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Brand Management

What is Online Reputation Management: Guide | SendPulse

What Is Online Reputation Management


What is online reputation management? Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of monitoring, influencing, and maintaining your brand’s reputation across the digital landscape. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Monitoring: Keeping an eye on what people are saying about your brand online.
  • Influencing: Engaging with your audience to shape positive perceptions.
  • Maintaining: Ensuring that your brand’s image remains favorable over time.

Your business’s reputation is more fragile and visible than ever before. Social media, review sites, and blogs can amplify both positive and negative feedback. A single negative comment can significantly impact how potential customers view your brand.

Understanding what is online reputation management and its importance is crucial for any business. As the saying goes, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” The right ORM strategy helps you manage your digital footprint effectively, build trust with your audience, and enhance your business’s credibility.

Infographic Of Online Reputation Management Process - What Is Online Reputation Management Infographic Infographic-Line-5-Steps

I’m Dylan J. Cleppe, and I have experience in customer service and running businesses. My expertise in what is online reputation management can help guide you through the essentials of maintaining a stellar online presence. Let’s dive deeper into understanding the pillars of ORM.

Understanding Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is all about controlling and improving how your business is perceived online. Imagine it as your digital public relations strategy. It involves monitoring online mentions, responding to comments, and creating positive content to shape your brand’s image.


Online Reputation Management refers to the practice of monitoring and influencing how your business appears online. This includes everything from social media and review sites to forums and search engine results. The goal is to create a positive perception and handle any negative feedback effectively.


ORM has evolved significantly over the years. In the past, businesses relied on traditional PR methods to manage their reputation. But with the rise of digital platforms, the landscape has changed. Now, anyone can post a review or comment about your brand, and it can spread like wildfire.

In the early 2000s, ORM was mainly about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Businesses focused on pushing negative content down in search results. Today, it’s more comprehensive. It involves real-time monitoring, social media engagement, and proactive reputation building.

Digital Platforms

Multiple digital platforms play a crucial role in ORM:

  • Social Media: Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are where people share their experiences and opinions. Monitoring these platforms helps you stay on top of what people are saying about your brand.

  • Review Sites: Websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business are critical for ORM. Positive reviews can boost your reputation, while negative ones need immediate attention.

  • Forums and Online Communities: Places like Reddit and specialized forums can influence public opinion about your brand. Engaging in these communities can help you manage your reputation effectively.

  • Search Engines: Google and Bing are the gateways to your online presence. Ensuring that positive content ranks higher can help manage your reputation.

Real-World Example

Consider the case of a small restaurant that received a negative review on Yelp. The owner quickly responded, apologized, and invited the customer back for a free meal. The customer updated their review to a positive one, and the restaurant’s reputation improved.

Key Takeaways

  • Monitor all digital platforms where your brand is mentioned.
  • Respond promptly to both positive and negative feedback.
  • Create positive content to build a strong online presence.

Understanding what is online reputation management is essential for any business in today’s digital age. By actively managing your online reputation, you can build trust, credibility, and ultimately, boost your business’s success.

Online Reputation Management - What Is Online Reputation Management

Key Components of ORM

Online Reputation Management (ORM) isn’t just about knowing what is online reputation management; it’s about mastering its key components. Here’s a breakdown:


Monitoring is the backbone of ORM. It involves keeping a close eye on all digital platforms where your brand is mentioned. This includes social media, review sites, forums, and even news articles.

  • Tools like Sprout Social can consolidate mentions from various platforms into one dashboard, making it easier to track and respond.
  • Google Alerts can notify you whenever your brand is mentioned online.

By monitoring these channels, you can quickly respond to feedback and manage your brand’s reputation effectively.


Once you know what’s being said, the next step is influencing the conversation. This means actively engaging with your audience to shape their perception of your brand.

  • Respond to reviews and comments: Acknowledge positive feedback and address negative comments professionally.
  • Create engaging content: Share behind-the-scenes looks, customer testimonials, and industry insights to build a positive image.

Example: If your product’s quality is frequently praised, highlight this in your marketing materials to reinforce that positive perception.


Continuous improvement is crucial for maintaining a good reputation. Use the feedback you gather to make meaningful changes to your products or services.

  • Analyze customer feedback to identify common issues or areas for improvement.
  • Implement changes based on this feedback and communicate these improvements to your audience.

Search Results

Your brand’s presence in search results is a critical aspect of ORM. Optimizing your online content to rank higher in search engines can help you control the narrative.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Ensure your website and content are optimized for relevant keywords. This can help push positive content higher in search results.
  • Content creation: Publish blog posts, articles, and press releases that highlight your brand’s strengths and achievements.

Social Media

Social media platforms are where most conversations about your brand happen. Managing your presence here is essential.

  • Regular updates: Post consistently to keep your audience engaged.
  • Engage with followers: Respond to comments, share user-generated content, and participate in relevant discussions.

Tip: Use social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite to keep track of all interactions in one place.

Review Sites

Review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business can significantly impact your reputation. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and address negative ones promptly.

  • Encourage reviews: Ask happy customers to share their experiences online.
  • Respond to reviews: Thank customers for positive reviews and address any issues mentioned in negative ones.

Statistic: According to research, 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, making this a critical area to manage.

By focusing on these key components, you can effectively manage your online reputation and build a positive image that attracts and retains customers.

Next, we’ll dive into why ORM is crucial for businesses and how it can boost your success.

Why ORM is Crucial for Businesses

Trust Building

Trust is everything. When potential customers see positive reviews and testimonials, they are more likely to trust your brand. A strong online reputation shows that your business is reliable and cares about its customers.

Statistic: Research shows that 94% of first impressions are design-related. This means that the look and feel of your website can either build trust or drive visitors away.


A positive online reputation also builds credibility. When your business has good reviews and high ratings, it shows that you are a reputable company. This makes it easier for customers to choose your product or service over competitors.

Quote: “A good reputation is more valuable than money.” – Publilius Syrus

Sales Boost

A positive online reputation can significantly boost your sales. Consumers are more likely to buy from businesses that have high ratings and positive reviews. This can lead to increased revenue and growth for your business.

Case Study: The story of Bennett Tea shows how a well-managed online reputation can lead to increased sales and brand recognition.

First Impressions

First impressions are critical in the online world. When potential customers search for your brand, the first thing they see is your online presence. A positive first impression can make the difference between gaining a new customer or losing one to a competitor.

Fact: According to the 2023 Sprout Social Index™ Report, 69% of consumers expect a response from a brand within the same day. Quick responses to customer reviews and comments can help create a positive first impression.

By focusing on building trust, credibility, boosting sales, and making a great first impression, you can see why ORM is crucial for any business aiming to succeed in today’s digital landscape.

Next, we’ll explore strategies for effective ORM and how to implement them in your business.

Strategies for Effective ORM

Effective Online Reputation Management (ORM) requires a strategic approach. Here’s how to get started:

Analyze Your Online Presence

Begin with a thorough audit of your online presence. This involves:

  1. Searching Your Brand Name: Use an incognito browser window to see what comes up when you search your brand name on Google. Look at the first page of results.
  2. Reviewing Your Google Business Profile: Check ratings, reviews, comments, and images.
  3. Exploring Social Media Platforms: Look for mentions and discussions about your brand.
  4. Checking Review Sites: Sites like Trustpilot, Yelp, and TripAdvisor are key sources of customer feedback.

This audit will give you a snapshot of how your brand is perceived online.

Develop a Comprehensive ORM Strategy

Once you know where you stand, it’s time to develop a strategy. Here’s how:

  1. Prioritize Tactics and Tasks: Use tools like the Impact Matrix to decide which ORM tactics to implement first. Focus on high-impact, urgent issues.
  2. Set Guidelines and Tone of Voice: Define how your team should communicate online. For example, Ben & Jerry’s uses a playful tone but switches to a serious tone when discussing social values.
  3. Create a Crisis Management Plan: Outline how to handle unexpected issues. This includes designating team members to respond and drafting response templates.

Monitor Brand Mentions and Feedback

Keeping tabs on what people say about your brand is crucial:

  1. Google Alerts: Set up alerts for your brand name and common misspellings to get notified of new mentions.
  2. Social Media Monitoring: Use tools like Sprout Social to consolidate mentions from various platforms.
  3. Review Sites: Regularly check sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business for new reviews.

Quick responses to mentions can prevent small issues from escalating.

Engage in Proactive Reputation Building

Build a positive online presence by:

  1. Creating Valuable Content: Publish blog posts, videos, and social media updates that address customer questions and concerns.
  2. Encouraging Positive Reviews: Ask satisfied customers to leave reviews on Google and other platforms.
  3. Engaging with Customers: Respond to comments and messages promptly. Show that you care about customer feedback.

Handle Negative Feedback Wisely

Negative feedback is inevitable, but handling it well can turn it into an opportunity:

  1. Response Strategy: Always respond to negative comments professionally and promptly. Acknowledge the issue and offer a solution.
  2. Crisis Management: Use tools like Brand Monitoring to quickly detect and address potential crises.
  3. Resolution: Aim to resolve issues to the customer’s satisfaction. This can turn a negative experience into a positive one.

By following these strategies, you can effectively manage your online reputation and build a strong, positive brand presence.

Next, we’ll explore how leveraging ORM can drive business growth.

Leveraging ORM for Business Growth

Online Reputation Management (ORM) isn’t just about avoiding bad reviews. Done right, it can drive significant business growth. Let’s dive into how ORM can boost your SEO, build customer trust, and establish brand authority.

SEO Optimization

Think of ORM as a turbo boost for your SEO. When your brand has a positive online reputation, search engines like Google take notice. High ratings and positive reviews can improve your search rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find you.

Consider this: the first page of Google captures up to 92% of search traffic clicks. That’s a huge audience you could be missing out on if your reputation isn’t up to par.

Tips for SEO Optimization:

  • Encourage Positive Reviews: Higher ratings can improve your search visibility.
  • Optimize Your Google My Business Profile: Ensure your profile is complete and regularly updated.
  • Use Relevant Keywords: Make sure your positive reviews and content include keywords that people use to search for your services.

Customer Trust

Trust is the backbone of any successful business. When customers see that you handle feedback—both positive and negative—professionally, it builds trust.

A study from GWI found that 43% of consumers turn to social networks for brand information. This means your social media interactions are crucial in building trust.

How to Build Customer Trust:

  • Respond Promptly: Address comments and reviews quickly.
  • Be Transparent: Admit mistakes and explain how you’re fixing them.
  • Engage: Ask questions, run polls, and participate in conversations to increase engagement.

Brand Authority

Being seen as a leader in your industry can set you apart from competitors. Positive media coverage and influencer endorsements can significantly boost your brand’s authority.

For example, Dave & Buster’s teamed up with TikTok influencer @CorporateNatalie to reach a new audience. This partnership helped reshape their brand perception and expand their target market.

Ways to Build Brand Authority:

  • Get Media Coverage: Positive articles and news stories can amplify your brand’s reach.
  • Leverage Influencers: Collaborate with influencers who align with your brand values.
  • Create Valuable Content: Share insights and expertise to position your brand as an industry leader.

By leveraging ORM, you can enhance your SEO, build customer trust, and establish strong brand authority. This, in turn, drives business growth and sets you up for long-term success.

Frequently Asked Questions about ORM

What is the impact of ORM on a business?

Online Reputation Management (ORM) can significantly influence a business’s success. A positive online reputation builds trust and credibility among customers, which in turn can boost sales. Conversely, negative reviews and comments can harm your brand’s image and deter potential customers. For example, a single negative review on Yelp or TripAdvisor can sway public opinion and impact your revenue.

How can businesses monitor their online reputation?

To monitor your online reputation effectively, you should:

  • Set up Google Alerts for your brand name and key products.
  • Use social media monitoring tools like Mention, BrandWatch, or Sprout Social to track mentions and comments.
  • Regularly check review sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.
  • Engage in social listening to understand the broader conversation around your brand and industry.

What are the first steps in developing an ORM strategy?

Starting with ORM involves a few critical steps:

  1. Audit Your Online Presence: Use tools to find out what people are saying about your brand across various platforms.
  2. Prioritize Issues and Tasks: Use an Impact Matrix to decide which mentions to address first.
  3. Develop a Response Strategy: Create guidelines for responding to both positive and negative feedback.
  4. Monitor Regularly: Keep an eye on your brand mentions and feedback to stay ahead of potential issues.

By following these steps, you can build a robust ORM strategy that protects and enhances your brand’s online reputation.


At OneStop Northwest, we understand that online reputation management (ORM) is more than just responding to reviews—it’s about building and maintaining a positive digital presence. Our comprehensive approach ensures that every aspect of your brand’s online image is monitored, managed, and enhanced.

We use advanced tools and proven strategies to keep track of what people are saying about your brand across various platforms. From social media monitoring to handling reviews on multiple sites, we help you stay ahead of the conversation. Our team prioritizes issues, develops response strategies, and continuously monitors your brand mentions to prevent potential problems before they escalate.

By partnering with us, you’re not just getting a service; you’re getting a dedicated team committed to your business success. Our goal is to help you build trust, enhance credibility, and ultimately boost sales by creating a positive first impression.

Take control of your online narrative with OneStop Northwest. Learn more about our reputation management services and see how we can help your business shine online.

By following these steps, you can build a robust ORM strategy that protects and enhances your brand’s online reputation.