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Online Reputation Management's Top 3 Challenges

by Monica Giffhorn  |  
January 20, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Ways to overcome the Top 3 Online Reputation Management (ORM) challenges
  • Why ORM should be a pivotal part of your communications strategy

Online reputation management (ORM) has become the hot term emerging in digital marketing. But, like the ever-evolving areas of social media and crowdsourcing, few marketers know exactly how to use it to their advantage.

A central challenge of most organizations is that they need skilled marketing people who can read and understand the data resulting from online monitoring, as well as subsequently craft well-thought-out strategies to build business. In other words, although a company intern who spends 10 hours a day on Facebook and has been blogging since the age of 12 may feel the most comfortable online, that intern will not have the business acumen to develop and carry out a long-term, in-depth ORM strategy.

Organizations that understand that ORM is an essential part of a new integrated communications model will assign the task to someone who grasps the larger communication strategy. Such proficiency is, as in most cases, learned. No one knows how to create an effective print campaign, for instance, without listening to a mentor, reviewing case studies, analyzing data, and learning nuances through trial and error. So, moving ORM responsibility down the lower rungs of the employee ladder is not the answer.

In addition, companies face three major difficulties when trying to monitor and guide brands' online reputations.

1. There is no standard for measuring social media or online reputation

It's as if we were in the early days of the Internet, trying to measure visitors, hits, and actions. And there are still, to this day, discrepancies between the three major online-audience measurement services. No wonder that, when trying to measure "engagement" and "pass-along value," organizations are really at a loss.

At this early point in the measurement of social media, it is important to choose a trusted technology and stick with it long enough to see trending data. Foremost, measure where and how your strategies are working, and where they can be improved. Also, drill down into the aggregate data to find the one-on-one content that will provide you with hidden gems of information.

2. Many companies cannot decide where the responsibility for ORM should reside

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Monica Giffhorn is the digital director at Kinetics Marketing & Communications.

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  • by shou Thu Jan 20, 2011 via web

    Great idea!
    " The Internet is starting to feel like one world-wide high school cafeteria....the worst option—in business as in high school—is not showing up."
    Thank you!

  • by Peter Tennis Tue Jan 25, 2011 via web

    Here is some support for the idea that showing up is better than not (though I'm not sure that showing up and looking bad is better than not showing up).

    HR Examiner has been running Top 25 lists of digital leadership using Traackr, and in a recent post about top online influencers (, found three things:

    1. "Established authors and thinkers are losing ground to newer voices."
    2. "Older and more established voices need to learn new communications channels in order to stay relevant."
    3. "There is a Shift in The Importance of Breadth versus Depth"

    And point #3 might be where it's at. Suggesting that quantity may outweigh quality, thanks to the way indexing works.

    Lesson, if there is one: Don't just show up; show up a lot and everywhere you can that your audience might be.

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