The 3 Types of Online Reputation Management You Need

Fire fighting

Online Reputation Management was a relatively late addition to search engine optimization and it was part of a larger marketing trend.

The hype has subsided over the years yet so called ORM or Online Reputation Management is the daily bread of many companies.

Some social media and search specialists really focus on it ever since or even started to sell reputation management services as their main offer.

The Different Types of ORM or Online Reputation Management

I noticed a stratification of the online reputation management types and approaches to it though.

Thus I identified and categorized the 3 types of online reputation management I perceive:

1. Search engine optimization approach
In one sentence: “We have to rule the top 20 of Google for our name”.

2. Social media management approach
In one sentence: “We have to monitor all instances where our company is mentioned and react to them”

3. SEO 2.0 approach
In one sentence: “We will proactively build a reputation for ourselves by engaging in online communications”

I use all three to some extent for myself and most renown SEO experts do too it seems to me. It’s a different thing for clients and companies though.

When Online Reputation Management Goes Wrong and How to Fix it

Sadly I often witness online reputation management gone wrong. Some of the worst practices are:

  • Spamming social sites and blogs
  • Setting up of fake blogs
  • Orwell like monitoring of the Net
  • PR people denying any wrongdoing by companies with unsubstantiated claims
  • Lawyers intimidating bloggers

None of these really work, in contrast, they aggravate the reputation problem in most cases. There are good examples though.

  • Contacting with bloggers and/or commenting on their blogs in a responsive manner
  • Setting up and nurturing your own communities
  • Fixing actual problems and being outspoken about it

While these examples work and are appreciated by the public in the SEO 2.0 sense they are still not enough to fix your online reputation problems.

Building Trust and Credibility Instead of Fire-Fighting

It’s not enough to manage an existing reputation that is in a way independently being forged by others.

In SEO 2.0 we focus on long term reputation building. We react but we also act before issues appear.

We engage in online practices that shed a positive light on us. Thus we build trust and establish credibility. Some ORM techniques are:

  • Socializing with experts in an industry
  • Altruistic participation in online communities
  • Non profit projects that aren’t directly self-promotional

This is only a very short introduction but I think it enough to get started with reputation management online or ideally proactive reputation building.

Low intensity ORM becomes mere fire-fighting after disgruntled customers have vented their anger or worse the press has reported about you in a negative light. You can shed light on your true achievements upfront.