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What is online reputation management?

What is online reputation management?

As the digital age has the ability to brand everyone and everything, the reputation of individuals managing their personal brands and of brands that inevitably appear in online channels becomes all the more important. Because, any crisis of reputation to be faced in online channels may cause a brand to incur serious financial losses or a person to lose public confidence. Thankfully, online reputation management enters into the picture at this stage.

As Online PR Service B2Press, we will start our article by defining online reputation management and then respond to the question of "How to do online reputation management?" by explaining the similarities and differences of this concept in comparison to public relations. Of course, we will dwell on and enumerate the reasons why brand reputation is important in a section of our article. We will focus on emphasizing the importance of online reputation for brands in an era when the internet comprises of a significant part of our daily interactions and also the importance of online reputation management.

Online reputation management (abbreviated as ORM with its initials) comprises all strategies applied to manage brand reputation using online channels.

If you are a user of social media, you may have found yourself sharing posts around another persona of yours other than your Instagram or Twitter account or your account at Threads which reaches to more than 100 million users in a week. Because, today's digital age has the potential of branding everyone and everything. Our existence on the internet represents our brand digitally, and if we have public recognizability, every step we take on digital channels directly affects our reputation and reliability before the public. Of course, we may say the same thing for brands, and even mention that it is more applicable to brands. As we live in an age when consumers make their buying decisions through the internet and become all the more selective in their brand preferences, online brand reputation and online brand management become more and more important for brands.

Online reputation management

What is online reputation management?

Online reputation management (abbreviated as ORM with its initials) comprises all strategies applied to manage brand reputation using online channels. The main objective of online reputation management may be outlined as ensuring that a user comes across a positive brand image when he searches for a brand using a search engine or on his trusted social networks.

Let's assume that you are an individual consumer and have decided to buy a robotic vacuum cleaner. What you would do first is probably to examine the page of a product that fits your budget on an e-trade website that you trust. Right after exploring the product's features, you would look at user comments. Online reviews are among the channels resorted to by many consumers to get accurate information about the general performance and experience of a product or seller. Well then, what would you do when the product in question gets out of order or comes with a missing part? At this point, you may examine the brand's social media accounts or go through the reviews and the replies to those reviews.

Now let's assume that in the same scenario, you are a decision-maker of a corporate company seeking a new technology partner for your own business. When you think that you have found an appropriate alternative as a solution, you may want to go through success stories, case studies, and even press bulletins published by the brand in question after examining the features of the product and service. Because other brands standing side by side with the brand in question as well as the experiences and comments of the companies that preferred to work with that specific brand accelerate your decision-making process.

As is seen, today, consumers do most of their research in an online environment so as to get information about a brand's online reputation. Although online reputation management is usually referred to alongside the works of public relations, it encompasses much more than public relations. Because the brands that have become successful in terms of digital transformation tend to have a strong presence in the following channels today:

Owned media: Owned media is comprised of all the channels managed by the brand such as the blog where a brand interacts with its consumers, social media channels, online review and complaint websites, and App Store or Play Store comments.

Purchased media: Sponsored social media posts, partnership programs, display advertisements, and advertorial studies are considered under this heading.

Earned media: This channel encompasses the headings such as media relations, online news studies, press bulletin distribution, interviews and online public relations studies, and crisis management studies.

As brands strengthen their digital presence, they need to allocate more time and effort to brand loyalty in the digital environment. Because it requires assuming that each channel is comprised of customers having social media tools and audiences that may turn a potentially unfavorable incident into a huge crisis and acting accordingly.

How to do online reputation management?

How to do online reputation management?

Brands' digital universes offer a comprehensive reputation management field involving regular monitoring and examination of many channels. Even though media channels vary, the issues to be aware of in online reputation management processes may be outlined as follows:

Be solution-oriented: Be sure that you attach the same importance to user experience and customer services in each digital environment you are present, and that you regularly follow all platforms allowing you to tell your customers about problems and requests. Offer the shortest ways to solve problems and don't leave the venue until the problem is solved and your customer utters his satisfaction.

Engage in an open and transparent communication: No matter what, users don't like uncertainty and obscure communication. In a potential problem, e.g. at times of a system error or a transportation problem, give information to your customers openly and transparently. Don't hesitate to inform the public and make press statements when needed. Be sure that the items you have used in your marketing materials are real and consistent.

Don't attempt to silence your users: Erasing comments in social media, concealing a tweet, and blocking a user are listed among the worst steps that may be taken in digital reputation management processes. In order to create a strong online reputation, you need to show that you listen to the requests of your consumers no matter what. In case your users exceed legal boundaries, rather than silencing them, you may resort to legal remedies when needed. Whatever the difference is, don't prevent consumers from expressing themselves.

Create content: Online content marketing is among the strong tools feeding the owned media section of online reputation management. You may make use of blog contents, case studies and success stories where you may reflect your brand's expertise, business knowledge and sectoral information, and make your transparent communication strategy more visible with these contents.  

Benefit from the power of online public relations:

Develop a crisis management strategy: Reputation crises that may be experienced by brands is involved in being a brand by nature. In case of a potential crisis, every second you lose will work against your brand. Be attentive not to remain silent and share the most consistent explanations in the fastest manner. Without panicking, think about potential scenarios to manage the crisis calmly. Don't underestimate the importance of sending out press releases in crisis communication and be attentive to establishing periodic communication with the public.  

Select your business partners with due diligence: Brands may experience reputation management crises even only due to the partnerships they have established. At this point, be sensitive in selecting your business partners. Search for digital footprints of brands and brand officials, go through their presence in social media and single out the elements that may cause risks. When needed, e.g. a business partner of yours is not compatible with your corporate values and the expectations of your consumers, be aware of your right to unilaterally terminate such cooperation.

Listen to all that is happening about your brand: Regularly follow how is your brand being discussed in online environments either by telephone surveys you will make through your call center or by monitoring the media or social media. Don't ignore social media and examine with whom and how is your brand is mentioned. Carry out perception / emotion analysis by using various strategic ORM software.

Do consumer research: Brand perceptions may change periodically. Competitors' works, brands' campaigns, or new products and services are among the main reasons for such changes. By using proven methods of research companies, research how your brand is making an impression on your target audience. Don't forget that in order to preserve your brand's reputation, you need to measure it and shape your strategy proactively according to such data.

Monitor your competitors: Even if you don't experience the same, your competitors may go through similar reputation crises. Or they may implement strong strategies for digital reputation management. Don't forget to make competitor and competition analyses in terms of brand reputation in order to be inspired or draw a lesson.

Let's proceed with the concept of brand reputation.

What is brand reputation?

What is brand reputation?

Brand reputation is the perception of the public comprised of your customers, employees, business partners, and all the groups you contact, about your brand. The concept of brand reputation refers to the thoughts and sentiments of the persons and groups interacting with your brand or have interacted with it in any way previously when they hear the name of your brand. Brand reputation is sensitive to many factors including public confidence in that brand, your social media management strategies, logo and brand identity, the reviews made on online platforms about your brand, dictionary posts, quality of your customer services, the user experience you offer on digital platforms and online news published on your brand.

Why is brand reputation important?

Your marketing campaigns affecting your brand's positioning, bad experiences you really offer or unfavorable processes that you may have caused your company's shareholders to go through, may lead your consumers to give up your brand in an instant or at least to ignore your brand for some time.

Cancel culture is a term used in the late 2010s and early 2020s to refer to a culture where those who are assumed "to act or speak in an unacceptable way are alienated or boycotted".

Because the sensitive consumer group in which there is an overwhelming presence of Generation Z, is among the strongest practitioners of the "cancel culture". Yes, while talking about brand reputation — even by ruling out its historical and sociological background — we think it will help emphasize the importance of this matter if we dwell on the cancel culture. According to the definition provided by Wikipedia, cancel culture is a term used in the late 2010s and early 2020s to refer to a culture where those who are assumed "to act or speak in an unacceptable way are alienated or boycotted". Today, when they experience a reputation crisis or fail to make correct crisis management moves, brands may be ignored by their customers who may come together and get organized in the fastest manner thanks to the internet and may suffer irreparable losses that may last for years.

Because according to the Edelman Confidence Barometer, 7 out of 10 consumers state that they would like to rely on brands due to brands' effects on the society. Estimates show that users who can establish an emotional connection with the brands offer 306% higher lifetime value compared to other users, while Qualtrics states that 7 out of 10 persons tend to trust brands that treat their customers better at difficult times, keep their promises consistently and offer the product and service experience claimed in their advertisements. All the data we have mentioned so far prove the importance of brand reputation for a brand to get ahead in the competition, to be profitable and sustainable for years, and to ensure customer loyalty for the upcoming generations.

Start your online reputation management with B2Press!

Providing press bulletin distribution and media monitoring services in more than 30 countries, B2Press ensures domestic and foreign brands of any size to carry out online reputation management in the targeted market through earned media. Pay-per-use model of B2Press helps companies to contribute to their digital footprints in an affordable and accessible manner without paying high fees and to obtain a strong image through reliable news sources before the consumer. With its agile operational structure and editorial cadre with a background in journalism, Online PR Service B2Press can design communication moves that would calm all parties and mitigate the effects of the crisis, together with the brands, even at times of digital reputation crises requiring fast-paced intervention by brands.

Please fill out the form on this page to start strengthening your digital reputation with Online PR Service B2Press and for us to contact you in this regard.

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