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Online Reputation Management – Why it is important

Posted by : admin in internet marketing ()Comments

Why should you be concerned about your company and brand’s online reputation? One simple reason…Today customers are enlightened and voice their opinion – openly online.

Imagine this scenario – You have an excellent product with stellar sales and performance. The brand name is well recognized in the market. Business is robust and the numbers are ever encouraging. One random customer has a bad experience with the product itself or after sales service. She goes online and shares her bad experience on a random social media site. And suddenly it goes viral. Boom! Things are going haywire. The moment someone types the name of your company or product on a search engine; this negative comment pops up on top of the Search Engine Result. The Dell Hell example is a case in point. Recently, similar storm was raised about iPhone5 Maps.

Imagine the amount of brand value erosion and negative publicity that is generated in your company’s name. One after another site picks up these comments and links to each other. It totally tarnishes the online reputation of your business and usually the product or service in question. And you do not know how to contain the onslaught.

Today, Internet and online sources have empowered consumers. They have been given a platform to communicate with a dispersed set of people across the world, voice their comments, share experience (good or bad), make recommendations and form a tribe of opinion makers and ardent followers who swear by the stand point. Average people seek information online before making any purchase decision – big or small. They read the reviews, feature list and ask questions before finalizing on a particular product or service. And they do not seek this information from the company’s official website. There are blogs (Blogspot and Wordpress), forums, social media sites (Facebook, Google+), search engines (Google), chat rooms, audio – video media sites (Youtube, Picasa, Instagram, Podcasts), tweets (Twitter), pins (Pinterest) and mother of all – Wikipedia replete with information online involving the reputation of your company, product, brands and probably your HR practices and employees too. These are generally open sites which allow anyone to post content (complying with an acceptable list of terms and conditions) and comment. And everyone is reading and contributing!

Online Reputation Management Infographic

There are two critical things to note here –

  1. You cannot control these exchange of views and what is being posted online (and legal recourse is not as simple as it sounds) and you cannot afford to be vitriolic

  2. You cannot ignore the power of Internet in making or breaking your entire business

The ugly part of online reputation is people can be sadistic while bashing your company online. There might be no ulterior motive apart from being unnaturally scathing. Sadly, the content remains out there as nothing gets erased permanently.

The bad part is it creates negative perception about your product or brand which sticks. But it is not permanent if handled on time and proactively. Here comes the good part.

The good part is these online platforms allow you to go closer to your clients and consumers. It bridges the gap and lets you “Connect” with them. It helps you to “Listen” and “Engage” proactively with experts, opinion makers and trend-setters apart from your immediate customers. You can understand trends and concerns of your customers before it becomes damaging. You can respond to negative views and experience, enhance your customer service by addressing the distress and advertising through dedicated content. And quell rumors.

The fundamental challenge is how do you monitor the entire online world 24 X 7?

How do you track what is being said by whom and why and respond to it efficiently within a timeframe?

How do you manage your company’s online reputation and create a positive image?

How do you counter and push back the negative posts with positive inputs to optimize Search Engine Results?

You will need the professional help of an internet marketing agency having expertise in comprehensive Online Reputation Management. Professional online marketing agencies can provide tailor-made solutions to create a steady and positive impression of your company/ products/ brands and key executives thus creating an all-inclusive online reputation management paradigm.

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