Online Reputation Management, what’s it worth?

When speaking to any company today about what the online market in general thinks about their product and service; and their answer is along the lines of, “who cares?!” then you are talking to a company that has turned its back on customer service and consumer loyalty.

keeping a watch on your online reputation is vitalWhat is online reputation management?

A companies online worth is stored in the comments and attitudes of those who interact with the brand online. Their perceptions of the product or service are recorded in the comments that they leave in an array of places. Online Reputation Management is the monitoring of, and acting on, of these comments. This tracking is vital for companies today as they can no longer control each and every conversation about them online.

Where and why do people comment?

As the internet develops, more and more people are beginning to use it as a platform where they can research products and services that they are interested in. These same people are also looking at other comments that similar users are leaving about those self same products and services and basing their buying decisions on those comments first, sometimes even before they have gone to your company’s own website.

Users can do this in a huge array of different places. Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Hello Peter! are just some of the many places where they can post their thoughts and comments on your brand.

Why should my company care?

Your company needs to care about what people are saying about your brand. This is a simple fact with many strong reasons backing it up. Simply put :

  1. Simply ignoring comments online doesn’t mean that those comments don’t exist.
  2. Seeing what people are saying about your brand allows you insight into possible future product development.
  3. Contributing to comments allows you to influence the conversation and also show a positive face to the online world.

Luckily for companies there are many free tools that allow you keep tabs on what is being said about you. Some of these tools are :

setting up Google alerts for your businessGoogle Alerts – a simple alerts program which sends you an email whenever it finds a new mention of your specified keywords.

Yahoo! Pipes Рslightly more sophisticated than Google Alerts, but its definitely for the more advanced user as it is more difficult to setup.

How Sociable? – a great tool that gives you a quick snapshot overview of how well (or badly) you are doing in the online social world.

While these are all great tools, they are all very simple in their construction and are not 100% reliable to use as a means of finding out what users online are saying about you at any given time. To clarify, these individual tools are the precursor to Online Reputation Management tools, but they do serve as a nice intriduction for anyone who is beginning to monitor their brand online.

Watch this space as the company that I work for is in the process of developing our own Online Reputation Management tool which will encompass the basics of ORM, but also push the boundaries of where, when and how information is being tracked.

Posted in Digital Marketing, online reputation management | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Online Reputation Management, what’s it worth?

  1. Cobus Wessels says:

    Nice Post once again Jonathan. Will your company’s tool be available for free for everybody to use?

  2. Jonno says:

    Hey Cobus,

    There will be different levels depending on how detailed you need the reporting.

    While we will not have a free version, it will definitely be more than affordable for everyone!

  3. Jo Darby says:

    Great blog post. Mind if I quote you in my Marketing paper on managing corp rep?

  4. http://timothyweissbrot.wordpress.com/

    I fully agree with all the information has been presented here , everybody today has to take into consideration that their reputation is in danger over the net , each and every single day ! I suggest that at least once a week , everybody will google his name and the name of his company , just to check if there are any negative posts on the first two pages of google .

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