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Online Reputation Management

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reputation-managementWhat is Online Reputation Management? (ORM)

Online reputation management involves monitoring what people are saying about you and/or your brand online and then managing the positive or negative discussions to maintain or enhance your online reputation.

What if someone was saying something positive about your company? Conversely, what if a customer was publicly complaining about some poor service they received? Both situations seem like great opportunities to get involved in the active conversation to either thank the person/people for their kindness (and maybe offer a gift such as a discount on future busines) or address the complaint immediately which shows a level of caring relatively unheard of in today’s hyper-connected world.

If you would like to discuss with us how reputation management can work for you and your business please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no-obligation discussion or read the following real life examples of how reputation management is so effective.

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Examples of Successful Online Reputation Management

Below are two real-world examples of how reputation management was used to manage two situations; one positive, and one negative. Choose from one of the examples below or continue reading to view them all.

Maximizing Positive Press with Social Media – OR – Managing Negative Commentary on Social Media

Overstock Enhances a Positive Situation Using Twitter

Twitter.com Logo

This example is based on a very popular social media property called Twitter where users post any comments they want for the public to see but with only 140 characters of text at their disposal per post (aka. Tweet); go to www.Twitter.com for a more detailed explanation.

In the following scenario a customer of Overstock.com Tweeted a compliment about the company’s customer service:

A Compliment for Overstock.com from a Twitter UserNice compliment right? Well it may have ended there, however, Overstock.com is monitoring Twitter and has a huge following of people who monitor it’s Twitter feed. As a result, the company smartly re-tweeted (aka RT or re-posted) the compliment to its readers.

Overstock at Twitter re-tweets the compliment

Now that Overstock has passed this complimentary tweet along to its readers it ignites a showering of love for the company from other happy customers who AGAIN re-tweet the compliment originally posted by Irinai.

Overstock gets multiple re-tweetsEvery one of those Twitter users has their own set of followers that were made aware of this complimentary information about Overstock. The total followers for all six Twitter users is approximately 7700. That is 7700 potential customers of Overstock.com that way have seen the flattering post about Overstock’s great customer service. You might wonder… how long did it take for Overstock.com to re-tweet that positive feedback? It is reasonable to assume that it took less than 1 minute to become aware of the positive press including the time to  re-tweet it (re-post) to Overstock’s own set of followers. This is just one example of a day-to-day positive use of social media to build online reputation and drive business.

Dell Saw the Dark Side of Social Media – But Learned Their Lesson

The Dell LogoPrior to July 21, 2005 Dell had built a stellar reputation for world class support and quality computer systems. Unfortunately in 2004 Dell decided to slash costs by outsourcing its previously spotless support system to an Indian firm which dramatically decreased the company’s customer satisfaction. The resulting downturn in customer support contributed to a single post by a popular blogger by the name of Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine.com. The post said:

“I just got a new Dell laptop and paid a fortune for the four-year, in-home service… The machine is a lemon and the service is a lie… DELL SUCKS. DELL LIES. Put that in your Google and smoke it, Dell.” 

The fallout from that single post from a mere blogger was massive. Other wronged Dell users came out of the woodwork to post their own horror stories and Dell’s reputation quickly went down the drain. Instead of dealing with the issue publicly and taking responsibility for the issues that its customers were facing Dell withdrew and gave no official response. It took one year of reputational tailspin for Dell to finally realize that it needed to face this issue head on and win back its reputation. Dell began by launching Direct2Dell.com with great fanfare to prove to its dissillusioned customers that it does care about their satisfaction. Since then it has launched its own YouTube channel called StudioDell and launched its own social network called IdeaStorm.com designed to accept ideas from Joe Public for improving Dell’s products and services; both networks have been massively successful. Dell has even created a great goodwill online competition called the “Dell Social Innovation Competition” which provides funding to the best social solution designed to change the world.

The Dell Ideastorm LogoSo what has Dell learned from their customer satisfaction debacle? Transparency is key to online success in today’s extremely social environments. By creating platforms that invited criticism Dell was given a fantastic environment to show their customers that they care. Take IdeaStorm for example, that website isn’t just a clever corporate facade for people to post their suggestions into dead space. No, Dell has provided clear evidence that recommendations from its users are being incorporated into future designs of its systems.

Which brings us to the last lesson that everyone must keep in mind when considering a social media strategy; take ownership for the path that you choose. Dell didn’t just create these websites on a whim, they committed resources to them and ensured they were effective. That is really what has helped the company gain back a large segment of its positive pre-2004 reputation.

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