Reputation Is Still Important but Management of It Is Changing
Online reputation management has always been an important part of the business world. However, the nature of that relation is constantly changing. This often has a lot to do with the nature of communication. Reputation always means more when avenues of communication are widely available. A good example of this can be found by looking at the earlier days of the modern world.
It wasn’t all that long ago that people almost never left their home town. People would grow up, start a family, and retire all within a very limited area. That kind of situation usually fosters a very quick route of communication between people. A business, the person who owns it, and the people employed there will all be tied together in any given discussion. Someone asking about the price of an item there will usually receive that and someone’s opinion of the owner all at the same time. It’s easy to see why reputation would matter so much in this situation.
TV commercials are considered a success if they can even hint at the character of a store during a 30 second period. Companies are always hoping to associate their stores with positive qualities within a very short period of time. But when people in these towns discuss the nature of a store, they’ll typically spend a great deal of time going over the various details. That’s the kind of thing which can quickly make or break a company. This might not seem to have much importance to modern business. People can obviously travel outside of their own towns and cities without giving it a second thought.
However, the reason that there’s a strong parallel is due to the nature of the internet. The old model of tying reputation to business didn’t necessarily thrive due to customer isolation. It was more about the fact that people tend to communicate often and in greater depth when they’re in close proximity. Today the nature of the internet and social media is doing an amazing job of linking people all over the world. For the first time in a very long time, reputation has become the most important part of the business world. It’s ironic in a sense, but high technology has managed to recreate some of the social trends of the past. When people log on to the internet today they’re essentially acting as a modern version of people who head off to the local diner to talk about how things are going.