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online reputation  management
BrandBastion6/17/24 11:52 AM10 min read

Online Reputation Management: Everything Brands Need to Know

According to Weber Shandwick, more than 63% of a company’s market value is directly attributed to its brand reputation. A single negative comment or review can quickly spread, potentially damaging a brand's image. So, it's important for businesses to use effective ORM strategies to create and keep a healthy online reputation.

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What is Online Reputation Management?

Online reputation management (ORM) refers to the process of monitoring, addressing, and influencing the online perception of a brand. It involves various strategies and practices to ensure that the public’s perception is positive and accurate. ORM encompasses various activities, from responding to negative reviews to optimizing positive content on search engines.


Why Does Online Reputation Management Matter?

Online reputation management is essential because it directly affects how potential customers perceive a brand. A solid online reputation can increase trust, customer loyalty, and, ultimately, higher sales. Conversely, a poor online reputation can deter potential customers and harm a brand’s credibility.

Consider the impact of online reviews. Studies show that 94% of customers say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business, highlighting the importance of managing online reviews effectively.


Source - GoodFirms

Furthermore, online reputation management is not just about addressing negative feedback but also promoting positive content. By showcasing positive customer experiences and success stories, businesses can build a favorable image and attract more potential customers.


Marketing Use Cases for Reputation Management

Effective reputation management goes beyond just responding to reviews and monitoring social media mentions; it also plays a crucial role in shaping broader marketing strategies. Here are key marketing use cases where reputation management can make a significant impact:

1. Brand Trust and Credibility

Maintaining a positive online reputation directly enhances brand trust and credibility. Consumers are more likely to engage with brands they perceive as trustworthy and reputable. By actively managing online reviews, social media comments, and media coverage, businesses can build a solid foundation of trust among their target audience.

2. Customer Acquisition and Retention

Positive online reviews and testimonials serve as powerful social proof for potential customers. Studies show that the majority of consumers rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions. By encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews and addressing negative feedback promptly, businesses can attract new customers and retain existing ones.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Online reviews and social media activity contribute to a brand's SEO efforts. Positive reviews can improve search engine rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find your business online. Additionally, active engagement on social media platforms signals to search engines that your brand is relevant and authoritative in its industry.

4. Content Marketing and Storytelling

Positive customer experiences shared through reviews and testimonials can fuel compelling content marketing initiatives. By highlighting success stories and positive interactions on your website, blog, and social media channels, businesses can effectively communicate their brand values and engage with their audience on a deeper level.

5. Crisis Management and Reputation Repair

A well-established reputation management strategy becomes invaluable in times of crisis or negative publicity. Promptly addressing issues, correcting misinformation, and demonstrating transparency can help mitigate damage to your brand's reputation and maintain customer trust.

6. Competitive Advantage

A solid online reputation can differentiate your brand from competitors in a crowded marketplace. Potential customers often compare reviews and social media presence when making purchasing decisions. Businesses can gain a competitive edge by consistently delivering excellent customer experiences and actively managing online reputation.

7. Customer Feedback Loop and Product Development

Monitoring online feedback provides valuable insights into customer preferences, pain points, and expectations. Businesses can use this data to improve products or services, address recurring issues, and innovate based on customer feedback, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What are the most important benefits of a positive reputation for a business

Source: DAC


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Online Reputation: The Different Channels


1) Social Media

Social media platforms are a double-edged sword. They offer businesses the opportunity to engage with their audience but also expose them to public scrutiny. Social media comments can significantly influence a brand's online reputation, whether positive or negative. It is crucial for businesses to monitor social media to manage their online reputation effectively and actively:

  • Monitor and Engage Actively. Actively monitoring social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn is essential for staying on top of what people say about your brand. Responding promptly to positive and negative comments shows that your brand is attentive and values customer feedback.

    Learn more about how to manage Facebook Reviews 

  • Address Harmful Comments. Harmful comments can spread quickly on social media, impacting your brand's reputation. It’s critical to address these comments swiftly and professionally. Apologize if necessary, provide solutions, and show you are committed to resolving any issues. Transparency and accountability can help turn a negative situation into a positive experience for the customer and others who witness your response.
  • Leverage Positive Comments. Positive comments and customer testimonials on social media can significantly boost your brand's image. User-generated content can be a powerful tool for building trust and credibility.
  • Use Insight into Public Sentiment. Social media provides valuable insights into public sentiment about your brand. Regularly analyze the tone and content of social media conversations to understand how your brand is perceived. This information can inform your marketing strategies, product development, and customer service improvements.

A study by GWI highlights that 43% of consumers use social networks to find information about brands, products, or services. This statistic underscores the importance of maintaining a positive presence on social media platforms.


Consumers have high expectations for brand responsiveness on social media. According to a report from Clutch, people expect brands to respond to social media comments within 24 hours. Meeting this expectation can enhance customer satisfaction and prevent potential issues from escalating.


2) Reviews Websites

What are the most important benefits of a positive reputation for a business (2)

Review websites, such as Trustpilot and Google Reviews, play a critical role in shaping public perception. Potential customers often rely on these reviews when making purchasing decisions. Businesses must actively monitor and respond to reviews to manage their reputation online and improve customer experiences.

Monitor review sites regularly to stay informed about what customers say about your brand. Encourage past customers to share their feedback. However, it would be best to refrain from using incentives or asking for positive reviews, as most websites strictly prohibit this.

Responding to positive and negative reviews shows that your business values customer feedback and is committed to providing excellent service. For positive reviews, thank customers for their feedback and reinforce the positive aspects they mentioned. For negative reviews, acknowledge the issues, apologize if necessary, and offer solutions or next steps.


3) News / Blog Articles

News articles and blog posts can significantly impact a brand's online reputation. Positive coverage can enhance credibility and attract potential customers, while negative articles can harm a brand's image. Monitoring news and blog mentions and engaging with the content can help businesses manage their reputation online.

Use media monitoring tools like Google Alerts or Cision to track mentions of your brand in news articles and blog posts. Stay informed about the latest coverage to understand the narrative being presented about your brand.


Online Reputation Management Strategy: Step by Step



1. Conduct a Brand Reputation Audit for Your Business

Conducting a brand reputation audit is a critical first step in ORM. This involves assessing all the places where your brand is mentioned online, including social media, review websites, and news articles. Identify what is being said about your brand, categorize the feedback as positive, neutral, or negative, and understand the common themes. This audit will give you a clear picture of your current online reputation and areas needing improvement.

To conduct an effective brand reputation audit, follow these steps:

  • Collect Data: Gather reviews, comments, and mentions of your brand across various platforms. Compile this data into a central location for easy analysis.
  • Categorize Feedback: Sort the feedback into positive, neutral, and negative categories. This helps you understand the overall sentiment toward your brand.
  • Identify Common Themes: Look for recurring themes or issues in the feedback. Are there common complaints or praises? Identifying these patterns will help prioritize areas for improvement or promotion.
  • Benchmark Against Competitors: Compare your brand's online reputation with your competitors. This can provide insights into industry standards and highlight areas for improvement.


2. Determine Key Platforms

Determining which platforms consumers use to evaluate and review your business is crucial. These platforms often have the most influence on your audiences. To determine the key platforms for your ORM strategy:

  • Identify Popular Platforms: Recognize which platforms are most relevant to your industry. For instance, Yelp and TripAdvisor are vital for hospitality, while platforms like G2 and Trustpilot are essential for software and tech companies.
  • Analyze Audience Engagement: Use analytics tools to identify where your target audience is most active. This can include social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as well as specific review sites.
  • Evaluate Influence: Assess which platforms have the most significant impact on your brand’s reputation. This could be based on the number of reviews, the frequency of mentions, or the platform's user base.
  • Create and Control Accounts: Ensure you have an active account on each key platform. Control the page for your business to manage content, respond to reviews, and engage with your audience.


3. Create Response Templates

Creating a master document with response templates for positive and negative reviews/comments can streamline the feedback-addressing process and ensure consistency in messaging.

  • Develop Standard Responses: Create templates for different types of feedback. For positive reviews, express gratitude and highlight specific details from the review. For negative reviews, acknowledge the issue, apologize if necessary, and outline steps to resolve the problem.
  • Customize Responses: While templates provide a starting point, customize each response to address the specific concerns or compliments raised by the reviewer.
  • Train Your Team: Ensure that your customer service or social media team is trained in using these templates effectively. Consistency in messaging is crucial, but so is personalization.

4. Respond Promptly

Start responding to reviews and comments as quickly as possible. Timely responses show that you value customer feedback and are committed to addressing their concerns.

  • Set Response Time Goals: Establish internal guidelines for response times. Aim to respond to all reviews within 24-48 hours.
  • Monitor Platforms Regularly: Regularly check all platforms for new reviews or comments.
  • Automate Alerts: Set up automated alerts for new reviews or mentions. This ensures that you are notified promptly and can respond quickly.

5. Ongoing Monitoring

Create an ongoing process for monitoring new feedback. At a minimum, check for new comments and reviews twice a day. Address reviews and flag spam/fake reviews regularly to maintain the integrity of your online presence.

  • Use Monitoring Tools: Employ tools like Google Alerts to keep track of new mentions of your brand.
  • Daily Checks: Dedicate time each day to reviewing new feedback. This helps address issues promptly and maintain a proactive approach to ORM.
  • Flagging and Reporting: Identify and flag spam or fake reviews. Most platforms have mechanisms for reporting inappropriate content.

Online Reputation Management Metrics

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential in tracking the effectiveness of your ORM efforts. Important KPIs include:

  • Volume of Conversations: The number of times your brand received a comment, DM, review, or @mention.
  • Sentiment Analysis: The overall sentiment (positive, neutral, or negative) of the mentions.
  • Response Time: How quickly you respond to comments and reviews.
  • Review Ratings: Average rating scores on review sites.
  • Engagement Rate: The level of engagement with your audience on social media platforms.
  • Share of Voice: Your brand’s visibility compared to competitors.

By consistently monitoring and measuring these KPIs, businesses can assess the impact of their ORM strategies and make necessary adjustments to improve their online reputation.

Online reputation management is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort and attention. Businesses can build and maintain a solid online reputation by monitoring, analyzing, responding, and promoting positive content. Online perception can significantly impact success, so investing in online reputation management is essential for any business.

Ready to Safeguard Your Brand's Online Reputation?

Discover how BrandBastion can protect your brand's reputation.

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