How to Create a Reputation Management Strategy from Scratch

How to Create a Reputation Management Strategy from Scratch

Building a reputation management strategy lays the groundwork for a strong and resilient online reputation.

In the digital space, how you are perceived can have a powerful impact on how others respond to you or your business venture. When people are searching for information about your business using Google search, what results are they finding?

Your brand’s online reputation is one of the most valuable assets you have, yet many business owners feel that they are at the mercy of search engines like Google when negative articles and negative reviews appear at the top of search engine results pages.

What if you could take charge of your online reputation? How can online reputation management help you position yourself or your company in a positive light in the digital space?

In this guide, we will explore reputation management and how a reputation management strategy can help create a framework for a strong and secure online reputation.

Whether you realize it or not, people are searching for you online.

Search results on popular search engines like Google are some of the first pieces of information people view when researching others. The quality and quantity of these search results can have profound impacts on how you are perceived.

Online reputation is defined as:

“the consensus public perception of an individual or business based on their online presence.”

Your online reputation defines who you are, what you stand for or represent, and what values you contribute.

Your brand reputation is entirely subjective and is based on the information available about you online. If positive news articles, positive reviews, and great customer feedback are at the top of search results, your reputation is likely to be positive.

A positive reputation opens doors to new opportunities while building trust between you and potential customers.

If negative reviews, unflattering images, or embarrassing details on social media are found, your bad reputation can keep you from achieving your goals. A negative reputation can harm your brand online, making it difficult for you to make connections with customers, partners, or new friends.

Why Your Online Reputation Matters

Whether you are an individual or a business owner, your online reputation matters. A positive reputation is your gateway to success in the digital environment.

In today’s digital world, people use Google and other popular search tools to learn about others. In fact, as many as 97% of all people read information like online reviews before making purchasing decisions.

With so many people looking for you online, it is clear that your reputation is critical. Still not convinced? Consider these statistics:

  • 91% of people trust online reviews as much or more than personal recommendations.
  • 93% of people say that a brand’s reputation positively or negatively influenced purchasing decisions.
  • A positive reputation based on positive brand mentions, ratings on third-party review sites, and positive online conversations help you stand out in search results. Great reviews gain more weighting in organic local searches — to the tune of 6.5%. While this number seems small, it is a distinct competitive advantage for you over companies that don’t have a positive reviews profile.

Positive online reviews are great. They can help you build and reinforce trust between you and your customers by reflecting customer satisfaction.

What about a negative brand image? How can that negative reputation stand in the way of your goals? Consider these alarming statistics:

  • 94% of consumers say that negative reviews have convinced them to stay away from a business entirely.
  • Businesses risk customer losses of 22% if just one negative review or unflattering mention appears in search. If three or more negative reviews appear, the potential for lost customers jumps to a staggering 59%.
  • Only 13% of customers will use a business that has a one- or two-star rating on Yelp.
  • Declining ratings on review sites contribute to lost revenue. A one-star decrease can lead to revenue losses of 5-9%.

In simple terms, your digital reputation can improve the customer journey — or it can stop that journey in its tracks. Can you afford to miss out on new opportunities when you have a bad reputation?

If the answer to that question is no, the solution is online reputation management.

What is Online Reputation Management?

Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice by which an individual or business owner takes charge of public perceptions in the digital environment. It can be seen as a form of digital marketing, providing great visibility in searches, improved brand recognition, and higher levels of trust.

Online reputation management professionals use a wide range of services to help people establish, build, and protect their reputations. These services include:

  • Reputation analysis
  • Content removal
  • Content marketing
  • Public relations
  • Web property development
  • Reputation monitoring
  • Review management
  • Social media management/social media marketing
  • Crisis management
  • Google My Business/Google Business Profile creation and management
  • Branding and brand reputation management

Online reputation management campaigns are developed to meet the specific needs and goals of each individual or business. For example:

  • You are applying for a job or a home loan and have negative search results at the top of Google search pages.
  • You want to grow your business online but have little or no brand visibility.
  • Your brand’s image was damaged by a scandal or crisis.
  • Your company’s reputation has been harmed by allegations of poor customer experience, bad reviews, or unflattering brand sentiment.

In each of these cases, online reputation management services can help you.

Creating an Online Reputation Management Strategy: An Overview

Now that we have a clear understanding of how important your reputation is and how valuable online reputation management can be, it’s time to dive deeper into ORM.

Reputation analysis

Developing a strategy begins with a detailed analysis of your current digital footprint. This is a form of online research that provides a close look at what people are saying about you, positive or negative.

ORM professionals use powerful tools to scour the web for online information, including negative content, brand mentions, and social media comments. Read more:

You can also read this: Our Top 5 Reputation Management Tools

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