“KFC serves the worst burgers ever!” -Drake
“I cannot even tell you how bad has my experience at the Juice Salon.” -Emily
These might seem just normal customer opinions which every brand faces at one juncture or the other. While these can be easily dismissed when it is personally conveyed, it can prove to be brutal for the brand on the internet. It is essential for every brand to maintain a positive presence in the digital space and while it is as difficult as it sounds, it is not completely impossible. This can be done by ensuring that the negative comments or criticisms are balanced out with positive comments or compliments, in a way that your viewer can perceive your brand to be the way you want to portray it.
In the case of restaurants, it is necessary to have Online Reputation Management in place, and more so ever since the advent of Zomato. The digital space has now become unrestricted and inclusive of consumers’ ease of access, which has made it only simpler for customers to be able to judge based on the reviews. While this has been in favor of the customers, even brands benefit from it considering that if they have a good brand presence, it is elevated with the help of Zomato.
A mother finding a human nail in a KFC burger was a major deal for the brand until they released the range of “Finger Lickin’ Good” nail polish which had taken the internet by storm in 2016. This is exactly how ORM works because anyone who types the keywords- KFC and Nail only finds results of the nail polish and not the rumor anywhere unless they type the below phrase as a keyword.
There have been many big brands such as Cadbury and recently, Maggi that have faced the brunt of coming under the scanner for quality issues. This can prove to be a major negative space to be in for any brand, but how to come out of it?
- Promoting the brand’s quality checks and getting an ambassador to validate the point just as Cadbury had signed up Amitabh Bachchan to be the face of it.
- Ensuring that social media pages are handled well during this time, because it is crucial to be active and to retract to users, intelligently.
- Maggi had made use of its’ longevity in the markets to promote themselves on being a safe option for everyone and to rubbish off the rumors.
Obviously, it does help if the brand is famous one which has loyalists attached because they are more likely to stick to your brand during the crisis.
While all this is for the bigger brands, what about the smaller brands or business? Do they not need an ORM team?
If your answer is a No, you’re wrong because you’re dissuading the fact that despite the business being big or small, it is a brand in its’ presence which means that it needs reputation management in the online space. With a presence, comes the responsibility to ensure reputation!
Hence, even smaller businesses must integrate within their SEO and SMM activities to also consider engaging in Online Reputation Management. ORM ensures that whenever your potential customer or anyone, for that matter searches you up on any search engine, does not notice the bad things about you first. You surely do not want to repel your customers, rather attract them; hence balance the good and bad.
You do not want to be left out in the online competition and sitting there doing nothing, as it is never too late to correct your presence. Hence, if you have still not ensured your reputation online is taken care of, it is time you do so because you cannot simply opt out of ORM! Ensure that you apologize wherever necessary because it’s good to be sorry if you’re wrong.