Online reputation management is a relatively new term for a decades-old approach to digital marketing. At its core, online reputation management is the purposeful monitoring, analyzing, and optimizing your digital reputation on the internet.

This can apply to both individuals and brands. For example, a manager may perform an online search for a potential new employee to see what they can dig up, or a potential client may Google your brand to see what kind of reviews you have on your Google My Business listing (more on the importance of Google My Business here).

No matter who you are or what brand you represent, one thing is for sure: SOMEONE out there is Googling you. What will they find in the search results?

Individual Reputations: Clean up your social media!

According to a study from, over 3.81 billion people use social media. That’s almost half of the entire population of Earth! Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or a combination of all three, you will almost always see social media platforms at the top of the search results page when you Google someone’s name. This is why it’s crucial to make sure your social media accounts are up to snuff!

A huge component to online reputation management is, well, managing your online reputation! And if your public social media posts are filled with divisive, unprofessional, or otherwise unsavory content, then you won’t be in a very strong position in the eyes of the Googler.

If you’re serious about online reputation management, take some time and scroll through your personal timeline. Scrub anything that may cast you in a negative light in the eyes of your colleagues and peers. This includes harsh language, scandalous pictures, and anything that might make your boss or employees look at you funny.

If you’d prefer to keep your posts on your feed, most social media platforms allow users to make their profile private, which is the simplest solution. So, whether you prefer to privatize your feed or do a bit of social media spring cleaning, just keep in mind that your social media platforms are the biggest element to your online reputation!

Brand Reputations: Manage your reviews!

Individuals aren’t the only ones who need to be concerned with online reputation management; it’s hugely important for brands and businesses as well!

Like individual reputations, social media plays a big role in a brand’s online reputation. There are a variety of tones a brand can adopt on their social media channels, from straightforward and professional to playful and clever. Whichever tone you choose for your brand, make sure you stay consistent and promote content that paints your brand in a positive, competent light.

However, there’s another element to brand online reputation management, one that’s arguably more important than social media management: reviews. Reviews send incredibly strong trust signals to users based on what your audience has to say about you. Shining reviews that praise your brand send strong positive trust signals, and grumpy, disappointed reviews send negative trust signals. These trust signals can influence how likely (or unlikely) a potential customer is to engage with your brand.

There are a plethora of places on the internet where people can review your company. The most prominent reviews appear on your Google My Business listing. This is considered the be-all, end-all destination for reviews, since they’re featured directly on the SERP and not on a separate site like Indeed or Glassdoor.

Unfortunately, many life science companies don’t take advantage of Google My Business reviews. We’ve worked with several companies who were struggling with poor reviews, or no reviews at all. If you’re curious how Forma can help improve your online reputation, check out our Digital Marketing Services or contact us to start the conversation.

At the end of the day, reviews can either make or break your brand’s online reputation. If you’re serious about sending positive trust signals to your audience and instilling confidence with your users, consider implementing a review solicitation program to garner reviews from your clients who were happy with your work. Even one positive review is better than zero!

Online reputation management contains a variety of variables, but that doesn’t mean you should be scared away from taking it seriously! Deals are won and lost over how your brand is perceived and having a strong review profile will serve your brand well for years to come.