Social media websites have taken over the World Wide Web. Anyone spending time on the internet is signed into one of these sites at least, and more likely signed into several.
To name but a selective few of these social media and social bookmarking sites, there are: Facebook, Myspace, Furl, Del.icio.us, Digg, Reddit, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Rojo, Meetup, Linkedin, Technorati, Slashdot, and more.
With literally millions of users situated all over the world on these social media websites, companies can now use these websites as advertising mediums, targeting millions of people 24/7. This kind of advertising is extremely effective in targeting your specific market as there are such a large number of people to expose your brand to. The best thing about exposing your brand in this medium is that if people like it, your brand’s popularity can spread faster than the flu bug: think of it as viral marketing on red bull. In fact, you can be the talk of the web in just one day: thanks to extremely powerful advertising.
The reason for this quick spread via web circulation is that the online community is user driven of course, but because of this user driven force behind your brand, it can also get the boot from the online community and can have the complete opposite effect on a brand, not exactly what a company needs, and bad publicity can spread even faster than the flu, which is never a good thing.
The best way for companies to keep track of their brand’s reputation is through Online Reputation Management (ORM). Online Reputation Management combines marketing and public relations with search engine marketing.
There are three basic steps involved in implementing Online Reputation Management, which will be discussed hereafter. These steps are: Monitor, Analyze and Influence.
Monitor: You need to know what is being said about your brand. You might think that perceptions are impossible to track and monitor as news travels at such an incredible speed over the internet, thanks to blogs, forums and podcast – but there are internet monitoring services that you can use to solve this problem. An example of such a monitoring system is to set up Google Alerts to observe what is being said about your brand in the news on the web. You can also use sites such as Feedster and Technorati to monitor what is being said about your brand in blogs. You can also keep track of your direct competitors in this way.
Analyse: now that you’ve monitored the required information, you need to analyze it. To keep track of your search engine environment, you need to know your competition in depth. For example, make a list of the sites that have information concerning your brand. Split this list into positive and negative feedback, as it is good to know where the bad and good publicity is coming from. Also check their page rank, number of links, and any other aspects you can find.
Influence: One simple and effective method with which to influence your brand in a positive way is to participate by getting involved in the conversation. The old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. So do exactly that: become a regular contributor to blogs and forums where you found most activity involving your brand. The golden rule when doing this is to stay honest about your brand. If for example, someone in the blogosphere said an inaccurate statement about your brand, you are able to clarify it by giving them evidence that supports your case and in so doing removing the error concerning your brand.
So, start implementing your ORM guns to counter attack your brand’s reputation. In this way you’ll prevent an ugly showdown from dragging down your brand.
Originally posted 2015-01-21 15:35:24.