ORM can be divided into proactive and reactive actions.
* SEO – One of the most important aspects of OEM is getting your voice heard, use search engine optimisation techniques to get your website pages to the top of the SERP.
* Getting involved – register with social networking and micro blogging sites and contribute to build a positive reputation. Comment on blogs and in forums as an expert in the field not as a blatant marketing campaign.
* This is dealing with negative content as and when it happens.
* A speedy response is essential to minimise potential damage.
* Identify content as either:
* True – a genuine mistake on behalf of the company or concern of an individual.
* False – someone just attacking with no basis in fact
* Determine how far the damaging content has spread.
A genuine concern or complaint should be addressed openly and honestly.
Prioritise all the areas where the criticism is occurring based on popularity and address them in order by responding calmly and sincerely.
If the thread continues determine if it is the same individual or whether others are included. If it does not continue, keep monitoring without further input.
When it is the same individual agree to disagree and be sure to let the individual know that their opinion has been heard. Where changes have been put in place make sure that this has been communicated. When it is others that are continuing the thread is it genuine concern or is it simply ‘jumping on the bandwagon’? With the latter do not provide more fuel for the fire. However, when it is genuine, respond to each unique concern individually and let participants know that anything learned has been incorporated in to the business and that the changes were due to there efforts. It may also be worth considering engaging some of the individuals as a ‘sounding board’ for the future.
In cases of online attack that has no merit or basis in truth privately refute the claim and provide proof that what is being stated is misleading. Ask for a formal recant and be sure to be involved in drafting it. If this is done leave it there but continue to monitor. If it is not retracted consider legal action.