Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
A Broader View of Online Reputation Management
Posted on October 30th 2012
Online reputation management (ORM) is in vogue. LinkedIn records a 38 percent growth in people recording the term named as a skill or expertise. And a veritable cottage industry of agencies and individuals has sprouted to service the swelling ranks of organizations that keep them from going hungry.
But help for what? What is ORM?
LinkedIn describes it as: “the practice of monitoring the Internet reputation of a person, brand or business, with the goal of suppressing negative mentions entirely, or pushing them lower on search engine results pages to decrease their visibility,” a definition supported by a search on Google or a conversation with digital or other agencies offering ORM services.
In this scenario, ORM can too easily appear to be a dark art practiced by shady search/SEO specialists and underhand PR types for organizations with dodgy practices experiencing crises or social media campaigns running amok.
As it is seen and practiced today, ORM appears to be based on two key assumptions:
- That online reputations are made or lost on the first two pages of Google, Baidu, or Naver.
- That online reputations are somehow distinct from your broader reputation, and that ORM can succeed in isolation from other communications activities.
Both assumptions are mistaken, for two key reasons:
- Important as search engines are to the consumer purchase path and in breaking news situations, other channels such as social networks and micro-blogs are increasingly critical access points to the Internet as a whole. And while customers may use search engines frequently to conduct research and purchase, stakeholders such as journalists, business partners, and government officials may be using other channels. An ORM strategy has to incorporate all key access points relevant to the audiences in question.
- “Originating” sources of information are more trusted than the access points themselves, requiring an integrated approach to broader reputation management and ORM. The top originating sources, according to Nielsen, are word of mouth, online consumer reviews and opinions, editorial content, and branded websites. Word of mouth, so critical in emerging markets and Asia, is typically highly diffuse, ranging across social networks, micro-blogs, and a host of other channels. Online customer reviews play an increasingly important role in framing product and brand perceptions and when negative can travel far and wide, including to the mainstream media. Newspapers and broadcasters continue to play an important role in decision-making and reputation, not least during or after a crisis, when they continue to be seen as the most credible and authoritative voice. It also takes some serious gaming of Google to push a cover story from the top business media down the search rankings.
In addition to core search engine optimization (as well as de-optimization, as PR people are apt to describe the burying of bad news), a broader-ranging and sustainable approach to ORM is required that is consistent with an organization’s broader corporate and/or brand reputation strategy – as opposed to a much-need fix of online visibility (and budget) when the shit hits the proverbial fan.
Some key questions should be asked to inform a firm’s broader ORM (and overall reputation) strategy. These might usefully include:
- Who is the target audience(s)?
- Who/what are their preferred information sources?
- Who are the key players, i.e., influencers in these activities/conversations, and what are their needs, requirements, and preferences?
- What are the objectives – to build, manage, or recover reputation?
- What does success look like and how can it be measured?
- How is your online reputation currently being tracked, if at all? Is it aligned with your broader corporate and/or brand reputation tracking and performance? What are the benefits and limitations of your current system(s)?
Successful ORM also requires the assigned team or teams – be it the PR agency, digital agency, media agency, or in-house – to work more closely with other relevant teams and to have a common goal.
First published by ClickZ Asia.