Becoming a well-known and established brand requires a solid reputation. Nearly 3 out of 4 consumers trust a company more if it has positive reviews.
By implementing online reputation management strategies, you can ensure that your business is being noticed and talked about for all the right reasons.
Let’s talk about reputation management or to be more precise, let’s talk about proactive reputation management. Today, if you want to become a brand, branding means all the interactions that your users have with all your collateral, all your content, all your messaging, and how they perceive and how they feel about your brand as they interact with your material.
When you implement online reputation management, you get two things. You don’t just get the sentiments of your customers. You also get feedback on whether you’re getting any attention. In today’s episode, let’s learn how to use the power of ORM for you to gain more real estate on search in this newest episode of the Truelogic DX Podcast.
What is Online Reputation Management?
This is essentially how your customers talk about you, like the noise about you online and how much of that you participate in, and you proactively control versus the ones that you are passively victimized by. This is you trying to impact buying decisions. I think of it as digital word of mouth, which is, by the way, the best way to find customers.
There are no delete buttons for negative reviews. I think for any of you that have had to do reputation management before, you wish–we all wish–that there were, but it isn’t there. It doesn’t exist, but it is a way for you to get valuable feedback. I think in the studies they did about the crackers versus supporters, in terms of customers, there are only two kinds of people that will provide feedback about their brand. The guys that love you and the guys that hate you. And then you’re never going to hear anything from those guys.
But the other study that I read years ago said that you can regain up to 65% of customers that have had a negative experience with you, if you take ownership for the mistake and you try to fix it, as long as you respond to the negative.
So how does your reputation impact your business or impact your customer’s buying decision more importantly? There’s a figure out there that says 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. If we’re going to take Google’s word for its about 96%, which is huge, and there are, I guess a big chunk of customers, a little less than 50%, so about 49% that look at your star ratings and wherever you have star ratings.
Productive ORM vs Social Listening
In online disaster management, we’re going to talk about how to push down negative sentiments about your brand. But I also want to differentiate ORM from social listening, which is only one component of reputation management, where you’re listening to the sentimentality of users about your brand.
Reputation management is essentially aggregating everything your users have to say and looking at it from one place so that you know how your brand is perceived.
Are you perceived to be down to earth when you need to be? Even though you think your brand is, and it’s more than just ranking number one on Google search, it’s more than just occupying a lot of search real estate. It is so that if people type in your brand name, you pretty much control the results of what appears on the first page, right now.
Let’s talk about the PESO model. The PESO model essentially just means paid assets, earned assets, social assets, and own assets. I’ve talked about this a lot, where digitally, you have owned assets, you have leased assets and you have earned assets. Let’s just break that same model apart into your paid assets, your earned assets, your social assets, and your own assets. And what do they mean?
Let’s begin with the easiest one, your owned assets. It’s your website. Your owned assets are any platform where you control the technology. You control the content. You’re able to moderate every single piece of content. Usually, this is very limited to your website or your app. Your own assets are where you control the technology. You control the infrastructure, and you control the content. Those are your own assets. You always must start there because your other assets are linked back to your own asset.
Now, when you say your paid assets, you’re talking about your banners, your YouTube ads and so on and so forth. And they, you know, because it’s branding, every piece of collateral you put out there, every piece of content, every piece of video, every piece of imagery that you put out there is an experience created with your customers. It’s an experience that your audiences will have with your brand.
So how do you utilize that? Like even something as simple as let’s say your Google searches, you already are SEM. That’s paid media. Your ad headlines, your ad descriptors. All of those are paid assets and they occupy search real estate. And it matters because it’s another way for you to control how dominant your brand looks when people perform a search. When we say earned assets, I want you guys to probably do an exercise.
If you guys Google my name and I’m not being Bernard-centric here, but I’m just saying, if you try to Google my name, you’re going to get a result on LinkedIn, which we control, but you know, that’s no way an owned asset by the way. And that’s a leased asset, but you will see my LinkedIn profile.
You will see my author profiles, like wherever I’ve contributed a blog too. All of those are earned assets because it might be your content, but it doesn’t sit on your technology. It doesn’t sit on your platform. So leased assets can be grouped into your social assets and your earned assets.
When you co-publish something with someone when you co-brand something with someone, an example of an earned asset for me, by the way, is my profile at the Digital Marketing Institute or at the CDM program. So all of those are earned assets, you provide the content, but you don’t control the technology that holds the content.
So those are your earned assets. They’re, most of the time, they’re websites. The next one, or I give another example of an earned asset, but this is sort of like a cross between earned and social. Like when you interact with other experts in the field, like when Ibarra and I sat in for a conversation with RJ that’s on his podcast. We don’t control the platform. We were just there to help provide content, but that’s an earned asset.
Now, in terms of social media. This is your LinkedIn profile. This is your Facebook page. This is your Twitter profile. These are your Instagram pages. And remember that on Facebook, you can leave reviews.
Now, everything I just mentioned the author profile, your lecturer profile, your ads, your Facebook page, your website, all of these can appear as search results and therefore they count as reputation management, right? It’s how you represent your brand in all these assets. And by the way, the more of them you control, the more control you exercise over your reputation, but I will take another dimension.
Like one of the things I mentioned is that on a lot of social assets, you can get reviewed. Like you can easily get reviewed, for example, on our business page. You can get reviewed there, inside your Google My Business profile. You can get reviewed on Glassdoor. You can get reviewed on your Facebook page.
Proactive Reputation Management
And this is another component, the proactive reputation management, like how are you listening to the different reviews about you and more than that, how are you getting your customers? How are you encouraging the review behavior? How are you encouraging the feedback behavior that comes from your customers, that comes from your audience?
How are you engaging them in a conversation? Apart from reputation management, this is where it veers away from just being about SEO, because SEO doesn’t necessarily monitor the number of star ratings you get as a brand. It just cares that your Google My Business profile or your knowledge graph appears on the right.
It just cares that, you know, if there’s an aggregate review snippet about who it appears on the SERP, and it just cares about the amount of real estate you have in the search engine. Like that’s really all it cares about, but reputation management is about taking that next step further.
And it’s about caring about the sentimentality that you get out of all these assets. What’s the sentimentality about you on Facebook and how do you reply to it? Or how do you respond to it? What is the review like for you on Google My Business?
More than that, aside from just the positivity of the review, you only have one review on Facebook? And you only have two Google my business reviews that doesn’t make you very relevant. When people see that, I guess it’s because we all intuitively behave the same way. They’ll assume one of two things: if you’ve got one or two reviews about you, people will assume you’re not very remarkable. I guess why aren’t there more reviews about you? So you do want to care about how you’re represented in your own website, in your social media assets, in your earned assets and in your paid assets.
When you do press releases, by the way, those fall in your earned media. Like if you’re partnering with Business Mirror or Philippine Star or Adobo Magazine or whatnot or When in Manila, all of those speak something about your reputation, whether you thought lead in your industry.
Best Practices to help your online reputation
1. Optimize your ads
In terms of tactical activities, optimize your ads so that they have a positive message about you so that people are not just constantly seeing you barrage them with sales messages.
2. Maximize your earned assets
For earned assets, interact like no business is an island unless you are your own customer. No business is an island. If you have press releases, maximize them, repost them, and syndicate them inside your blog.
3. Monitor your social assets
If you have social assets, make sure that you monitor the reviews on a serial basis. I’m not saying it daily, but I am saying it with habitual rigor. Review, how, what kind of feedback your customers are providing about you inside your social media channels? Especially Facebook because it’s in the Philippines. In the Philippines, Facebook is still king.
4. Feel free to spread the positive word about you.
And then in your owned assets, like where do you republish the positive sentiments about you? Feel free to spread the positive word about you, right inside your assets. ‘Cause if you don’t pat yourself on the back, nobody else will.
Cycles of Reputation Management
Encourage people to give you feedback, encourage people to rate you. And that’s why we’re going to move into the cycles of reputation management. You can be part of a vicious cycle or you can be part of a virtuous cycle.
In a vicious cycle, you’re not asking for feedback. You’re not encouraging your customers to voice out their sentimentality about your brand. You’re not responding when there’s feedback. This is you asking for online disaster management.
Don’t get trapped in a vicious cycle. If you execute any of the strategies that I talked about a couple of minutes before, make sure that you are encouraging the behavior of giving you feedback. I think every business thrives on the voice of their customer.
Put your reputation management in a virtuous cycle. Take care of your online reputation, encourage your customers to be your walking, talking billboards, and promote the material that reflects you in a positive light. I would say respond to anything that’s negative out there about you, like never to leave negative comments untouched, like ever.
You won’t win them all. But I think winning two out of three is good enough, that’s better than losing three for three. Take care of your online reputation. Be part of a virtuous cycle, encourage people to review you. Respond to every review that you get. And before you know it, people are proceeding with your brand in a positive sentiment.
How do I track what my reputation is like?
There are a lot of third-party tools that aggregate a lot of reviews about you. If you’re looking for some proprietary solutions, hit me up. But there are a couple of places that are more important than others where you need to be mindful about how you’ll proceed.
1. Search your own brand
One is of course, in the Google search results. Like nobody wants to see an insert brand here scandal, insert brand here case. Like nobody wants to see that. So do a brand search about your brand.
2. Try to not encourage search engines to have a negative sentiment about you.
If you want to find out if there’s any negative feedback about you, don’t go insert brand here negative review. ‘Cause you’re going to tell Google, oh, that’s a trending search and before you know it, that’s on everybody’s search. I have managed a lot of proactive reputation management results, where there were disastrous activities in real life that never managed to make it to the first page of search. Do a neutral search for yourself inside the Google search results and see what comes up. I think people tend to think that whenever there’s anything negative about me, it appears on the first page of search. That’s a myth. I promise you. That’s a myth.
3. Google my business
The next one is to Google My Business because if you are optimized in any way, your knowledge graph will appear to the right and in the lowest section, it will show reviews. Make sure you pay attention to your Google My Business.
4. Use social media listening tools
The next one is your social media channels. There are social media listening tools that you can use. Aside from social media listening tools, just pay attention to your Facebook page. Like view it, follow it, log into it every now and then to review what people have to say about your brand.
5. Third party review sites
How were you reviewed on, on websites like Glassdoor, for example, if you’re an employer, how are you reviewed on Jobstreet?
That’s about a wrap for us talking broad strokes about proactive reputation management. In the next episode, we’re going to talk about online disaster reduction management, or negative ORM management. But in closing, I’ll leave you with this question.
How do you make sure that you leave a positive impression with your audiences? How do you make sure that you’ve got a positive online reputation? And we’re going to take this up on the next episode of the Truelogic DX Podcast. So don’t forget to subscribe, to receive notifications about our newest episodes.