The future is now. We might not have flying cars – and they do seem not to be too close to happening either – but we do have online lives that are sometimes more important than our offline ones. Our reputation on the web is all that matters today, especially if our work life depends on it. Yet, we should look at it not from the angle of “no mistakes should be made”, which will stifle our online presence, but more from the angle of “if you err online, use online tools to fix it”.
If someone goes to your website, what do they see? Is it riddled with ads? Are there ads and pop-ups, offering things or newsletters? Get rid of them. People are past such things. They get their info from social networks, and if they do click on a link that leads them to a website, they desire a simple, sleek, responsive solution that looks good on their mobile devices. If your website offers them all this, they will stick around and partake of your content. That is the point in which you can deliver your message and calls to action.
Have you considered expanding your presence on as many platforms as it is feasible? A company’s marketing department should not only cover all the heavy-hitters, but also any upcoming social network that might or might not work out. Still, it is important to be there before everyone else and establish your presence. Even if the platforms disappear in a year or two, the time spent there should not be considered wasted. As you are present everywhere, those who find you on the niche platforms will naturally migrate towards the more popular platforms, as those less fortunate ones slowly die.
Do not forget all the review sites that are important for your line of work. Some of them are trusted more, some less, but they all pack a little punch in the total picture that is your online image. It is important to create a profile on each of these pages. Your customers can leave reviews with or without you being present, but this way you will at least be aware of what they are saying about you. Follow what people are saying and try to act on it. Learn to accept criticism and learn from it, not get discouraged.
Using the info you gather from other platforms is one way to go, but why not ask those who are already following you to tell you what they feel like? A proper customer satisfaction survey is always a step in the right direction. Your customers/followers might be more open to sharing what they like or dislike if approached by you directly rather than by someone else.
ORM is not a new thing in its core. Reputation management has been in existence ever since public perception became an important thing. However, attempting to influence people’s opinion of you or your company may prove a double-edged sword. If you go overboard and all of a sudden there are articles praising you all over the net, people might go a bit suspicious. However, if you “organically” pay attention to people’s reactions online and try to help them when possible, you are bound to do reputation management the right way.
This is not a new idea. Celebrities have been used to sell things for a very long time now, for more than 250 years, if we count royal endorsement. Today, with the rise of influencers, you can easily market your products to a niche you are interested in. However, in this case we are talking of association – if a popular influencer (or a film star, or any kind of celebrity) is shown in direct connection with your brand or product, the bit of “public good will” that they hold will rub off on you. If is especially interesting to see how this plays out today, with influencers being tied to different platforms. Gaming youtubers can prove to be completely unknown to people who follow Instagram fitness stars, which means you can combine their influences to target different groups of people.