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Don’t get stung: 5 reasons why ORM is necessary for your biz

Wasp StingAre you actively engaging in online reputation management (ORM) for your biz? Being proactive with ORM affords you choices of how or if you need to respond to a crisis situation. Being proactive about ORM also allows you to create content that otherwise might avoid a crisis situation. ORM is slowly seeping into the collective consciousness of most PR, marketing and social media pros—naturally, it should for you too. This is likely because more have been caught asleep at the wheel rather than being awake and alert to the potential of positive and negative conversations online about their brand. Being reactive instead of proactive is not how you want to be introduced to ORM—so here are 5 tips to keep you on your toes and avoid being stung:

What it is and why. ORM = Online Reputation Management – the management of the online reputation of a brand, product, person, etc. across the data available in public and private databases online (which includes search and social media). Customers are sharing their interactions with brands to others. For example, “New McDonalds smoothies are awesome!” is an instance where a mention of a brand online can be positive. “(Insert cable company) (Insert expletive)” is a negative mention of a brand online, and if that was your brand, it should prompt you to figure out what the issue is for the customer and resolve it in order to preserve your online reputation. Social media spreads like wildfire so be aware of what is being said so you can reward your advocates and turn your foes or dissatisfied customers into believers again.

Finding positive and negative brand mentions online. Write down words that the company owns intellectual property (TM or ©) on: brands, product names, slogans, jingles, etc., and search those terms in Google with safe search filtering on and also with it off (this gives you a complete picture of each searcher, work and home). Add those words to the words “like,” “love,” “don’t buy,” “wouldn’t recommend,” “sucks,” “hate,” “use,” and similar words to your search queries.

Search using Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Twitter. Also check Google Analytics for your site to see where visitors are coming from. Here are a few good alert based tools we recommend: social mention, samepointtwilert, and tweetbeep, are a few good ones.

Free and paid tools. Paid tools: use knowem.com to claim all your “copyright space”, what we call “domain defense,” and Trackur or Vocus are also a great paid tools. As for free tools, we recommend Crowdbooster, twentyfeet, and socialchiefs.

Addressing negative sentiment online in search and social. Respond quickly: the customer may not ways be right but they should always be heard.  Be the first to respond so you can control the situation. Be polite, diplomatic and empathetic to the complaint – grab their shoes and slip those puppies on for a minute. Address the real concern. Sometimes addressing real concern requires you to dig deeper – don’t jump to conclusions at the first complaint.

Don’t offer an “empty” apology or use coupons/discounts as artificial band-aid. If you give bad service, fix it. It doesn’t matter how perfect your Twitter person is if your product fails. Remember that not every person online is a potential customer, sometimes there are trolls online that just want to rile you up, so be wary of those people.

Mobile ORM. There are many mobile apps for ORM that mirror the apps you use on your desktop. Mobile completes the circle of evolution on social media, PR and advertising as well as the socialization of the customer. Mobile is quickly developing and the best policy is to have mobile, social media and local search all monitored. The message is to monitor on the go, operate in real time, and respond to queries super fast.

Steve Plunkett PRWebchatThese tips were adapted from our latest edition of #PRWebchat, a Twitter chat held every Thursday at 2pm EST by @PRWeb on Twitter. Our guest was Steve Plunkett, a senior search and social media strategist for Rockfish.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy: How to make your start-up explode (the good way)

(Photo Credit – Flickr Creative Commons: slgckgc)

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This post was written by a guest Cision contributor.

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