A brand conveys a lot of emotions to consumers. For example a McDonald’s outlet is not just about burgers. Brands offer an experience. A McDonald’s food joint is associated with cleanliness, great customer service, hygienic food and an overall fun filled experience. But building such an image requires a lot of effort. One’s brand equity has to be nurtured like a sapling with a lot of care and the right inputs. However just like a sapling, brands wither away too. Nokia is a perfect example. They might even fall from the skies and be reduced to rubble overnight even though one might not be at fault. This is particularly true for the internet where images are quite fragile. One viral post can destroy months and even years of hard work. An unhappy customer, a bad review or a small glitch in the website; all have the potential of reducing a website’s reputation to ashes.

Online Reputation management can be broadly classified into two types: reactive and proactive. Reactive reputation management is more like damage control where one responds to negativity about the website. Also reactive management may often lie in the grey areas of ethics with reputation management companies trying to save the day using unethical means like creating fake ids to suppress criticism. Proactive reputation management (PROM) seeks to foresee and problems and aims to solve them even before they occur. It is rightly said that prevention is better than cure and this is where the proactive approach gains the upper hand over the reactive type. Obviously proactive measures are better but it is not always possible to foresee problems. Experience and time are the best teachers and companies will have to evolve with the changing needs and wants of the consumer. Nevertheless staying a step ahead of the competition undoubtedly requires proper proactive online reputation management. Reactive reputation management is like fixing the holes in your parachute after you have jumped while proactive reputation management involves ensuring that the parachute is of good quality and will not fail you after making the jump.

 Benefits of Proactive ORM:

1. Time is money and this is not just speaking philosophically. Time spent on damage control is surely less fruitful than the time spent productively on building up brand equity. For example creation of good quality roads is beneficial both economically and with respect to time than building poor quality roads and having to fix them over and over again.

2. Also, proactive measures will not force one to resort to immoral techniques to improve upon one’s image. In reacting to a negative review one would not have to adopt shady techniques and instead focus on proactively eliminating such problems from popping up

3. Proactive Online Reputation Management is much simpler as is everything when done with a far sighted approach. Instead of applying band aids to prevent leaks, proactive reputation management enables one to create a strong and reliable brand image which does not fall apart at the slightest of instabilities.

Online Reputation Marketing companies keep all of this in mind to provide for a unique and beneficial solution for each company. Reputation building earlier was just about providing excellent product and services with the brand image taking care of itself. But with such an accelerated change in technology, particularly the internet, the face of public relations itself is changing. Search Engine Optimization is now one of the top priorities for any website. Along with increasing the organic search results, paid search results are being increasingly employed by Search Engine Marketing companies these days.

However a good Online Reputation Management company needs to be proactive as has been mentioned repeatedly here. Merely having a reaction to troubled waters is not enough. The ship’s captain needs to be able to foresee and navigate through difficulties lying ahead. It is easy to weed out the good from the bad here. A good company will be more proactive. If your Online Reputation Management stuffs too many keywords, has to create fake profiles to increase visibility or completely weeds out negative feedback, then you know they are taking shortcuts. Instead of blindly ignoring such feedbacks it is paramount that the essence of the problem at hand is understood rather than attributing it to a bad customer. A customer is a customer and is your source of income. And incoming money is never bad. Hence while brand building using ORMs is an important step, like everything else in a business, this too should be done after considerable research and good judgement.

Read More About:- Online Reputation Monitoring Tips For Small Business

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