As a business owner, are you really aware of your reputation online and what people are saying about you and you company? Do you know what Online Reputation Management (ORM) is? Online, people talk to each other about nearly every company they have had an experience with, and this news (word of mouth) can have a positive or negative impact on your business. Do you know what your employees, clients, and even your competition are saying about you online?

Thanks to the internet covering all the corners of the world, information travels at the speed of light. To find out what your clients and prospects know about you, you need to find out all the relevant information that exists about your online. Finding out what is being said about you is the first step in determining how others are talking about you online and how word of mouth marketing is affecting your business.

People spend time researching online

People are relying on the internet to help them make purchasing decisions. While a very large majority makes actual purchases offline, people will spend time online reviewing and researching what is being said about a specific product to determine whether they should or shouldn’t buy.

With the explosion of Web 2.0 and consumer generated content it means that information posted by normal users can appear on the search engine result pages (SERP’s) in a couple of hours, even minutes. As a business owner, it is important that you spend time actively tracking what is being said about your products or services online, especially if it is negative. When you know what is being said, you can join in on the conversation and take the necessary steps to either combat untrue information that your clients are reading or correct internal issues.

The value of a good online reputation

As a business owner, you most likely know the value of having a good reputation. The same counts for your online reputation. A good reputation means that your clients and potential prospects trust you and they have confidence in your services or products. A good reputation can help so that people come back to you to make future purchases. This can directly translate into increased profitability and revenue growth, which is a major goal of every business.

A poor business reputation leads to falling customer confidence and a reduce in profits. It is vital that you research all the information about you online because harmful gossip, false information, and negative reviews spreads more quickly than you realize. When you hear about negative comments or reviews about you online, it might be too late to fix the problem.

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