Reputation can easily stay with an organization for better and sometime sadly – for worse. While it may take years to build up and polish a company’s image and the public’s perception thereof, it can only take a mere few seconds to destroy it in today’s digital age.
Many leaders within these organizations fail to realize the true value of their online reputation
until it’s too late. Subsequently, more established companies who have built up there reputation through once proven methodologies in the past, can suddenly suffer from underestimating the significance of their online reputation, or “webutation”, and its importance with modern consumers. Yesterday’s word-of-mouth or endorsement from a friend or neighbor now typically lies in the hands of an online review or posting from another fellow consumer in cyberspace.Simultaneously, the stock with which other consumers put in these online reviews and commentaries continue to skyrocket in correlation with a company’s bottom line. With commerce becoming more and more digital in nature and the online marketplace for any/every industry continuing to grow, management within organizations must now allocate an increasing amount of resources, as well as strategic foresight, to the internet for sustained revenue and potential growth……and in many cases – just to survive.
Furthermore, with social media having in increasing presence in our society and daily lives, it puts a emphasis on real time information and further puts the pressure on companies to hire more and more human capital, as well – all in an effort to take a more proactive approach to maintaining its webutation and protect the public’s perception of their particular brand in the marketplace.
For many firms – this is where their brand is actually created.
Today, a premium is now placed on brands and their online presence. A brand’s value in the online marketplace has even created an emergence of new positions in organizations – many solely focused on harboring a voice for products and services a company offers.
With social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that offer a voice for every consumer that has an account and phone handy (the common masses now), company’s are forced to monitor their coveted image 24-7 to drive sales. So much so, they are oft-used in a propaganda-esque way: tweets for promotions or positive PR, likes and dislikes for potentially every micro-move an organization or brand may make.
Who would have ever thought that the click of a thumbs up or thumbs down could potentially have so much impact on a revenue stream? But it does. There are even companies like Five Blocks dedicated to cleaning up online reputation’s.
Search engine optimization plays a critical role in the marketplace, too. The ability to be found on the web or for positive and negative reviews to be located about a particular product and service increases this premium for a brand or organization’s online reputation.
Oft-changing algorithms from popular search engines make this an ever-moving target for organizations. When one day a popular brand or website is found atop a web search, the next it may have fallen out of the top 10 and possibly even worse – off a potential consumer’s radar.
For companies that want to take a proactive approach and strategy for their webutation, it is recommended that a multitude of avenues be monitored and utilized: a company’s website, popular industry-related posting or review websites, blogs that carry a voice in the online community, larger social media platforms, and even retaining a variety of companies that specialize in online reputation management. These are now a must for organization’s seeking to survive in the marketplace moving forward.