Online Reputation Management}

Online Reputation Management

by

Aaron Mathews

Online Reputation Management is a service that more and more online marketing companies are offering. While other methods of online marketing such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing tend to promote your products and services across the web, Online Reputation Management tends to limit the damage caused by an effective online marketing campaign (that is one that reaches a lot of potential customers) when your goods and services does not meet the expectations of those clients. In other words when a customer does business with you as a result of a successful online marketing campaign but you are unable to deliver a satisfactory service you need an online reputation management service.

Why is it so important to manage your online reputation?

Building a good reputation can take years, gaining a bad one can take seconds – this old adage is as true as ever in the internet age. To take Tesco (retail supermarket) as an example. As a result of their Friday Frenzy promotion that went wrong comments started to surface on Facebook. Comments such as:

What a waste of time, think Ill stick to another company for clothes.

Im off, more things to do and other shops to buy from

Not happy with Tesco now, surely thats against the sales of goods act or advertising or something

Dont forget to unlike the page when you get the code to stop further publicity for Tesco

This is (and was) damaging for Tesco in the sense that potential customers searching for the company are likely to find these comments and will be put off by it, which will result in lost customers. No company ever went into business to lose customers, not especially in this way. In todays market and with the huge growth of consumer generated media, online news and industry news, such as blogs, forums, news sites, network sites and message boards, information can be quickly generated and indexed by search engines. That is why business owners realise the importance of listening to what is being said about their businesses online, especially if these messages are negative. Successful organizations are aware of the importance of brand reputation. A positive brand reputation brings trust, confidence, and sales, which are ultimately reflected in revenue growth and profitability.

A Bad reputation can and does result in lower level of consumer confidence, and in turn, a reduction in revenue and profits.

That is why Online Reputation Management is such a vital service for many companies. But how do online marketing companies manage the reputation of their client, how do they stay ahead of all the negative comments that creep out of the web.

Online Reputation Management tools.

These tools will index conversations from blogs, social networks and other social media. These tools will search the blogging world for comments, articles, posts and tweets. As Twitter is quickly growing to become the number one social networking site, I was interested to find out that there are tools out there that monitor what is being said about your business on the website. I found a tool that provides hourly Twitter alerts sent via email, where you can specify keywords, people and links to track. Ofcourse Google alerts is a popular monitoring tool that can be used to monitor new contents on the web with a keyword that you suggest amongst others.

Obstacles to Online Reputation Management

Googles introduction of real-time results into their SERPs has a negative impact for Online Reputation Management because it means that if your name or brand is sites like Twitter, it is likely to start appearing near the top of the search results. This matters for Online Marketing companies because now all the little tweets of the world surrounding your brand or name become more visible to the generic searcher.

Facebook has announced new privacy settings that also complicate reputation management. Users of the site will now have to opt-out from having their status updates displayed to ‘Everyone’.

Everyone includes the search engines.

The most troubling aspect of this is that most users will not know to ‘opt-out’ to keep their status info private.

It’s a shame, because this is a big deal when combined with Google’s new real-time search.

So in conclusion if you want to better understand the role of online marketing companies in Online Reputation Management, see the disgruntled customer as a villain who is determined to destroy the company (victim) and the Online Marketing company as the hero whos mission is to quickly remove the threat from search engines (battleground) and from every nook and cranny.

Aaron Mathews works as an Online Marketing consultant for Rokk Bottom Media.Rokk Bottom Media is an online marketing company based in Staffordshire, England. They specialise in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Website Design and more.Visit their website at http://www.rokkbottommedia.com

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