I’m sure a number of people think that Online Reputation Management is some automated process that you choose a bunch of keywords for and some software or tool will spit out a list of all positive and negative mentions in a nicely formatted Excel document for you to deal with. This is definitely not the case! Online Reputation Management takes time and patience to get right.
With over 21 billion web pages on the Internet (That can’t be completely accurate, but hey, its something to work off!) it is impossible to track every single mention of your brand online. It’s about trying to get an accurate spread of mentions which is the trick to getting ORM right. Tweaking keywords, tracking trends in terms of how people are spelling your brand or in what context they seem to mention your brand are all things you will need to do to keep that spread of mentions as relevant as possible.
So where does all the hard work come in?
Sorting, responding and following up! First you going to have to go through each and every mention found for the keywords you have entered. For some of the brands I’m working with, this can range anywhere from 200 to 2000 mentions a day! Once you have gotten rid of all the irrelevant mentions, you now need to deal with the relevant mentions. This can be commenting on the blog post, responding on Twitter or just adding the article to a report you are going to need to compile on a weekly / monthly basis.
Once you have responded online, you need to make sure you follow up on the conversation. Did the person want help for an issue they were having? Where they asking a question about your company? Did they praise you? All of these situations need to be dealt with! Sometimes a conversation on a blog can span a couple of days – which is all time in which new mentions are coming in and you are having to deal with these too. The cycle never ends!
It isn’t all doom and gloom though. As time passes, some of the tools you use will be able to better automate the sorting of relevant mentions as you teach it, but the hard work of responding and following up is never going go away!