A recent Clutch survey revealed that more than half of today’s digital marketers consider online reputation management “very necessary” to the success of their organizations in today’s increasingly digital world.
However, some communicators think that number is low, considering how much digital activities can affect an organization’s image.
100% of companies should dedicate their attention to ORM, according to Ryan Goff, chief marketing officer and social media marketing director at MGH, Inc.(link is external), an integrated marketing communications agency in Maryland.
“I was shocked to see that only 54% of executives thought that online reputation management was a necessary function of their business,” said Goff. “As someone who’s played in this space for 11 years, I see it as beyond very necessary. I see it as absolutely critical.”
Why is online reputation management important to PR efforts?
Twenty-five percent of marketers surveyed said the efforts help grow sales, and nearly the same amount (23 percent) said it increases brand recognition. Others said it helped them stand out from their competitors (18 percent) and increased their organizations’ online visibility (17 percent). Some communicators use reputation management to rank higher in Google search results (8 percent) or increase social media followers (7 percent).
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There isn’t one single place to keep track of your organization’s online presence, nor is there one correct way to implement the strategy.
Of the marketers who consider online reputation management a priority, the majority (46 percent) use social media to monitor mentions sentiment that affect their organizations’ image. Twenty-three percent turn to review platforms, and the same percentage use Google search results to keep tabs on reputation.
News organizations’ websites and blogs were the least popular platforms for monitoring, only considered the best by 4 and 3 percent of communicators, respectively.
“You can do everything in your power to boost your reputation on standard search engines like Google or Yahoo by building domain names and creating content. Social media, however, is uncontrollable,” said Juda Engelmayer, president and partner of HeraldPR(link is external), a full-service public relations and communications agency in New York. “People can tweet whatever they want, or they can go to Yelp or Facebook to post about a bad experience. This can have a huge effect on search engines.”
Whereas a company can control its Google search rankings, it cannot control individuals who may post a negative comment about its brand on social media.
Whatever the preferred platform, marketers frequently take the temperature on their organization’s reputation: The study revealed that 42 percent monitor online reputation daily, and 21 percent monitor it hourly. Sixteen percent monitor their reputation weekly, and 14 percent monitor it monthly.
When it comes to monitoring, it’s wise to use several resources.
Most (70 percent) turn to internal team members, but nearly the same amount (67 percent) report that they rely on reputation management tools. Half of the communicators surveyed earmark third-party review sites, and nearly half (49 percent) use social listening software to get a picture of how their organizations are faring in the digital landscape.
Though some marketers struggle to get executive approval for online reputation management, more and more organizations recognize its value: Clutch reported that almost 35 percent of organizations plan to give more time and money to the practice this year.
How important is online reputation management to your organization, PR Daily readers?