Online reputation management (ORM) is the analysis of your personal or professional, business or industry reputation as represented by content across all types of online media channels. Basically, when people online write stuff about you, you should know about it fast enough to be able to respond - especially if it's negative stuff. So, why is this important? Here are four damn good reasons.
Reason 1: ORM protects your brand Think back to the Domino's Pizza ‘cheese up the nose' debacle - watch the videos here - where Domino's employees Michael and Kristy showed their extra-special pizza making techniques (which included snot on the pizza and armpit salami, amongst other things). Domino's responded slowly and failed to avoid a brand-damaging firestorm when the video went viral. If Domino's had had a decent online reputation management strategy in place, they could potentially have averted the few million views the clip received online and dealt with the issue a little more privately.
Reason 2: ORM allows you to make smart decisions The board of United Airlines have not been able to sleep properly since August 2009. The reason? This video, where musician Dave Carroll sings a song called "United Breaks Guitars". The song hilariously describes Carroll's experience with United Airlines staff and their stubborn refusal to repay him (or even apologise) for the breaking of his Taylor custom-made guitar. United Airlines staff damaged the item irreparably en route and then belligerently batted Carroll off when he asked for compensation of $3600. The song went viral (over 6m views to date) and is probably the last thing UA directors hear as they drift off into troubled dreamland. A careful ORM strategy would have allowed United Airlines to pick up the song before it spread across the globe.
Reason 3: ORM gives you a lead over your competitors The key to ORM is listening. If you do this correctly, not only will you hear the bad stuff written about your brand, but you'll also be able to hear what is being spoken about within your target community. This allows you to gather vital information, identify consumer trends, and most importantly, spot opportunities quickly.
Reason 4: ORM is the best customer retention tool you have This is a no-brainer. If you're an angry customer, the thing you want more than anything else is to be heard. If you're a really angry customer and you feel like no one is listening, you'll naturally find other people who will listen to you bitch and moan. And finally, if you're an angry customer, and you're suddenly confronted by responsive service, your anger is usually quickly deflated. I remember going to Pick n' Pay after buying some really nasty wine. I complained about the taste - a subjective thing, really - and half expected the customer service person to tell me to bugger off. To my surprise, they took the half-drunk bottle of wine and gave me double my money back - no questions asked. I am now a Pick n' Pay customer for life. Online reputation management works on this principle. If you make an angry customer happy, in most cases, they will reward you with their unbridled loyalty.
Finally, if you're wanting to find out more about ORM for your brand, or phone us (0861 932226). World Wide Creative's team is currently working on high profile ORM strategy for a host of brands, and we're eager to pass on our experience to you.
This article was written by Fred Roed, CEO of digital marketing agency, World Wide Creative, and originally appeared in World Wide Creative's marketing education portal, The Heavy Chef Project. For more articles, click here.
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Great article, Fred, very clear and straight to the point. The examples are limitless of companies that should have been listening to online buzz and companies that have used it to increase their online presence, and these are some great ones that everyone should become familiar with.
It is important to point out, though, that there is a variety of ORM possibilities. Companies should always listen first, and then the ways that they interact with customers online should be tailored to their own objectives and integrated into their communications strategies.
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