The Biggest Misconception When It Comes to Online Reputation Management

There are countless of misconceptions revolving around the concept of online reputation management (ORM). Perhaps the one that is most worthy of mentioning is that a business only has to use ORM tools and resources when they’re in a crisis – for example, when reviews or listings point fingers at your business saying that it’s a scam, or in the case of a scandal.

The fact is, however, that online reputation management is far more than this: it basically implies the need of using certain methods to ensure that your reputation – be it spotless or not – can withstand future attacks and that your business can stay on top of the game whether a problem presents itself or not.

When Do You Need to Use Online Reputation Management?

If you employ ORM strategies only when a crisis appears, you will already have lost. This is something that everyone should know, particularly those who are just starting out with their internet businesses.

The threat of what could happen to your business if you don’t act soon enough should be enough to motivate you to learn more about ORM, if you haven’t done so already.

A 2010 study shows that 70% of companies rejected job candidates based solely on their online reputation. Also, there are reports of numerous companies and individuals whose online reputations were stained by search engine listings that associate them with scams, as well as by negative content present on blogs, scraper sites, complaint sites and forums.
A more recent study has proven that 4 out of 5 people who rely on reviews to make online purchases choose to search for other options when they find even a single negative review about a retailer.

These results show only a glimpse of the full impact that bad reviews can have on your business. It is important to realize, therefore, that no company is in the clear, since the spirit of free speech associated with the internet allows basically anyone to state their opinion – no matter how accurate – about whatever they want.

As you can see, negative reviews and listings should be considered as a powerful threat and dealt with before they appear. As a business owner, you should, therefore, be prepared at all times by starting to use ORM techniques and tools as soon as possible and strengthening your online reputation right from the start. How do you do this? Be proactive and post quality content to improve your brand’s image: articles, social media profiles, blog posts and press releases should be submitted on as many important websites as possible.

Ask for Help

An agency which is well-versed in providing companies with the latest tools and information on reputation management can be extremely handy. They can do the heavy lifting for you and also teach you a lot of ORM tricks; what is more, even high standard services, such as Spotless Rep, offer their services at a price that is well within the grasp of a beginning business owner.

For a small monthly fee, you can get an ORM agency to do all the work, so you can have enough time to worry about improving your business itself instead of having to deal with all the details regarding your online reputation.

While hiring an ORM service is not mandatory for success to be yours, it can definitely make your life much easier. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that, whether you do all the work yourself or ask for outside help, you must not wait for a crisis in order to take action.