If you have ever had a bad day at work, you are probably familiar with how important reputation management can be in the 21st century. One phrase sent incorrectly on Twitter, Facebook, or in your company blog can boomerang back to you in a negative way, hurting your firm’s reputation until it is fixed.
Or that is at least how the story goes for companies that want to persuade you to purchase their online reputation management services. Their businesses are strong at identifying communication problems, correcting them, and then signaling when it is okay to move forward again.
Is ORM Worth it?
So is that a scam? Or is it a type of service that most companies can’t do without? One way of looking at it is to take someone that you grew up with who is controversial and watch their Facebook and Twitter feed. How often do they get into situations where they have to do damage control? If you port that type of number into what your potential reputation partners are offering, you can get a clearer idea of whether or not even your most irascible employees will be helped by a reputation management service. It should also help you to see what the return on investment might be.
And if you don’t need it?
Some companies that are fundamentally sound and have the time for their managers to go online may prefer to avoid using a reputation management firm because they can avoid making mistakes and can find errors to change right away. Consider what happens when someone makes a negative Facebook post accidentally. In the old days, deleting it and then apologizing would be the norm. Today, you can also edit it so that it looks like it was supposed to quite easily. One the other hand, there aren’t too many managers that are equipped to handle very negative feedback from customers on public sites. They may be strong at deflecting the comments, but they will not likely know how to move the comments themselves down in the search rankings that can be an important reference source for your business.
What to look for in a reputation management firm?
So if your growing business is exposed to potential negative comments from customers that may either be unhappy or are making a point for someone else by creating a negative environment for your firm, it is a good idea to look around at potential reputation management partners.
One of the best ways to see if the company that you wish to partner with is going to meet your business needs is to look at how much it will cost you to use their services. In the reputation management field, it used to be the case that companies would create a subscription model like an anti-virus software company and charge everyone monthly, regardless of how much they used the actual service. Today, there are companies like BrightPast that will sign you up and then not charge you at all until you actually have a problem that they solve for you.
With BrightPast, a typical type of problem that we might solve would be an extremely negative review that hurts your company’s reputation. If you’re a client, we’ll create a solution that moves the offending information way down the search rankings so that your customers do not actually see them. It is only at that time that we will start to bill you. You can then work with us to put up new Internet material to create an even more positive presence for your company.
Leveraging experience creatively when changing the buzz surrounding a company online is a another strength that allows BrightPast to outcompete many other reputation management firms online.
So when you build your list of requirements for your online reputation management partner, keeping price, return on investment, and creativity near the top of your priorities should help you find a flexible partner that will perform for you when you need them.