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In the last couple of years online marketers have realised the benefits and power of social media marketing. While social media is an excellent medium to build brand authority and reputation, it is vital to maintain your business reputation online. Online reputation management (ORM) has become necessary in all online marketing activity as social media is all about interacting with targeted audiences.

In many ways online reputation management is an ever on going process. Businesses that are aiming to satisfy customers are usually vigilant and responsive at all times. People that are dissatisfied usually raise their opinions on their favourite social media channels and subsequent satisfaction is based around how thoroughly and quickly brands address their issues online.

Brands must maintain their company focus

It is important that brands maintain their company focus and voice on the people who have expressed legitimate dissatisfaction online.

Everyday new social media channels are launched and brands may find that their attention and time is spread across multiple social mediaplatforms. Although Twitter and Facebook are the most common platforms for businesses to engage directly with their customers in an online public space, there are many specialised platforms such as Hellopeter.com that customers can use to voice their concerns.

It is important that brands are aware of the impact that these voices can carry and what they can do to compensate. A brand’s ability to address issues is dependant on them knowing that they do exist. Online marketers can find a range of services online to help them keep track of conversations involving the brands they are dealing with. If you are using Twitter, this feature is already built into the platform via the trend search. For wider channels such as blogs, Technorati, Google search, and a couple of other blog aggregators can provide you with this information.

Online reputation management and social media

Online reputation management is not just limited to social media alone. Online marketers often use various search engine optimization techniques to minimize the impact of detrimental content. If a dissatisfied customer writes a blog post focusing only on the negative aspects of your service and this post receives attention from a credible source, this negative post and all the comments could work its way up to the first page of the SERP’s (search engine result pages).

It might be that these negative claims are really unwarranted, but at the end of the day, if you just leave them hanging in the cloud, it could inflict permanent damage to your brand. It is really in the best interest of online marketers to limit exposure of the content.  They can do this by harnessing their reach online and distributing positive content that ranks higher than the negative content, pushing them down to ensure that it doesn’t reappear. Usually in these cases, social media profiles are useful. When searching for a brand name, in most cases the top 10 results on the search engines will be populated by the brand’s social media profiles.