The things that can be done online are evolving. These include searches, reverse searches, search engine optimization (SEO) and online reputation management (ORM). Up to a few years ago, ORM was something that an SEO practitioner would do for specific clients. Nowadays, ORM has its own set of skills, tools and the dedicated professionals. Along the way reputation management software has also evolved to be more all-encompassing, and gives immediate results due to continuous monitoring for ORM purposes.

When ORM started out, it was a one-way street without adequately using social media. When a person or company wanted to maintain a good reputation, he resorted to search engines. The aim of early ORM was to keep bad press and publicity from getting to the first page of searches. The objective was simple but the work was not easy. ORM at the time used the same techniques and strategies which were used by SEO, including back linking and profile creations. Due to the tools and strategies used, the results were not immediate. It took at least two months before there were any appreciable changes on the search engine results pages (SERP).

Today’s reputation management has gotten far more advanced and has also moved away from contemporary SEO strategies. Even as SEO strategies and work flows have changed, reputation management emphasis has also changed. The most important consideration for today’s ORM is immediacy. The other is social media. Reputation management has less to do with searches, and more in line with social media interactions. As an example, an establishment’s reputation is usually given as a comment on social media. A customer could comment on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, Yelp, Foursquare, or some other social networking or social media website. It can even be a blog on WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, or even on a forum. Customers more often than not would give comments, whether good or bad, on social media.

If a restaurant were using a reputation management software, it would know immediately if a customer was satisfied or not with the food or services. The reputation management team can then give a rebuttal, or a spin on the comment. For positive comments, they can re-blog these, or post them on some other social media, or on their own website. This serves as a testimonial. In the case of negative publicity, they can instigate strategies to bury these comments where they are not visible. Alternatively, they can use the comments to do better next time.

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