Online Reputation Management (ORM) – Why you need it
Inevitably in the lifespan of a business there is bound to be an unhappy customer or two. In the current age of social media, an angry customer has a more powerful voice. In fact, one disgruntled person can reek havoc on your businesses reputation. Perhaps they leave a negative remark on an online review site, or a comment on a blog. Or worse, your business receives bad press that gets picked up by several media outlets. Before you know it, you could find that negative reviews dominate the first page of google search results when potential customers or clients search on your company name.
What to do?
Online reputation management ideally should be implemented long before there ever is a problem. But realistically, in most cases that isn’t the case and your company is faced with some cleaning up to do.
In my experience here are some effective measures you can take and tools you can use to help resurrect your businesses reputation.
1. Google Adwords – If you aren’t bidding on your company name, do so. This will help to push the negative listings down a ways on the search results. Your first goal is to get the offending site ‘below the fold’ on the first page of results and ranking for your company name in paid search can achieve that.
2. Build Your Social Identity – Create social profiles for your company name on websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. All of these sites have authoritative domains and it should be very easy for you to rank for your company name with a well optimized profile on any of the three. Seek out lesser known social networking sites as well and genuinely participate and build your profile. Share with the public who you are, what you offer and the positives about your business. Be open and engage.
3. Press Releases – Have your PR firm send out regular positive press releases that are optimized for your company name. Bookmark the reviews in social bookmarking sites, share them on twitter, build a buzz around what your company is doing that is good and draw public attention to that.
4. Consider a sub-domain – If there is a section of your website that could warrant a subdomain – consider implementing that. For example you might have a careers section on your site where you post open positions. Have the section be careers.yourdomain.com. It’s possible that the sub-domain could secure a position in the search results and further push the negative site down in the listings.
5. Link Build to positive mentions – Build links to any page that is talking about your company in a positive light. This will help that page to gain authority and could potentially move the positive site up higher in the search results.
6. Monitor your company on Wikipedia – Wikipedia generally ranks highly for company names which is wonderful. However anyone can make changes to a wikipedia entry. You should constantly monitor yours by using a service like Wiki Alarm which will email you when the entry has been modified.
7. Get a Good SEO who understands ORM – An SEO can work together with your PR firm to do the tasks above for you, monitor social media and website mentions of your company and work continually to promote positive press about your business.
These are just a few suggestions for implementing an online reputation management campaign. The main goal is to interact with the public, share positive information about your company, and create positive news and buzz. The more quality information that is on the web, and the more accessible and responsive you are to your customers — the easier it will be to dominate the first page of search results with beneficial listings that present your company in a positive light.