In today’s digital world, having a strong and positive online presence is vital for businesses across all sectors. This blog will highlight the four areas of your online presence that you need to manage, why it is important to manage your online reputation and how you can effectively manage your brand’s online reputation.

What is online reputation management?

What areas of my brand’s online reputation do I need to manage?

There are 4 key areas of your online presence you will need to manage. These areas are paid, owned, earned and shared media.

Paid Media

Paid media covers any advertising that has been paid for, in this case, it is likely to be social media or podcast advertising. It is important to regularly review your competitors advertising as some may use comparative advertising techniques in a bid to gain a competitive advantage.

Owned Media

This one is straightforward and covers anything your brand owns. This will include your website, blog page, white papers, your own podcast and your brand’s social media channels. Owned media is one of the only areas of your brand’s online reputation you can control and monitor easily. It is vital that you utilise owned media channels as effectively as possible to boost your brand's online reputation.

Earned Media

Earned media includes review sites such as Trustpilot, Google My Business and glass door. Earned media also encompasses external articles, press coverage, blogs or vlogs and forums. Regularly sharing and monitoring earned media can also help boost your brand’s online reputation as earned media can help build credibility and trust.

Shared Media

Shared media refers to content posted on social media that mentions or talks about your brand. This type of media is often more difficult to control and can be damaging to your brand’s online reputation. It is important to utilise social listening tools to monitor mentions of your brand's online reputation. If there are any posts that could negatively impact your brand’s reputation you can respond to them in a way that positively portrays your brand. This will also help with your brand’s customer service reputation.

Why is it Important to Manage a Brand’s Online Reputation?

A large proportion of consumers use online reviews and social media during the research and consideration stage of the customer journey. Therefore it is vital that your brand’s online presence is strong, positive and illustrates your brand values.

It is also important to manage your brand’s online reputation because there is no delete button for negative reviews. This means if a customer has a bad experience and posts a negative review, it is down to your customer service team to turn it into something positive. Implementing a negative review process is a great way to ensure negative reviews are responded to correctly. For example, this could include offering customers a discount when they next visit or sending a replacement for a damaged product.

Another reason managing your online reputation is so important is that it often provides opportunities for customer feedback. If you are not monitoring your brand’s online reputation then you are likely to miss valuable feedback from your customers.

Not only can a strong online brand reputation boost your sales and help grow your business, but it can also help with local SEO rankings, strengthen your business’ branding and boost customer loyalty.

How can I Effectively Manage My Brand’s Online Reputation?

To manage your brand’s online reputation you will first need to develop an online reputation management strategy. This strategy should include a set of defined goals, a process for responding to positive and negative reviews and a crisis management plan.

Once you have developed your brand’s online reputation strategy, you will need to set up your monitoring tools. There are several ways you can do this including:

  • Searching for your brand online on social media and search engines
  • Setting up Google alerts and mention
  • Investing in social listening tools such as Mention or Talkwalker
  • Investing in review tracking tools to monitor your online reviews. The task of review monitoring should be given to a dedicated team member or a team depending on the size of your brand and the number of reviews you receive.

Following the steps we have detailed in this article will help ensure that your brand has a strong and positive online reputation that benefits your business.