Online Reputation Management Definition: What Does it Mean? (2024)

The online reputation management definition reveals insights into the importance of a positive digital reputation for individuals and businesses alike.

There is no question that the online world has affected how people live their day-to-day lives. For example, deciding where to have lunch is a simple matter of doing a bit of online research or social media checks to look for nearby restaurants with positive content.

Internet users can do the same for almost anything, including schools, universities, tourist spots, movies, music, and even software.

That being said, what people see in the search results can largely affect their next steps. If you spot a restaurant listing with numerous negative reviews, you will likely skip it until you find a good restaurant recommendation.

This reality shows that consumers read online reviews and customer experiences mentioned on the web.

It also proves that an online reputation matters and that every person, brand, and business that internet users can find in search results has a reputation of some sort. The question is whether this reputation is good or bad.

In this post, we’ll provide an online brand reputation management overview and some of the most important aspects of ORM.

Before looking into managing your reputation online, let’s define an online reputation.

What Is An Online Reputation?

An online reputation (internet reputation or digital reputation) refers to what the public perceives about you, your company, or your brand depending on your digital presence.

The internet is a vast library filled with billions of pieces of information. When someone does a Google search about you, your brand, or your business, what they find out about you in the search results will largely affect what they will do next.

Brands have been using the internet ever since its conception to promote products, services, and awareness. As a form of media, the internet can be a good place to promote your brand or business as long as you give importance to your reputation.

The effects could either be positive or negative depending on reviews, perception, and how you position yourself online.

Why Does A Positive Reputation Matter?

You must know by now that an internet reputation matters. As long as you are in the digital space, you already have an internet reputation that you should be aware of.

While its impact on consumer behavior is probably one of the greatest reasons for importance, there are other reasons why a good internet reputation is important. These include the following:

  • A good internet reputation gives you a competitive advantage over others.
  • A good internet reputation sets you, your online business, or your brand apart from others.
  • A good internet reputation gives you the capacity to earn more.
  • A good internet reputation encourages others to engage with you.
  • A good internet reputation helps you control your brand online.
  • A good internet reputation assists with word-of-mouth marketing.
  • A good internet reputation enables you to deal with the damage of negative reviews more effectively.
  • A good internet reputation allows you to grow.

A positive online reputation can yield benefits that brands and businesses cannot afford to miss. Online reputations play significant roles when building a business online or maintaining overall brand health.

Having a negative reputation online can also damage your brand in ways that could affect its performance. Paying attention to your reputation online is important and can work wonders for you if done correctly.

What Affects Your Digital Reputation?

To know what it takes to achieve a good online reputation or brand reputation, you must understand what affects an online reputation in the first place. Knowing these factors is key to nurturing a positive internet reputation.

Let’s look into some factors that can make or break your brand or business reputation.


One cannot stress enough the role of reviews in building a good or bad online reputation. No matter whether you’re an entrepreneur, an athlete, or managing your business as a business owner, it is essential to maintain a good online reputation. What people say about you can either build you up or bring you down depending on what’s being said, how your brand is positioned, and whether you’ve been able to provide quality products or services.

There are different review sites — including both Google itself and third-party platforms like Yelp, TrustPilot, and the Better Business Bureau — that internet users can easily access. If your business is listed on such review sites, visitors have the option to leave online reviews about your goods, services, customer satisfaction, and other aspects of the business.

While it is ideal for a business to have positive online reviews at all times, this is not always the case. Not all customers leave positive reviews or constructive customer feedback. Even a single negative review can leave a strong impression on public perception.

If your listing on these review sites is full of negative reviews, this can significantly affect your digital reputation. In turn, you can lose existing and potential customers.

Responses to Reviews

While positive and negative online reviews can affect internet reputation, your response to these reviews can also affect it. Just like with celebrity interviews, your response can be as important or even more important than the comments themselves.

When there are positive reviews present, you can take this as an opportunity to foster relationships and encourage these customers to return time and again to your business. You are also showing appreciation to your customers by replying to these reviews.

On the other hand, you can handle negative comments or reviews proactively. You can reach out to the person who left a negative comment. One thing you can do is rectify the negative experience by offering to make things right. Doing so will show them that you are intentional about engaging and care about their experience. As a result, your brand’s online reputation can be nurtured positively.

Social Media

Social media has become a game changer not just for personal communication but also for business as well. The two previous points above apply to the context of social media. Whenever negative feedback is given as a comment, tweet, or other similar methods, this could affect how other viewers will see your business or brand.

Thus, it is important to include handling this feedback in your social management strategy. Social media is also good for actively gaining positive reviews, nurturing customer relationships, and even building a healthy brand reputation.

These are just some factors that affect an individual, brand, or business’s online reputation. Other factors include the following:

  • Search results
  • Company website
  • Wikipedia
  • Customer experience management
  • Overall digital presence

You may be wondering by now if your internet reputation is good or bad. It is ideal for your case to be the former, but it can also fall under the latter.

Regardless of where your online reputation is right now, you can avail yourself of online reputation management ORM services.

Online Reputation Management Definition

So how do we define online reputation management? Online reputation management works with various strategies to manage one’s online reputation. It can include the following:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Content marketing on news sites, blogs, or other sites
  • Social media ads
  • Online communities
  • Online review management
  • Online conversations
  • Other online reputation management services.

The way we define reputation management is straightforward. Managing your online reputation generally refers to managing a person, business, or brand’s online information. It can include public relations and other reputation management campaigns and strategies.

These online reputation management strategies aim to develop a sustainable, accurate, and manageable landscape that captures an organization’s or CEO’s full arc. Achieving this goal makes online reputation management important in doing business online.

Internet Reputation Management vs. Public Relations

Many people confuse internet reputation management with a similar field: public relations. Both fields work towards the same goal, which is building the best possible perception of the company. What differentiates the two is how they work to reach this goal.

PR companies mainly work through external relations. They run advertisem*nts and use coordinated promotional efforts. This field is more about proactively strengthening the brand, rather than reducing the chances of attacks. However, at times, PR firms deal with damage control, crisis management, and troubleshooting.

On the other hand, online reputation management is similar but different. ORM firms usually search for and respond to content that could damage a person, brand, or company. These firms can also take proactive approaches to supply positive content and remove negative information from search results. ORM firms may also tap into PR strategies as well.

Both types of firms play a role in maintaining a brand’s image. However, when it comes to online reputation specifically, businesses or brands can opt for online reputation management services instead.

What Makes A Successful Strategy For Managing Internet Reputation?

While ORM can work wonders for a brand of the company, it takes a good strategy for desirable results to be achieved.

It is best if you had a fully-functioning strategy and reputation management campaign to have effective online reputation management.

To control different variables and come up with a good online reputation, you must include many tasks in the strategy, such as the following:

  • Monitoring brand mentions
  • Conducting a brand audit
  • Replying to negative reviews
  • Focusing on search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Encouraging positive customer reviews
  • Making the most out of public relations
  • Creating and promoting positive content
  • Monitoring Google Alerts and social media

Considering all of these potential components, you may be overwhelmed by all the ORM tasks you must do yourself. Fostering a good digital reputation can require a wide range of techniques and tools.

The good news is that there are reputation management companies that can do the work for you.

You Can Partner With An Online Reputation Management Company

An online reputation management (ORM) firm can take on the challenges of establishing, building, and protecting your digital reputation. This company is an expert in managing critical ORM tasks, helping you to focus on what you do best: growing your business.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is key to strong online reputation management. This field of digital marketing involves using online tools and technologies to optimize content to make your brand, business, or own website more discoverable by search engines like Google.

With good SEO practices, search engines can accurately index and categorize your web presence. This, in turn, improves rankings in search results.

When people search online, they usually respond positively to sites that appear at or near the top of search results. This reality shows that boosting SEO is a strong online reputation management strategy that should not be taken for granted.

Reputation Monitoring

Internet reputation monitoring involves using reputation management software to track metrics such as brand mentions, each negative or positive review, and news articles that can impact your online reputation.

This service is vital because if you do not monitor your internet reputation, you are allowing anyone and everyone to demean and tarnish your brand’s reputation. Repuation monitoring is a proactive tool, allowing you to spot potential threats before they can cause harm to your reputation.

Content Removal

When it comes to one’s digital reputation, both the quality and quantity of content are important. Negative content, negative search results, and other demeaning information could damage your digital reputation.

Manually removing negative online content is difficult and time-consuming. A reputation management firm knows about this struggle and has developed solutions to make things easier for you. Such a company can remove content from social media accounts, review sites, news sites, and other channels.

Such firms have a content removal strategy that work in concert with legal strategies. Some of these techniques are court orders, opt-outs, and takedown requests.

An online reputation management business can prevent negative content from appearing in search results. By doing so, such companies help you create and maintain the good online reputation that you need for your business or brand.

Review Management

As mentioned earlier, reviews are key to managing one’s online reputation. Reputation management businesses know about their impact, which is why they offer review management services.

With this service, the company can incorporate strategies to meet the following:

  • Flag fake, false, or defamatory reviews
  • Promote good reviews
  • Receive alerts when your business or brand gets a review
  • Encourage customers to review your goods or services at point-of-purchase
  • Develop a response strategy for positive and negative reviews
  • Manage the impacts of negative feedback
  • Boost and safeguard the business’s reputation

Whether positive or negative, a review can lead you one step forward or one step backward. In today’s competitive digital environment, review management is extremely important for having and maintaining a good online reputation.

Social Media Management

Social media has played a strong role in influencing a business or brand’s online reputation. It has become a cost-effective strategy for brands and companies to drive traffic towards company websites or other web properties. Online content on social platforms has also become a way for brands and businesses to boost their online reputation effectively.

Considering the importance of social media these days, management of social media is vital to quality online reputation management. Social media management includes creating engaging posts, sharing details with followers, and encouraging those followers to share posts. As a cost-effective extension of your digital marketing efforts, social media management can help you or your business stand out.

Online Reputation Management Costs

After understanding the services that a professional reputation management company provides, you might be wondering how these add up in terms of reputation management pricing when you engage online reputation management companies. So how much does reputation management cost?

Unfortunately, there is no single average cost of online reputation management for all companies to refer to. Each reputation management service will be priced differently. The sum of reputation management costs depends on the types of online reputation management service (or services) you engage with, the size of your company, and other factors. Therefore, you should shortlist the services you’d like to engage – be it review management, social media reputation repair, SERM, etc. – then you can get a better estimate of your online reputation management cost.

You don’t have to manage your online reputation on your own. To learn more about online reputation management services and what a reputation management firm can do to help you, call InternetReputation today at 941-259-4554, or check out our blog for details.

Online Reputation Management Definition: What Does it Mean? (2024)


Online Reputation Management Definition: What Does it Mean? ›

Online reputation management, or ORM, is the process of managing and maintaining the public perception of a brand, business, or person online. ORM can include responding to negative comments, gaining positive reviews, and monitoring brand mentions.

What is reputation management in simple words? ›

Reputation management is the practice of influencing stakeholder perceptions and public conversations about an organization and its brands. It includes monitoring perceptions and conversations, responding to reputation threats and proactively seizing opportunities to boost reputation.

What is an example of reputation management? ›

Reputation management PR might include removing negative online articles about your brand, responding to online customer reviews, or using influencer marketing to build positive brand buzz, for example. Like corporate brand management, reputation PR requires ongoing proactivity and communication.

Why use online reputation management? ›

A solid online reputation and positive reviews and feedback can boost your search engine visibility and attract more people to your website. One of the key benefits of online reputation management is it can enhance customer relationships. It improves your customer relationships by managing your online reputation.

What is reputation management and why is it important? ›

Brand reputation management is the process of monitoring how consumers perceive your brand and taking strategic action to improve your brand's image. Nowadays, reputation management is often centered on monitoring and protecting your brand's online reputation in reviews, social media, and Google.

What are the two types of reputation management? ›

While every online reputation management strategy is different, each strategy generally falls into one of two categories: proactive and reactive.

How can you protect your reputation online? ›

Here are some things to consider to safeguard your online identity and reputation:
  1. Remember that nothing is temporary online. ...
  2. Mark your profiles as private. ...
  3. Safeguard your passwords and change them often. ...
  4. Don't post inappropriate or sexually provocative pictures or comments. ...
  5. Don't respond to inappropriate requests.

What are the 3 categories of tactics for reputation management? ›

In the field of online reputation management, there are three main building materials — earned, paid, and owned content. Note: I've used the word “content” to describe each of these three.

What are the benefits of reputation management? ›

Companies with effective reputation management strategies can expect to reap the benefits of their efforts. These benefits include higher trust, better talent, less risk, and more profit.

What makes up your online reputation? ›

The things online that you have liked, shared and commented on, as well as what others have shared about you, may shape what other people think about you; this is your online reputation. Your online reputation could affect how people think about you or even behave towards you.

What are the best strategies to manage online reputation? ›

Let's look at the most important things you can do to strengthen your online brand reputation.
  • Perform a brand audit. ...
  • Monitor brand mentions. ...
  • Respond to negative reviews. ...
  • Invest in SEO. ...
  • Leverage public relations. ...
  • Encourage customer reviews. ...
  • Promote positive content.
Mar 11, 2022

What is an example of a reputation? ›

She has the reputation of being a good doctor. His reputation was destroyed when he was caught stealing some money. The hotel has a bad/good reputation. He earned/established/gained/acquired a reputation as an entertaining speaker.

What are reputation management strategies? ›

A reputation management strategy is a process of managing a person's, company's, or brand's online narrative. It is part of monitoring views and conversations, dealing with reputation threats, and proactively taking opportunities to improve brand image.

What is reputation management today? ›

Today, a company's virtual presence is crucial. Online reputation management (ORM) is vital for success as search engine algorithms constantly change and a negative reputation can lead to customer loss and decreased revenue.

What is reputation and examples? ›

the opinion that people in general have about someone or something, or how much respect or admiration someone or something receives, based on past behaviour or character: The company has a worldwide reputation for quality. She has the reputation of being a good doctor.

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