Demystifying Online Reputation Management

Submitted by on the 19th of November 2012

A Q&A between Keenan Harduth (Head of ORM) and John Beale (Head of Strategy)

######1. What exactly does ORM stand for?######

* Online Reputation Management

######2. That’s nice, but what does it mean and what does it actually do?######

* The ORM process lets you listen to the thousands of conversations happening online, measure sentiment – which affects reputation and lets you take a look at the people who mention your brand. It’s like stalking on steroids. And with pie charts.
* It let’s you know what your brand looks like online, and what you can do to change or maintain that.
* Perception analysis – ORM gives you good basis for strategy. You might think your brand is seen as A, B, C but it’s actually seen as X,Y,Z.

######3. OK that sounds important. Is it real time or automated?######

* Well, it’s a bit of both – you need people handling your ORM. Some tools allow automated filtering of mentions, but computers, algorithms, syntax/linguistic software and other words I struggle to spell cannot yet effectively determine when someone is being sarcastic, who they’re speaking to and the context of the conversation. So although it’s intuitive it can never be as intuitive as a human being – which means you aren’t getting rid of me just yet!

######4. Sigh… ok… So it offers more value than Google alerts / newsclipping services?######

* Yes. A big fat yes. Such services are again often automated. They also show little to no context like how the information relates to the industry and competitors, they don’t help segment the brand’s conversation areas and fail to deliver a holistic view of the brand strategy. In fact, they fail to deliver much at all.

######5. So who does this type of data add value to?######

* If you’re online representing someone else’s brand or your own, ORM is an essential. It’s like having an all-the-time advisor for content, strategy, customer relations and data analysis.
* It applies to both marketers and internal communications. Where the entire business cannot always be on social channels to see what is being said, whether it was positive or negative and who said it, ORM delivers the reporting and data to the entire business filling that gap.

######6. So it’s kind of like having a conversation, listening and then responding, based on that conversation?######

* Nearly there – It’s really much more than that, we also look at how influential people are, find brand advocates, track the success or failure of campaigns, content and really understand the mood around the brand.
* Finding perspectives that are almost hidden away – what people are saying in conversations online but that brands might not be taking notice of. It’s like leaving the room when you know everyone is still talking about you. ORM allows brands to be the fly on the wall – all day, every day.
* Tracking sentiment and or brand reputation over a period of time gives us an understanding of consumer, sentiment and product trends.

######7. Aaah ok, so do you use the tools to respond, or is it just a post-reporting tool?######

* We leave the responding up to the content and community managers. As an ORM analyst, you simply deal with too many mentions to effectively respond to them all. Also, no tools have effectively integrated ORM and CRM functions yet. These tools, while stronger for post reporting, do allow you to monitor and react in real time.

######8. Can these tools pull in what is being said on Facebook?######

* Yes. If your privacy settings are not particularly high level then we can see what you’re saying.

######9. Can someone say “Staaalkeeer? Jeesh! So why are more companies not doing it?######

* You need people for ORM. And you need those people to be honest with you. Most companies are reluctant to source people who are going to tell them when they’re going wrong and how to fix it. They prefer the taste of their own Koolaid than what can be the bitter-sweet truth.

######10. In closing, do you think every brand launching or that is on social should have some form of ORM?######

* Ab-so-friggin-lutley. It’s a great research tool before venturing online for any brand, and an essential in helping maintain your brand’s image online.