- Carl Yao
- February 9, 2016
- 1,607 views
In today’s digital world, a spotless online reputation is becoming an increasingly important requirement for doing business internationally. Fortune 500 companies spend millions of dollars each year to ensure that online search results and social media posts, as well as any discussions related to their brands, remain overwhelmingly positive. Companies that ignore their online reputation often end up with lost business opportunities and difficulties acquiring talented employees.
Nevertheless, even though online reputation management has become such an important requirement in today digital driven economy, the concept is still relatively new. Thus, many companies do not realize that their reputation online should be a strategic priority, let alone have the tools for achieving the desired outcome. Moreover, businesses need to adopt a global perspective while approaching the digital realm, as business is conducted in a multilingual environment. This article aims to provide a few tips related to managing your company’s online reputation on a global scale.
What is online reputation management?
Online Reputation management (ORM) is a practice to ensure that only the most favorable search results, social media posts, and discussions are displayed prominently, as people search for information about your company. Originally a public relations term before the Internet age, reputation management has taken on many new dimensions as the digital web, driven by search engines and user generated content on various social media channels, has reshaped business strategy.
Because many companies do not have dedicated resources for ORM nor the requisite experience, a whole host of ORM firms have been created that specialize in helping other companies improve and maintain their online reputation. Firms such as Reputation.com, Reputation Changer, Big Blue Robot, and Metal Rabbit Media to name just a few, have developed complex technologies to analyze a company’s online reputation landscape and then provide solutions using knowledge from other ORM campaigns to remedy any issues.
One common approach for reputation management is to employ a content strategy that populates social media, blogs, review sites, industry forums, and leading media sites with a steady stream of quality content to drown out negative content. The goal is to own the search engine results page (also called SERP) instead of letting a handful of harmful links show up. For example, it’s common for Google and other search engines to show recent news related to your company’s name near the top of the SERP, thus issuing press releases and/or media articles on a regular basis will help maintain a good reputation. Other contents such as blogs, industry publications, and tradeshow presentations are also important.
Poor online reputation leads to lost sales
Marketing executives are just starting to appreciate how online user-generated content can influence sales. Potential customers, particularly younger customers, often perform searches on the Internet before they make their purchase decisions. A poor online reputation can directly translate into lost sales opportunities.
For example, a Harvard University study found that online reviews by customers on Yelp.com had a major impact on a restaurant’s revenue. For every one star increase in Yelp rating, restaurant revenue increase seven percent. It’s not just restaurants that rely on their online reputation; hotels are now even forced to adjust their prices based on social media influence and reputation. Companies like IDeaS are able to track hotel reputations based on customer reviews and uses this information to help hotels set their best available rates versus their competitors.
An online reputation matters when businesses try to hire qualified candidates to join their team. If employee candidates discover too many negative search results and poor social media reviews about a prospective company, it is more likely that the candidate will pursue career opportunities elsewhere, or even from competing firms.
Companies spend years and significant investment to develop and build a strong business brand. It can be devastating to suddenly see negative search results and defamatory remarks appearing online. Whether the comments are true or not, these negative search results damage the company’s online reputation and jeopardize its bottom line. This is why proactive and continuous reputation management is the key to ensure your brand stays strong.
Your online reputation doesn’t only exist in English
Just because your company’s search results are good in English doesn’t mean they are similarly stellar in other languages. Search engine results can differ dramatically across languages because they draw on available content in a particular country or locale. Recent news, blog posts, social media discussions, and the availability of other online content available in a particular language will all have a significant impact on a company’s brand. Unfortunately, although companies invest time and effort into ensuring their online reputation remains strong in their home market, many of them fail to realize that the same practice must be carried out in other languages too.
Cross language ORM is challenging because it requires the allocation of substantial resources on a global scale. Fortunately, there is help! Language translation is perhaps one of the easiest methods to building a strong reputation in global markets. Since much of the content has already been created in English for many U.S. companies (such as its website, press release, and blogs,) it is relatively straightforward to translate that content into all the major languages of the company’s business and markets. For example, translating a company’s press releases into other languages consistently will allow Google to index the content and display it on the first page when people search for your company in French, Japanese and/or other languages.
Although translating the static pages of your website, press releases and company blogs are relatively easy, translating user generated content over social media channels, such as tweets, user reviews on social media channels and comments posted on Instagram, are often a challenge for the traditional translation model. This is why a new translation approach is needed.
A new translation approach: How Stepes can help you sustain a positive online reputation in all languages.
Creating and keeping a positive online reputation across language requires a continuous, ongoing process to translate dispersed social media content generated by users into target languages in almost real time. The traditional translation model and services are not cost-effective nor time efficient for translating fast changing digital content, much less user-generated content. This is partly because traditional translation models are project-based with a lot of overhead, including project management, post translation implementation, and manual invoicing, etc.
Fortunately, Stepes is designed with online content in mind. By automating such tasks as pre-processing, quote creation, daily/weekly progress reporting, manually preparing billing and invoicing and other functions, Stepes dramatically streamlines the translation process. Secondly, Stepes has developed custom APIs that seamlessly integrate with your social medial channels to automatically translate your Tweets, discussions, comments, and user generated content in real time. With Stepes, potential customers from all around the world would be able to view positive reviews, social media discussions, blogs, and other digital and user content so you can populate a positive SERP in all the major languages.
Furthermore, Stepes mobile-centric model makes translation easily accessible to bilingual talent from across the world, allowing them to translate whenever and wherever they want. This big translation approach creates an Uber-like effect for translation, allowing large-scale human translation efforts to take place in real time, so that people can translate more content than ever before, at unprecedented speed and cost.
This ‘big translation’ approach is Stepes’ biggest strength. Big translation allows cross-border user-generated content sharing across business platforms, industries, cultures, and languages so that a company can manage its global online reputation – in real time. Stepes is the technology platform that allows translation to finally take on the large scale digital content that today’s corporation eagerly demands.