Why Online Reputation Management Is Key For Startups

why online reputation management important for startups orm

For founders and employees involved with a startup from the get-go, forming a brand that your customers are going to want to connect with is absolutely going to be one of your first goals. And, while you may not have heard of “online reputation management”, it is a vital aspect for any business with an online presence, startups included. 

Your new startup reputation is just as important as your finances and vision. As Warren Buffett once said, it takes 20 years to build a reputation and only 5 minutes to ruin it. In this post we will run through why it is important, and how to lay the foundations with a good ORM strategy. 

When Few People Know Your Brand, Negative Sentiments Hurt 

When Amazon or Facebook receive a little bad press, it is a drop in the ocean. Heck, sometimes bad press even helps big companies (the old "any press is good press" analogy applies here). Yet, when you are a very small startup, one bad article can set you back considerably as there simply isn’t enough other information out there for people to consume when searching for you on Google or reading reviews. 

If you don’t believe me, take a look at this crazy stat from Inc Magazine that it takes roughly 40 positive reviews to erase the effects of one negative review, overall. That is a sobering statistic and all you need to know about prioritizing customer service along with ORM. 

If You Don’t Cover Enough Real Estate, You Are Vulnerable 

It is not fear mongering, just a simple fact. It is really important for your brand to be appearing at all stages of a user’s journey when they are doing their research on you. 

Take Google search for example. If somebody Googles your brand name, they are going to see your website, your Google business info, and maybe a handful of external review sites. When we talk about covering real estate in Google, we mean dominating the first page, and often the second page, of search results with “owned” assets. This could be anything from your social media pages, to third party websites reviewing your product or services, and other important social proof like that. 

How To Control Your Online Landscape As A Startup 

This kind of follows on from the previous point. You should ensure that your brand is covering a good amount of real estate to negate any potential harmful press or reviews in future. It could be as simple as setting up social media, posting regularly, and asking current or indeed former clients for reviews (always a bit awkward doing that, but trust me, it is worth it). If you don't ask, you don't get. 

If the process seems a bit daunting, there are plenty of experts who can help, at a local level too. Online reputation management services offer value in terms of earning positive press and exterminating negative search results for your brand. Specialists like this can provide best in class online reputation management strategies for local businesses and startups alike. 

When I am talking about using social media to your advantage, I am not suggesting plastering your brand on all forms of social media and hoping it will be a fix. You should do your research and figure out where your customers are, then target a few key areas. 

Once Set Up, The Process Requires Just A “Light Touch” 

Don’t wait too late to put a firm ORM strategy in place. It may involve some heavy lifting at the start, but with solid foundations, moving forward you shouldn’t need to pay much attention to ORM at all. 

Think of this when working on your business ORM. You are dominating the Google search results for your brand terms with wonderful, positive press and reviews, and any potential negative mentions of your brand simply can’t break through the wall of positivity you have created. For a young startup, that is a huge win!

The Lean Startup Life Media Network Newest Blog Posts: