As the world becomes more digitized, the internet’s influence continues to infiltrate all industries. With the proliferation of digital social platforms, there is a perpetual need to monitor the conversation around your company online. A slew of unaddressed negative reviews can result in major financial loss, making the tedious task of online reputation management (ORM) a necessary process in the success of your business.
Taking the Right Approach
Tackling the idea of online reputation management can seem overwhelming but with the proper approach and understanding of key components, it becomes an easier feat. The volume of online activity around your brand will help to determine the most effective method. While smaller businesses and start-ups may typically assign the task to an internal team, larger companies might consider utilizing the services of a third-party specializing in scraping data across a high number of digital spaces.
Whether you decide to execute the process internally or externally, it is important to capture your reputation on both the granular level and on a grand scale. One part of ORM is responding to customers’ posts and chatter around your brand, and the other is gaining a general understanding of customers’ sentiment towards your brand. Second to None’s ORM service, Scout, provides real-time monitoring of online reviews, while performing daily scans of over fifty social review platforms. The program works to create a comprehensive overview of a brands online perception through curated reports that detail measurements across specific locations and sites.
Regardless of the route your company chooses, effective monitoring is done through knowing the customer, knowing where they are talking about you, and how they respond to online interaction.
Customers Trust Online Reviews
Review sites are extremely powerful, with 86 percent of consumers reading reviews for local businesses when looking to make a purchasing decision.  The internet’s VIP residents, those aged 18-34, rank online reputation extremely high with 91 percent trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations.  Furthermore, 80 percent of them have left online reviews.  With easy access provided by mobile devices, customers have the ability to view others’ opinion of your business, and share their own, within seconds from any location.
On these review platforms, it is essential to acknowledge poor reviews, and establish the notion that you care about what your customers think. Considering that most customers find only the most recent reviews to be relevant, the matter is in need of constant attention.  Keeping a consistent presence on these sites will communicate an effort to improve the customer experience, bettering your reputation regardless of the existing issues.
Social Media Monitoring Steps
Conversation about your brand across different social media sites may be harder to track than review pages directed specifically towards your company.
There are a number of ways to find out who is talking about you, and where. The most straight forward approach is simply searching for posts that mention your company name. In addition, Sprout Social suggests searching common misspellings and iterations of your company name, as well as any product names, branded key words or phrases associated with your business.  The biggest mistake made by ORM teams is a lack of presence. Customers will share their input whether you are there to respond or not. It is better to have a voice in the conversation than to allow negative discourse to float around social media.
Going further, monitoring the general industry trends and competition can help you to understand where your brand stands among the rest. Also, it can reveal common searches that customers are using to find similar companies.
Online Conversations Can Be Positive, Too
While negative reviews hold a lot of power online, positive conversation about your brand can also initiate growth. Instead of allocating all your efforts on mitigating problematic posts, take the initiative to ask how you could do better. Creating a post or a space on your social media pages where your customers can offer their input will help to centralize the conversation and allow you to lead the dialogue. The organic interactions that are cultivated on social media allows companies to gather real-time feedback without issuing an official customer survey.
In the world of customer experience, it is all about knowing what makes your customer happy and what leaves them frustrated. Taking a proactive approach is important in managing the amount of talk circulating the internet. So do not be deterred by the task of ORM, but instead look at it as an opportunity to improve the character of your brand and grow relationships with customers online.[1-4] https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/?SSAID=314743&SSCID=31k3_ff53o  https://sproutsocial.com/insights/brand-monitoring/
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