Online Relationship Management: What is it, and How to Improve your ORM.

Building and maintaining online relationships with customers and stakeholders is paramount for business success in today’s digital environment. Online Relationship Management (ORM) refers to businesses’ strategies and practices to interact, engage, and nurture relationships with their customers through digital channels. From social media platforms to email marketing and online review programs, ORM plays a pivotal role in shaping a brand’s online presence and reputation. 

Check out our latest insights on understanding and enhancing your organization’s ORM, and what you can do to effectively handle negative online situations.


Understanding Online Relationship Management

ORM is all about fostering meaningful connections with customers and prospects across various digital platforms. It involves creating a positive and interactive online environment where customers feel valued, heard, and understood. Some key aspects of ORM include:

  • Engagement on Social Media Posts: Interacting with customers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can help businesses humanize their brand. Responding promptly to comments, messages, and mentions showcases a commitment to customer satisfaction. The most important element of engagement on social media is for your organization to be personable. Many brands use humour to connect with their audience but no matter what you do, avoid sounding like a bot.
  • Nurturing Relationships via Email Marketing: Personalized and relevant email campaigns can help maintain ongoing communication with customers. Sharing valuable content, promotions, and updates keeps customers engaged. Used properly, email marketing is an incredibly powerful tool to drive traffic and sales funnels and tap into your most loyal audiences.
  • Ensuring Customer’s Concerns are Addressed by Responding to Online Reviews: Monitoring online mentions and reviews allows businesses to track their brand perception. Addressing both positive and negative feedback demonstrates responsiveness and dedication. Whether it’s a 5-star or 1-star review, responding genuinely to each review shows your commitment to service and care for your customers..


Enhancing Online Relationship Management

Improving ORM requires a strategic approach that aligns with a business’s goals and values. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Segmented Communication: Tailor communication to specific customer segments. This ensures that messages are relevant and resonate with different target audiences. Some platforms like Google Business Profile reviews require a more ‘professional’ tone than the responses you would engage with on social media.
  • Consistent Brand Voice: It’s important to maintain a consistent tone and messaging across all digital channels. A unified brand voice builds trust and recognition. An effective method to establish your brand tone consistency is to identify the platform where your brand tone is most rigid and where there is the most flexibility, and scale platforms within that window. For many organizations’ social media profiles these windows range from LinkedIn being tight on tone to TikTok or Instagram being more flexible.
  • Personalization: Utilize customer data to personalize interactions. Address customers by name, recommend products or services based on their preferences, and acknowledge their specific experiences.
  • Proactive Social Listening: Monitor conversations related to your brand and industry. This helps identify trends, concerns, and opportunities for engagement.

Implementing this all amidst busy work schedules can be difficult, but it’s worthwhile to strengthen loyalty and increase engagement with your organization. Even scheduling 15 minutes per day to check through online reviews and engage with comments on social media is a significant step to enhancing your ORM.


Handling Negative Online Situations

Even with the best ORM strategies, negative situations may arise. How you respond can significantly impact your brand’s reputation. It’s important to take the time and show your audience that you are, and even an opportunity to showcase your organizational values. Here’s how to effectively manage negativity:

  • Stay Calm and Professional: Respond in a calm and respectful manner. Avoid getting defensive, and acknowledge the customer’s concern.
  • Acknowledge the Issue: Show empathy by acknowledging the customer’s problem. Let them know you’re committed to resolving it.
  • Move the Conversation Privately: If possible, move the conversation from a public forum to a private message. This shows that you’re dedicated to finding a solution.
  • Provide Solutions: Offer solutions or steps to resolve the issue. Whether it’s a refund, replacement, or assistance, make sure the customer feels heard.
  • Follow Up: After resolving the issue, follow up to ensure the customer is satisfied with the outcome. This demonstrates your commitment to their experience.

Negative online situations can scale and grow out of control quickly on social media. Effectively handling negative online situations enhances your brand’s reputation and prevents situations from growing out of control.


In this digital age, Online Relationship Management is a vital component of a successful business strategy. By actively engaging with customers, maintaining a positive online reputation, and effectively managing negative situations, businesses can build lasting relationships that foster loyalty and trust. Implementing the strategies mentioned in this article will set you on the path to mastering Online Relationship Management and reaping the benefits of strong online customer connections.

Are you not quite sure how to respond to reviews or looking to bounce strategies off some experts? Our team is deeply immersed in ORM and ready to help. Connect with us to learn more!

Let's Collaborate