Proactive Online Reputation Management, ORM
Online Reputation Management is one of the hot topic in social media these days and you can find good advice (here from futurelab) on how to check one’s own reputation and remedy negative messages.
Very few experts however have looked at how a brand can proactively ensure its reputation is and stay positive.
Here is what we suggest, starting with some background information:
First, consumer used to get to brands via Google search. Now it’s widely spread between search, blogs, Facebook and Twitter messages.
In parallel, blogs , with their fresh and “Google friendly” content are making their way up to the Google search list.
The net is that traditional SEO in no longer enough.
It’s chaos and yes, it’s not yet possible to fully measure everything and gauge the impact of the the social media revolution in clicks , impressions and orders.
However, from the empirical experience that we all have had using Google , Facebook and Twitter and tests we have performed (more to come on this), it’s clear that influencers play a pivotal part in the equation.
Not all influencers, the influencers in Your target community. ( there is no point buzzing about skin care products in Techcrunch 🙂 at least until nanotech skin care products become a reality)
Chances are that these relevant influencers will rank well in Google for queries in your domain , that their tweets are getting retweeted more than Mr Nobody’s tweets and that their content reach your customers more often . Also *usually* they get a lost of trust.
So, what should brand do?
Brand should maximize the positive reviews from relevant influencers and do whatever it takes to help these reviews make their way to their prospects and customers.
Isn’t it amazing that we moved from making easy for people to reach content TO making easy for content to reach people – (Content Findability Optimization ? oops at least something that sounds like $$).
Tactical Plan !
0- Build great products and have great customer support. (*)
1- Build an influence strategy – what community do you target, what do you have to offer that’s different, any positive thing you can contribute (information, gift, stories …).
2- Participate, earn trust and earn media.
3- Measure influence and sentiment within that community. Know your friends and your competitor’s friends.
4- Get your content on the influential blogs (write good content that these bloggers will link to – hopefully with a Dofollow- or republish, ask for review, pay bloggers, advertise on their blogs)
5- Send link juice back to the friendly bloggers.
This blends social media and SEO, hence the argument over ownership of the Social Media Play and it will take both to succeed.
It’s a daily job. It takes time (most bloggers agree on 2 hours a day) and it’s a complex job that requires SEO level expertise.
(*): just read the Momentum Effect that got great stories on building “power offer”