What part of online brand management is the most important?
Often referred to as ORM (Online Reputation Management), it should encompass many things. Listening, engaging, using SEO, social media, and PR, and your network are just the beginning.
Whether you’re using tools like Social Mention and Radian 6 or just using Twitter Search and Google Alerts it’s important to monitor for your brand name, products, and key employees to keep up on what’s being said.
When you see mentions (good or bad) you need to have some idea of what you’re going to do about it. Having a reaction strategy in place will help with that a lot. Figure out how and who will deal with negative, positive, and everything in between.
What happens when negative articles climb higher than your positive articles? Using a combination of SEO, social media, pr, and link building you can help get your positive stuff above the negative stuff. Having fully optimized content is important so that search engines can pick it up, read it, and index it properly.
You should have all your profiles and searches going in the proper places (found by listening) so you can monitor and engage fans & critics a like where they exist. Build your network and give value, it will come in handy more than you might think.
Who is already handling your brand’s image? Is it every employee’s responsibility, a dedicated departments, or an agencies? Who ever it is make sure they know what your company’s position and strategy is for online reputation management. However you split it, ORM is all about your Public Relations. Also, If you need to get something out remember, a properly optimized press release can go a long way.
Building a good solid network can be your “Ace in the hole” for both good and bad situations. Need something good spread out wide? Share it with your network and get them to help you. Did something bad happen and you need help with damage control? Address your loyal customer / fans / friends in your network and get them to help. It will spread a whole lot faster than you doing it on your own.
To get a feel for how everyone else sees this subject I asked this question on Twitter and here’s the response I got:
I personally think that listening is THE most important part of ORM. It’s where it all starts, and it’s where you will continually comeback to. Obviously engagement is the next most important, but based on your business other items might come into priority after them.
What’s your opinion? What’s your take on this? What do YOU think is important when it comes to ORM?
Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters
p.s. Big thanks to Darin Berntson, Ryan Shaw, Scott Duehlmeier, Sara Brueck Nichols, Rachel Donner, Jake Matthews, Leo Dirr, JR Farr, Erica VanAmen Brown, Ryan Snethen, gigi thorsen, and seattlebiker for giving your input. If you’re not following them on Twitter already you should give ’em a try.