Reputation is the opinion or a social evaluation of the group of entities toward a person, a group of people, or an organization . It is an important factor in many fields, such as education, business, online communities or social status.
- Reputation can be considered as a component of the identity as defined by others
- Reputation is ‘the result of what you do, what you say, and what other people say about you’.
- Online Reputation is a factor in any online community where trust is important.
- An online identity, internet identity, or internet persona is a social identity that an Internet user establishes in online communities and websites.
- Result of your actions and words spoken
- Trust factor
are all important and related to each other when we define or discuss about the reputation of any person, company, community, group etc.
Whether it is the real world or the virtual world when it come to business the word of mouth (WOM) is the most reliable and trustworthy source your potential customers will give a ear to.
It takes time for any business to create a goodwill for itself in the market and that has to be earned over a period of continous quality services offered by your company.
People find the online reference to your business on the web through the search engines or some referring sites. Moreover now with the real time search as one of the search options on the search engines, what people are writing about your brand or product on social media sites like twitter , facebook, linkedin, etc. Is also one of the sources from where people form an impression about your company.
Hence, first and foremost it is important to create an identity for your business on the web. That is usually initiated by registering an apt domain name, developing a good informative, content rich website and then by optimizing the site for search engines so the netizens can find your website in the top rankings when they search for something related to the product or service offered by your company.
The buzz about your business can also be spread via the social media sites by conversing and sharing information.
Once your online presence or identity is created on the web it is but obvious that people (usually competitors, ex-employees, customers, etc) start forming and voicing opinions about a certain brand and product .
Hence, it is very important to track and monitor what people are saying about your company or product and then offer a humble thanks if the opinion is positive but if it is negative then it is time for your PR team to stand by for the reputation of your company and defend your brand or make improvements accordingly.
It is also very important for every company to have strong social media presence where you can put forward your word.
You can keep yourself informed about what the web world is talking about your company by creating Google Alerts for the company name.
Usually the micro blogging conversational platform like twitter or facebook serves the purpose. But, if you have a blog then you can write in detail and rectify the harm done or enhance the positive aura around the buzz.
When the continuous online presence of your company is found on the search engines and Social media sites and when it is seen that the company has a voice and image of its own then surely the trust factor is taken care of.
Again, prevention is always better than cure so start tracking the website and social media as soon as your website goes live.
Hence, The three steps involved in Online Reputation Management are: