If you want a good online reputation, you have to build a good offline reputation. But how do you do that? Let’s start with defining online reputation management, so we can understand its value. Reputation management is the understanding or influencing of a business’s or even an individual’s reputation. The key word here is influencing.
You want to be proactive with your reputation rather than reactive. Start managing it now when things are good or neutral, so you can recover quickly if something negative is exposed. You don’t want to be one of those companies attempting to distract the public from their wrongdoing. We have all seen too many examples of that!
Focus on your customers and on doing the right thing offline and that reputation will follow you online. But if your intentions are misguided, that will also follow you online. Your customers are smarter than you think and they know how to spot insincere efforts or even when they are being manipulated.
Seems simple enough, right? Well, it can be a bit challenging, because it is very time consuming. That is why it is very common to get outside support. Reputation management is still pretty new, and a lot of us are trying to figure it out together. You can choose to get help from an expert, or you can completely hand it over to a company that manages everything for you. For a large price tag, of course.
If you are getting support of any kind including assigning it to an internal employee, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you are working with a reputable person or firm.
Here are 3 things you should know about online reputation management.
1. Did they promise you the world?
I have a rule of thumb for anything in reputation management… If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If a firm is promising you the world, start asking questions. Even be leery if they promise to remove negative reviews.
2. Do your homework
You have to understand ORM to know what questions to ask. Do your homework, so you can understand the basics of what they are selling. You will also want to research the firm. Call their clients and be nosy as heck, because your reputation is something you don’t want to treat lightly.
3. Hire an advisor
Maybe a full-blown firm is more than you need, but you still need support. Hire an advisor to keep you abreast of what is happening in the industry and to lead you in the right direction. This is much more affordable and allows you to keep control of what is getting put out there.