22With the availability of various cost-effective online marketing techniques, it can often be very easy to ignore the consequences of having a poor reputation of your business. The assumption maybe that any damaged credibility can be recovered or restored through the aggressive pursuit of SEO or PPC campaigns.

However, that is not the case at all. Once a firms’ poor reputation becomes widespread, it can do more than just affect sales and profits; it can have a devastating impact on the ability of the firm to survive in the market or make any attempt to lure customers. For this reason, we are going to look at what is online reputation management, its importance, and some of the best practices that can be used to channel it effectively.

What is Online Reputation Management?

Online reputation management (ORM) is the process of restoring a firm’s or brand’s weakened reputation by countering the negative material found on the internet either through the use of more positive material or garnering trust of customers.

An online reputation of a business works similarly like negative or positive word-of-mouth marketing, which can either cripple your business’ credibility or raise it in a way that leads to strong customer loyalty. ORM is particularly important for business owners that spend many years developing a brand only to find a disgruntled and unhappy customer base that has switched to a rival.

Managers and marketers may not know what exactly has caused them to take such an extreme approach. The online platform, after all, is not exactly a convenient place to do business. Rivals can easily produce and sell goods and services using your corporate name and logo or post negative material against you to damage your credibility in the industry. The following are three examples that can negatively impact the reputation of your firm.

Bad reviews

Customer reviews have become increasingly widespread and potential customers often evaluate the strength of the brand by reading online reviews. For this reason, negative reviews of customers can go a long way in informing others of the weakness of a brand and prevent them from consuming a firm’s goods and services.

Hate sites

There can also be many hate sites that cultivate negative public opinion that can severely affect the credibility of a firm. For instance, there are an array of websites and blogs against UK’s most dominant grocery store, Tesco. Such websites go at great length in warning people from buying from such companies.

Negative media coverage

This also plays an important role in stirring hatred against a particular company or store. Multinational chains, especially those from the fast food industry, such as McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King frequently make negative news due to health and safety issues, low employee pay, and misuse of resources.

A negative coverage of a firm can make a lasting bad impression on customers, who may decide to warn others to boycott the brand and switch to rivals. For this reason, it is crucial that companies know how to reverse the effects of lost reputation by learning the various techniques and methods.