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Managing a Company’s Reputation – SERM

ORM (Online Reputation Management) and SERM (Social Media Reputation Management) are the two key sectors of marketing responsible for controlling a company’s reputation. ORM is in charge of the company’s online reputation, whereas SERM is in charge of the company’s search engine reputation. There is a clear connection between the two systems. The SERM method requires extensive work on comments about the company in directories and maps.

The main areas of the SERM method include creating optimized profiles for the organization on forums, removing negative reviews, promoting positive material, analyzing competitors, and encouraging people to provide favorable evaluations.

The key benefits of SERM are promoting a positive image of the company, eliminating negativity, and learning about customers’ problems.

Positive and Negative Reviews

The reputation of a corporation is really important. According to a Bright Local survey, about 94 percent of consumers are prepared to purchase a product if it has great evaluations, while 92 percent are likely to refuse if it has poor reviews. A good reputation will considerably increase the number of customers.

It is advised that the number of positive reviews be increased to reduce the detrimental impact of negative reviews. This can be accomplished in one of two ways:

  • Purchasing reviews. This strategy has the potential to be successful, but caution must be exercised. Custom reviews may be banned by search algorithms.
  • Encouraging consumers to provide feedback. This is a safe, yet time-consuming procedure. Many consumers are hesitant to leave favorable feedback. They may be motivated by little souvenirs or the prospect of a discount for their next order.

Responding to a favorable review is an efficient strategy to establish a loyal consumer base. This way, customers will be more likely to post favorable evaluations in the future. Responding to a favorable customer review might include addressing the consumer by name and thanking them for purchasing the product, responding according to the customer’s style, and inviting them to return.

Negative feedback has an adverse effect on audience loyalty, general brand impression, and the company’s overall image.The more unfavorable evaluations a brand receives, the more likely customers will seek out competitor’s services. Negative evaluations, on the other hand, can be advantageous in a tiny percentage of cases (15-20%).A site’s reputation suffers when there are no negative reviews. If you leave a poor review, you can speak with the author and attempt to work out a solution. Negative evaluations should be addressed with politeness and calmness.

Who Needs SERM and Why?

The SERM approach is appropriate for the following businesses:

  • New brands. The SERM technique is appropriate for new businesses that do not yet have a reputation. It can help increase the number of sales.
  • Victims of black PR. Black PR has a negative impact on the first page of Google searches. SERM can be used to re-establish a good reputation.
  • Competitive areas. If you have a lot of competition, reputation management will help you attract more prospective clients.

Objectives of a SERM Audit

SERM audit is used to assess the organization’s online image based on a number of key metrics. The investigation is carried out in several areas, including the relevance of sites in search results, customer feedback, and a list of improvements.

The following are the key goals of the SERM audit:

  • a study of consumer perception of the product;
  • a boost in sales;
  • the possibility to draw in a local audience;
  • the abolition of the negative effects of black public relations;
  • an objective evaluation of marketing efforts.

Reputation audit will provide information about search engines and regions with a high number of unfavorable reviews. A complete checklist with recommendations for boosting reputation may be produced based on the audit.

Stages of a SERM Audit

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The SERM audit is carried out in several stages:

  • Collecting of key queries related to the business. It is recommended to use special services, such as Serpstat, which will help determine the frequency of queries. For smaller brands, special phrases should be ordered.
  • Choosing target areas. It is vital to establish the company’s target geographies at this point. The cities’ locations must be specified in order to follow the search results.
  • Choosing search engines. The choice of search engines is determined by the features of the region. Google and Bing are the most popular search engines in the Western region.
  • Evaluating sources. Every reference of the firm on the internet should be investigated. Checking feedback boards, forums, and Q&A services is vital. The age of the profile, the author’s reputation, and the availability of proof are all factors in the study.
  • Competitor analysis. In order to asses the organization’s performance, competitors should be extensively checked, identifying their strengths and flaws. Manual search or parsing are used to do the analysis (automatic collection of data on specific parameters).
  • Awareness assessment. It’s important to see if customers are aware of the company and its marketing efforts. It’s also a good idea to gauge overall user happiness.
  • Correcting and assessing the outcomes. The top ten results are exported to a Google Sheets spreadsheet. Color relationships should be used for different sorts of reviews: green denotes positive, red denotes negative, and yellow denotes neutral.

How to Enhance Your Reputation

The following methods can be used to improve the company’s reputation:

  • SEO-friendly content for promotion. You may promote ready-made articles to the top of the page or write fresh articles to boost the site’s reputation. Promotion of ready-made items is less expensive, but it is less effective. New texts must be readable and customized for key queries. Only credible sources should be used to post articles.
  • Adding customer reviews on the company’s website. Create a feature on your website that allows users to submit reviews. Having a review page will solve user’s problems and remove any bad reviews that are not in compliance with the guidelines.
  • Setting up a separate review website. This is a fairly successful strategy of advertising because it gives you a ranking advantage as well as the ability to manage reviews. The high cost of marketing and site support is a downside of this strategy.
  • Looking for phony information. Competing organizations frequently spread unfavorable ratings on purpose. In this case, you must file a complaint with the site’s administrator over the unfavorable review that has been placed.
  • Using social media to your advantage. Search engines give social media pages high rankings. It’s a good idea to have many profiles on popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Video clips. Youtube video clips serve to increase a company’s reputation. They are well appreciated by users and appear at the top of search results.

Conclusion

Reputation audit is extremely important for increasing brand credibility. You may use the analysis to discover the company’s strengths and weaknesses, identify image threats, and assess the degree of customer satisfaction. You may develop your reputational strategy based on the findings of the SERM audit. This approach should be aimed to replace negative feedback, establish client feedback, and improve the company’s rating. If you neglect a reputation audit, you risk losing a huge number of clients and audience loyalty as a result of a considerable amount of negative comments.

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    Alexander Tarakhovich

    SEO expert with extensive experience. Helping you understand SEO. He takes the guesswork out of SEO, his advice in optimizations are based on what actually works. Alexander is currently working to make SEO known and accessible worldwide. Read Blog