Online reputation management matters in our digital world

21st July 2022

Every brand has an online reputation, and a quick Google search may reveal more about your business than you’d like.  

Digital accessibility has made it easy for potential customers to find out more about a brand online. This is why your brand’s online reputation matters. 

What is online brand reputation management? 

Online reputation management is also known as ORM. It’s the process of monitoring and managing the public perception of your brand by taking control of online conversations.  

You can do this in a variety of ways, from encouraging positive reviews to dealing professionally with negative feedback. Your brand’s reputation is not just manageable, but it’s also malleable and now your customers can do more than search for information, they can add to it.  

Online reputation management strategies 

Business owners are becoming increasingly aware that their brand is almost entirely shaped by the consumer. The best marketing and PR agencies understand that it’s not only important to include the consumer but to work with them to cultivate a positive brand image. 

Online brand reputation management can help you deal with negative search results and strengthen a positive reputation for your brand. ORM can also modify the way you appear in search results. 

This is what the strongest brand management strategies do best.  

Brand audit  

The first step to boosting your reputation online should always be to conduct a brand audit. This involves conducting online research to help understand how your brand is perceived.  

This will help you:  

  • understand brand performance  
  • perform SWOT and PEST analyses  
  • discover and manage any negative content 
  • determine your competitive advantage 
  • improve customer experience 
  • create your ORM framework

Search engine optimisation  

ORM involves using tools to actively monitor your brand mentions, attempting to eliminate as much online criticism as possible. It broadly falls under the influence of search engine optimisation (SEO). 

SEO attempts to build a strong portfolio of optimised content to increase the visibility of your brand on search results. Optimising your online content so that it appears on the first page of results is now a crucial requirement, 75% of searchers won’t look past the first page of Google search engine results for any queries. 

Respond to online reviews  

More customers than ever before are relying on online reviews, as a form of third-party endorsement, to help them make purchase decisions.  

While it’s always great to receive positive customer feedback, negative reviews are an inevitable part of online visibility. 

It’s always easy to become defensive but it’s always best practice to answer a negative comment quickly and professionally.  93% of customers read online reviews, and 89% of consumers read company responses to reviews. 

Being seen as being responsive and proactive in the face of criticism is an excellent way of building endearment and loyalty towards your brand.   

Monitoring social media  

Social media marketing is an essential part of ORM strategy.  

Social media channels and PR are based on communication and engagement. This is why they are so effective when used together. As social media presence grows, so does the opportunity to cultivate a persona that will satisfy target markets.  

There are plenty of opportunities for online reputation management on social media. Simply cultivating social media interactions, and being present and visible, will allow you to create and grow your online visibility. 

Leverage PR  

ORM and public relations go hand in hand. While traditional media is still very much a part of Public Relations, PR’s remit very much covers online reputations.   

Using a combination of methods, not dissimilar to digital marketing, PR utilises online platforms to manage your online reputation. Services include content marketing to improve ranking in search results, SEO, influencer marketing and crisis management. 

PR’s central focus is the strategic planning of communications.  Be it through media relations, social media and digital platforms, a strategic approach to PR can help develop better relationships and do more to protect your brand reputation online. 

Monitor mentions  

Brand monitoring is an incredibly effective way to manage your business online. By setting up alerts for your brand name, and related keywords, you can monitor any mentions as they happen. 

Knowing where and how your brand is being mentioned online, allows you to react quickly and be responsive on social media, review sites, blog posts and forums. 

The faster you can contain and respond to online negativity, the better. It’s perceived as more professional and more caring.  But it isn’t all negative, monitoring brand mentions will also help you share and promote any positive content that might come through from third parties. 

Get started with ORM 

Online reputation management is constantly evolving as digital channels grow and change. To ensure business success, your online reputation must be cultivated, maintained and monitored constantly. 

Tools of the trade  

Executing your online brand reputation management strategy is far more straightforward when you have a host of tools to help.  

Google Alerts, Buzzsumo, Brand Watch, Meltwater and Semrush are some of the tools used by ORM professionals for maximum results. Like any tools, of any trade, they are most effective when in the hands of an expert.  

Online reputation management is constantly evolving as digital channels grow and change. To ensure business success, your online reputation has to be cultivated, maintained and monitored constantly. 





AMBITIOUS by name and by nature, we are a PR led communications agency that delivers integrated strategic communications - online, offline and everywhere in-between. Proud to be crowned winners of The Drum Magazine's RAR Best PR Agency of the Year.

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