We know, the world of digital marketing is peppered with acronyms. SEO, CRM, PPC, PR – and ORM. ORM stands for “online reputation management” and while it seems to fit under search engine optimization or public relations, it’s actually a very specific field with its own importance and special strategies.
Online reputation management focuses on a company’s online image, as opposed to where it ranks in a web search. For example, ORM is concerned with the reviews that people are leaving on company products on Amazon.com or other retailers. ORM wants to know if your company has been included as part of a list of scammers. ORM looks into where your company ranks for local best businesses, on environmental rankings site, on charity ranking sites, and more. What is the general impression of your company on the internet? Are reviews of your products favorable? Are there negative rumors circulating? Is there any bad news? When people comment on your Facebook posts and new articles related to your comment, what are they saying? What are people tweeting about you?
How much ORM you need to invest in depends on your company or on your product. If something terrible about you appears in the news – think United Airlines appearing in the news for mistreating passengers – then ORM is something to rapidly increase investment in, at least temporarily. If you deal with a controversial product, like firearms or tobacco, ORM will probably be more important to you and cost more money than for a company selling homemade jewelry.
ORM is more important than ever, as almost every consumer has internet access and consumers are more well-informed than ever. It’s really easy to compare companies and products – and customers take advantage of it. The online reputation of your company will make a quick decision for a customer when deciding to purchase your product or the product of a competitor. Depending on your business model and where consumers hear about your company or buy your products, it might be a key component of your public relations strategy.