The concept of considering how to manage online reputation is a comparatively new concept which came to light at the dawn of the digital world. It is evident that its roots have existed since the time of the ancients. Indian rulers would deploy surveillance teams to feel the “pulse” of the people. The Greeks and Romans also utilized a system in which they based the trustworthiness of a merchant, through determining how they conducted business. Moving towards more critical times in human history, PR was used to demonize opponents and even destroy an individual’s reputation – yet things changed rapidly when the internet came along.
Online Reputation Management – Old vs New
Tracking and reacting to brand mentions across the various platforms is a critical element of online reputation management. Depending on the type of industry and customer base, online reputation deals with any digital space ranging from social media, product reviews and websites to videos and press coverage. The business principles of reputation management in the past relied heavily on trust and credibility. In the digital age these continue to gradually increase in importance, while becoming more of an obstacle to manage
Statistically speaking, the most trusted source of information for 65% of users is online searches. Search engine optimization (SEO) is usually one of the most prominent aspects in managing online reputation. SEO techniques can be used to improve ranking and bring results to the first page of Google when using the correct keywords and phrases.
In the absence of social media or search engines, Brands considering how to manage online reputation implemented PR activities to manage a company’s or person’s reputation. Brands in the 20th century were built around a good reputation and word of mouth. With no access to online methods, they would build relationships with newspaper publications, magazines and other outlets, creating stories which built the desired narrative. Simultaneously, they would monitor and analyze those publications to see where they were mentioned and react when necessary.
Discovery of the Internet Introduces Massive Amount of Opportunity
Fast forward to the present and the internet has opened up a world of opportunity for brands to expand and grow. Review sites are a major platform, as 93% of users say that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions. New platforms emerged which gave birth to new digital techniques being developed.
The internet also gave rise to a new breed of ORM companies and agencies with the main purpose of helping brands build their narrative across the new digital landscape. The team of experts at Percepto help brands and individuals on how to manage online reputation in the most efficient and effective way.
Future Predictions of ORM
The future for ORM is shrouded with excitement. Businesses and marketers are looking for new solution on how to manage online reputation and consistently monitor the ever-increasing number of reviews, information and criticism being posted
AI oriented monitoring tools may be the future of ORM, however as of now they need to be drastically improved. One necessity is software with the ability to accurately understand and analyze what is real and what is fake. Also important is recognising sentiment – be it positive, negative or neutral – thus alerting the user when it’s necessary to respond. A step in the right direction would be a company which detects fake activity online, highlights where it is distributed and then employs methods to block the problematic piece of content before it becomes an issue.
It is clearly evident that reputation management has existed throughout history. Development in technology has drastically changed the way brands are perceived, especially considering the introduction of digital and digital marketing. This is a new era for brands and their online reputation and they should take advantage of it as much as possible.