Online reputation management (ORM) is the process of monitoring and responding to conversations about your brand and product. Online, these conversations can happen anywhere and between many different kinds of people and the sentiment won’t always be positive. To successfully manage your online reputation, you must both monitor your brand and handle what is being said.
Monitoring your online reputation involves gathering data from a wide variety of channels, sources and types of media. Monitoring involves gathering both quantitative data (data that can be bounced, like the number of comments, page views and Likes) and qualitative data (data that is uncountable and subjective, like the sentiment in a comment or the tone of a question). There are many excellent online tools that help you to manage this process.
Naturally, you should monitor the conversations on your own platforms, including social media interactions, comments on your articles and emails. You should also keep an eye on influential people in your industry and network. Beyond that, you will need to use specialised tools to find and evaluate mentions of your brand, product and industry, further afield, online. The by-product of this process is that you can find new marketing opportunities in your field because you will be aware of relevant discussions.
Online reputation management tools
The tool you use for online reputation management will depend on:
- The size of your company
- How much you are prepared to spend
- How much media attention your brand gets
Most small businesses can comfortably manage their online reputations with free Google, Twitter and Facebook tools. Larger companies with a strong online presence need to consider a paid-for alternative.