Allocating resources to online reputation management is a vital element of success for businesses, according to a recent study by Clutch, a B2B research firm in Washington, DC.
Online reputation management is the practice of monitoring the online discourse about a brand.
This discourse can include social media mentions, online reviews, and blog reports.
It also includes coverage on any digital platform where an individual can post opinions and experiences.
To see how businesses approach online reputation management, Clutch surveyed 224 digital marketers in the United States.
The study serves as a follow-up report to the original survey measuring how PR crises affect consumer perceptions.
Research found that enacting an immediate response is the most effective way for businesses to limit damage.
How to Prevent a Crisis
Instead of being reactive to negative online experiences, businesses must be preemptive about managing their online reputation.
The latest survey found that businesses recognize the importance of managing their online reputation.
And, they are already spending a significant amount of time monitoring what’s being said about their company online.
The survey shows that more than 40 percent of digital marketers monitor their company’s online reputation daily; 21 percent monitor their reputation every hour.
By monitoring their brand online, companies reduce the risk of losing customers who may decide not to purchase products or services after reading something negative about the brand.
Simon Wadsworth, managing partner, at Igniyte, says:
When people search for brands online, they tend to search for stamps of credibility. If they find anything negative, that could end up being a significant amount of leads the business won’t get from people who are put off from using the service.
Reducing negative online content eases the process for consumers to feel confident in purchasing company products or services.
Social Media is the Most Important Platform to Monitor
Businesses also consider social media the most important online platform to monitor.
More than 40 percent of digital marketers spend the most time searching social media for negative media mentions. These marketers understand how rapidly negative comments can spread.
Juda Engelmayer, president and partner, at HeraldPR, explains that with the rise of social media, companies have limited control over their brand’s reputation.
You can do everything in your power to boost your reputation on standard search engines like Google or Yahoo by building domain names and creating content. Social media, however, is uncontrollable. People tweet whatever they want, or go to Yelp or Facebook to post about a bad experience. This can have a huge effect on search engines.
Social Media Reduces Control
The freedom individuals have to post on social media platforms significantly reduces the control companies have over their online brand reputation.
Businesses should be preemptive about devoting resources to online reputation management.
That’s opposed to spending time and money on brand recovery in the aftermath of a negative online experience.
As well, a public relations agency is expert in identifying key messaging tactics. And they enable companies to learn how to solve issues that arise online. If you need help, consider hiring one.
Andy Beal is the “Original Online Reputation Expert” at Reputation Refinery.
He shares the distinguishing element of working with a professional agency over using a free online tool.
External agencies are experts in knowing where to look, helping you to understand who your influencers are, which channels to focus on, what keywords to monitor, and what sentiments to look for.
And because they’re experts, professional agencies can help businesses learn how to prevent crises from happening in the future.
More than 40 percent of businesses plan to hire a PR agency in 2018. While nearly 35 percent plan to spend more time and money on online reputation management.
Invest in Online Reputation Management
In light of the growing popularity of social media and online reviews, digital marketers are allocating more resources to online reputation management to build a strong online presence.
Instead of reacting to negative online content, businesses can protect their reputation from damage by investing in online reputation management.
This will be an important component of any business’ digital marketing strategy.