Online reputation management (ORM) has the power to help brands enhance customer trust, build industry authority and even drive revenue.
But ORM as a practice is not easy. Many businesses fall victim, knowingly or unknowingly, to ORM mistakes that sabotage their online reputation, costing them existing customers and robbing them of any potential to convert prospects.
So let’s talk about ORM pitfalls and how to recover from them.
Mistake #1: Ignoring Negative Feedback
One of the worst moves in ORM in digital marketing is ignoring negative feedback. Whether it’s a bad review on Yelp, a complaint on Facebook or a negative comment on your blog, ignoring it won’t make it go away. Often, it makes the situation worse.
Neglecting negative review responses make your customers feel unheard, frustrated and angry. It can also cause potential customers to think that you don’t care about your customers or your quality of service. Moreover, not responding to reviews can harm your search ranking, as Google considers user-generated content a ranking factor.
The solution: Respond to negative feedback promptly, politely and professionally. Apologize for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction, offer a solution or compensation if possible and thank the customer for their feedback. Responding to reviews shows your customers that you value their opinions and loyalty. You can also employ an online review management services expert or ORM company.
Mistake #2: Not Encouraging Positive Reviews
Positive reviews are among the best ways to boost your online reputation and attract more customers. According to a previous BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and 79% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
But many businesses fail to ask their customers for positive reviews, either because they forget, feel awkward, or are unfamiliar with this aspect of online review management services. This can result in missing out on a lot of potential brand reputation management benefits.
The solution: Ask your customers for positive reviews regularly through ORM marketing. You can do so by emailing them after a purchase or service, adding a review widget to your website or social media pages, or incentivizing them with discounts or rewards. Ensure the process is easy and convenient for your customers, and thank them for their time and feedback.
Mistake #3: Doing Online Review Monitoring Services Manually
Manual online review monitoring is an impossible undertaking. Because in this aspect of ORM in digital marketing, you keep track of what people say about your brand online, whether on social media, review sites, forums, blogs, or other platforms.
Without automated online review monitoring services, you miss valuable insights, opportunities and threats. You won’t know what your customers like or dislike about your products or services, what your competitors are doing better than you, or what potential crises are brewing online.
The solution: Automate your brand monitoring. You can use ORM marketing tools like Google Alerts, Semrush Brand Monitoring Tool, or Mention to get notified whenever someone mentions your brand online. You can also use social media listening tools such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite to monitor conversations on social media platforms. Consider hiring an ORM services expert to stay on top of trends, issues and opportunities, responding accordingly.
Mistake #4: Buying Fake Reviews
One of the worst mistakes that can seriously damage your online reputation is buying fake reviews on Google or Facebook. Fake reviews are reviews not written by real customers but by yourself, your employees, or paid reviewers through ORM services. They are usually overly optimistic and lack details or credibility.
Posting fake reviews can backfire in many ways. First of all, it’s unethical and illegal. You can get fined or sued for violating consumer protection laws or platform policies. Second, it’s easy to spot and expose. Customers can use tools like Fakespot or ReviewMeta to detect fake reviews or simply notice the inconsistencies and red flags in your reviews. Third, it can ruin your trust and reputation. If customers find out you are posting fake reviews, they will lose confidence in your brand and spread negative word-of-mouth.
The solution: Simply put, don’t post fake reviews. Ever. Instead, focus on delivering quality products and services that earn genuine positive customer reviews. And if you do get negative reviews, don’t panic. Use them as an opportunity to improve your business and show your customers that you care. You should also avoid any ORM company that encourages you to do unethical online review management.
Mistake #5: Being Inconsistent With Your Branding
Another ORM marketing mistake is being inconsistent with your branding. Branding is how you present your business to the world through your name, logo, slogan, colors, tone of voice, values and personality. Brand reputation management helps you stand out and create a memorable impression on your customers.
As such, if you are inconsistent with your branding, you can confuse and alienate your customers. For example, if you use different logos or colors on different platforms, customers may not recognize your brand or trust its authenticity. Or, if you use different tones of voice or messages on other channels, customers may not understand what your brand stands for or offers.
The solution: Be consistent with your branding across all online channels. Use the same logo, colors, fonts and images on your website, social media pages, ads and emails. Then, use the same tone of voice, style and language in your blog, comments or review responses. You also want to communicate the same messaging in your value proposition and mission statement on your landing pages and press releases. Remember, consistent brand reputation management translates to trustworthiness.
Mistake #6: Not Having a Crisis Management Plan
A crisis management plan is a document that outlines how your business will respond to a crisis, such as a natural disaster, a cyberattack, a product recall, or a public relations scandal. A crisis management plan helps you minimize the damage and restore your operations as quickly as possible.
Proper ORM in digital marketing means coming prepared. Without a plan, you panic when a crisis unfolds – not knowing who to communicate with, what to say, or what actions to take. You’ll likely make things worse by reacting impulsively, ignoring the problem, or sending mixed messages. Even worse, you lose the trust and loyalty of your customers, employees, partners and stakeholders.
The solution: Have a plan; identify the potential risks and scenarios that could affect your business and how to deal with them. Assign roles and responsibilities to your crisis management team and train them on how to execute the plan. Establish clear communication channels and protocols for internal and external audiences. Review and update your plan regularly to keep it relevant and effective.
However, If you’re currently dealing with a brand crisis, our online reputation repair consultants can help.
Online Reputation Management Tips
Here’s a quick roundup of online reputation management tips we mentioned in this blog:
- Monitor your brand mentions. You should keep track of what people are saying about your brand online.
- Avoid fake reviews. Focus on sharing valuable content that showcases your expertise, values and achievements.
- Leverage paid media. Paid media can help you control your brand narrative and reach a wider audience online.
- Respond to negative feedback quickly and professionally. Ignoring or deleting negative feedback can make things worse.
- Encourage and highlight positive reviews. You can extract and highlight specific reviews on your website and social media.
- Practice brand consistency. Again, demonstrating consistency conveys trustworthiness to consumers.
- Have a crisis management plan. Be sure to come up with a plan before you find yourself in the middle of a crisis.
- Employ reputation and review response experts. Perhaps the most crucial of all online reputation management tips is this.
Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Twice: Partner With the Right ORM Company
Online reputation management is a crucial factor in the success of businesses of all sizes. It only makes sense that it requires careful planning and execution to avoid mistakes and risks that can harm one’s brand reputation. This is where ORM experts like Rize Reviews come in.