Reputation management is the practice of monitoring the reputation of an individual or brand, addressing contents which are damaging to it, and using customer feedback to get feedback or early warning signals to reputation problems.”
Step 1: Monitoring your reputation
If you don’t know what people think about you, how can you fix a reputational problem, build trust, and otherwise affect a positive change in their perception of you?
You can’t. That’s why monitoring your online reputation is a major part of the definition of online reputation management and the first component of a sound ORM strategy.
Monitoring your own reputation also has several added benefits. It helps you track the success of a product launch or PR efforts, identify industry influencers who might help you, and spy on the competition, to name a few.
Monitoring a business’s or individual’s reputation online can take many forms. Some of the more common ways to track perceptions include:
Set up Google Alerts for your name (business, individual, or both)
Regularly search Twitter and other social media for your name
Use monitoring tools like Trackur or Social Mention
Engage with your followers on social media
Step 2: Addressing damaging content
This is the step most people use to answer the question, “What is online reputation management?” Addressing content damaging to your personal or business brand, and creating positive content to counter it, is the biggest part of the definition of ORM and includes lots of ethical gray areas.
The most ethical ways to deal with negative content are:
Respond quickly and politely to negative feedback on social media
Ask other websites to remove false information
Submit legal take-down requests to fight libel
Use the rel=author and rel=canonical tags to fight scraping, plagiarism, and duplicate content
Encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials
Regularly publish new content on your website, blog, and other channels
Make sure content and channels you own are properly optimized for search engines
Create original, helpful content on other websites, such as article databases or other blogs, to push down negative content in search results
Step 3: Using customer feedback
While monitoring your personal or business reputation online, you will often find feedback from your customers and clients you can use to build trust and better serve your audience.
Collecting and using that feedback is the last component of a well-rounded definition of online reputation management, and is just as vital to your ORM strategy as monitoring your reputation and addressing negative content.
Incorporating feedback from your audience is critical because it affects the foundation others’ perceptions of you are based on. Addressing negative content helps a business or individual appear better online, but incorporating feedback actually makes the brand better. And improving your product, customer service, skills, or other area makes you more reputable all on its own.
These three components of an in-depth definition of online reputation management build a sound reputation and tackle problems from all angles. And a strong ORM strategy using all three of these components builds momentum and makes influencing your reputation easier.
Keywords: Online Reputation Management
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