Interview with Rich Gorman on Online Business Reputation

The bread and butter of any online marketer is the reputation of their brand or company online, and Reputation Changing Expert Rich Gorman knows this better than anyone. When promoting yourself as an individual, your brand, your company, or your product, online reputation is one of the most important factors influencing sales. Studies have shown that consumers rely heavily on online reviews when deciding what products to purchase and what companies to do business with.

IMG_6801So in the age of social media where good and bad reviews can quickly spread like wildfire through thousands of online followers, what are some ways a company can protect and monitor their online reputation?

Rich Gorman is a seasoned blogger and expert in helping companies to monitor and manage their online reputation. He is a strong believer that every individual and company should have a say in how they are portrayed online. If you are a brand manager or business owner, you have more than likely encountered your fair share of negative reviews online. This is frustrating especially when the sources vary from a customer having a bad day, to a competitor, to a disgruntled former employee. Rather than being discouraged by negative press, Gorman shares several tips on how to counteract these reviews by creating and sharing positive content that reminds consumers why they should choose your brand.

Active Monitoring of Online Press

The first and most important part of changing your online reputation is being aware of exactly what is out there regarding your company. There are many tools and professional services available to help notify you when you are mentioned online. This can be beneficial for several reasons. First, if you do encounter negative reviews you can respond quickly by counteracting with positive marketing messages. And second, you can reward customers sharing positive reviews by responding to their comments. It is surprising how much people appreciate getting feedback from a company. Simply “liking” their post or replying with a polite “thank you” goes a long way in encouraging a connection with your brand which can result in future online engagement and sharing.

Promote Positive Brand Awareness

Some of the more old school tactics in online reputation management involved trying to push negative press down in the Google search results to get it off the front page. Online reputation experts, like Gorman, may include this part of their strategy but there are several new and more effective techniques included in the overall plan. One of the best techniques to fight back against negative reviews is to establish a strong online presence including being an active member of the popular social media communities like Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Focus on the uniqueness of your brand and the reasons why consumers love your product. Use this to create positive marketing campaigns that will eventually outrank the negative reviews.

Be Creative in Marketing, Don’t Just Broadcast your Message

It has been shown that consumers respond more favorably to advertising that doesn’t “tell” them what to think about a particular brand. Be creative in your marketing and rather than just broadcasting what makes your product great, encourage your consumers to help tell the story for you. Social Media provides plentiful opportunities for free advertising since users are currently generating more content than the mass media. Word-of-mouth advertising from a trusted source has always been an effective form of advertising leading to sales. Interact with your customers online and encourage them to help promote your brand to their circle of influence. This is a great way to brand your company and help develop a strong online reputation.

The bottom line is positive reviews can help to dramatically increase sales. Managing your online reputation and creating the impression that your brand, product, or service is desirable to consumers is important to strengthen your brand’s awareness. The key is to encourage consumers to engage with your brand online. Positive online reviews are a great way to retain existing customers and also generate new business. Gorman says, “It is important to establish your brand as a brand of choice in the mind of your consumers. Just as positive reviews can increase sales, negative reviews can also break a business. Online reputation management is important to actively control the way your company is presented online”.  Special thanks to Rich Gorman for the interview.