How to control your online reputation

Frank Ilanco
Frank Iacono
Guest Columnist

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, protecting a brand image online is the most important thing a company can do. Online Reputation Management (ORM) is more than simply monitoring to see who mentions your name.

ORM, the practice of understanding or influencing a business’ reputation, combines traditional marketing, public relations, and search engine optimization (SEO). Originally, the phrase ORM was coined as a public relations term, but has since evolved primarily due to advancements in digital technology.

Unethical Forms of Online Reputation Management

• Astroturfing review sites (i.e., synthetic versus real reviews)

• Trying to censor negative complaints

Ethical Forms of Online Reputation Management

• Responding to customer complaints

• Asking sites to remove Incorrect Information

• Using online feedback to Influence product development

• Hiring ORM companies to help remove negative posts or feedback from the Top 10 search engine results page

Where Can People Go To Post Both Positive and Negative Reviews?

Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, CitySearch, Facebook, Insider Pages, Judy’s Book, Local.com, Merchant Circle, SuperPages.com, Trip Advisor, Yahoo! Local , YellowBook.com, YellowPages.com, Yelp

Monitoring Tools

Customer Review-based Websites, Google Alerts, Mention, Social Mention and Social Networking Sites (i.e., Facebook ,Twitter, LinkedIn)

Develop A Five-Step Response Strategy

It is vital to respond to all reviews on all platforms to show users that you care about

the user experience they had with your company and that you listened to their valuable feedback.

Follow these five steps to start your response strategy today:

1. Respond to both positive and negative comments

2. Thank the user for their review

3. Be open and honest

4. Take responsibility when you are at fault

5. Offer an apology, present factual details & Information

Earn Trust and Build Confidence

Your business’s online reputation is among the most important things affecting your company’s short- and long-term success. The more trust consumers and search engines place in your brand and your company, the better you are going to rank, the more traffic you will generate, and the greater chance you have of closing business.

However, building a strong online reputation is no easy task, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Everything you do for your SEO including article marketing, blog commenting, link building, and social networking, all affect your overall online reputation. One mishap could send your carefully managed reputation spiraling out of control.

So, how would you respond to someone actively trying to convince others not to use your company?  First, you must know what others are saying about your business online, and be there to help control the conversation. Be sincere! Be smart! Be prepared!

Frank Iacono is a Senior Internet Marketing Manager for Mobile Marketing, a full service digital marketing agency in the greater Philadelphia area. To contact Frank, please email him at [email protected].

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