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The Owner, The Marketer & The Website Design Guy

Have you ever had a disgruntled employee, a dirty business competitor or a client you simply couldn’t make happy?  If so, then chances are you could have something negative about you or your business on the internet.  All it takes is one post, one bad review, one star to turn your business south.

Any person with a business should be paying attention to their digital PR.  Whether you have an ecommerce website, a brick and mortar store, or you provide professional services, you should take your online reputation seriously.  Even if you don’t have any other internet presence or website out there – you should be aware of what people are saying about you online.  Online reviews and ratings are changing business as we know it.

If you want to expand your existing business you need good digital PR.  If you are trying to broaden your market share, open additional offices, or even go international you need good digital PR.  What people think of you and your company is critical to business development today more than ever.  So I think it is safe to say that the short answer to the question “who should be worried about ORM?” is simple – every business owner.

The Marketer

If your job is to market and sell your products or services, then your company’s online reputation should be in the top three things you are paying attention to.  There are over 60 common internet listing sites, most of which allow for reviews and ratings.  Many of them share reviews across sites, meaning one bad review can be in multiple places.  For example, if you don’t have many reviews on Google+ they will pull listings from Kudzu.com, YellowBot.com and SwitchBoard.com.  Then there are social media sites like FaceBook, Instagram, LinkedIn and many, many more.  You need to be monitoring and nurturing your online reputation to make sure one bad apple doesn’t ruin the bunch.

There is a bright, shiny spot to all of this.  Once you know what’s out there and you have your marketing plan in place, you can actually make money off of your good reputation.  You can add your stars and ratings to your advertising pieces and you can drive people to your listings so they can read your reviews.  By taking control you can drive traffic to your website and physical locations by utilizing the listings that are out there for free right now.  So don’t be afraid of online reputation management, grab it and let it make money instead of take money.

The Website Design Guy

While reputation management seems like the responsibility of the owner and sales people at a company, it is just as important to your website designer.  Setting up your social profiles and business listings correctly can help drive traffic to your site and get you listed in the local search results.  Profiles that are set up right can put stars next to your name and exponentially increase the number of places on the web that prospective clients can find you.  As a website designer, it’s important to make your content shareable on social media sites because it can affect your search rankings.  Integrating social media, online reviews, and other business listings to your own website can help fight any negative impressions that might be out there and, done correctly, can turn into cash.

So who should be worried about ORM – you should.  Whether you are the owner, marketer or website designer ORM is important.  Because of the many faces and tentacles of digital PR it can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  With a good game plan and awareness you can and should take control of your online reputation today.  For more information or help getting started contact us today.

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