Reputation Management 101 – What You Need To Know
5 Things You Can Do to Manage Your Online Reputation
The reality of today’s digital world is that life transactions now, very often, begin with an Internet search; in this pull economy, consumers find and judge products, services and people via the web.
Monitoring and managing your personal online reputation or business brand is critical to success, and as public-facing feedback forums gain increasing audience and traction, there is an important occurrence emerging that is ignored only to the detriment of your reputation and success: Consumers on forums can be your biggest fans or biggest detractors. You must proactively monitor the tide of opinion; otherwise, perception of your brand can get beyond your control very quickly.
Likewise (and we often don’t think of this when thinking about reputation management), your online reputation can also generate substantial opportunity. If you aren’t taking advantage of what your reputation could be doing for you, consumers may very well miss you altogether.
One thing is certain: Regardless of its state (good or bad), your reputation will be in the hands of others in today’s digital age. Here are 5 things you can do to maintain control over your own online rep.
1. Set up automatic notifications to occur when your brand or name surfaces on the web. Use tools like Google Alerts, SocialMention, or Technorati to alert you when new content comes up about you or your brand.
2. Establish a robust presence in social media. Regardless of whether its your personal brand (your name) or your company brand, creating a Google + page, Facebook page, Twitter account, blog or YouTube Channel is essential; doing so will enable you to generate brand awareness and education, aid you in search ranking, and also allow you to get involved in the conversation and impart some control over what is being said.
3. Contribute valuable, interesting and relevant information to your industry and your brand. You don’t have to spend every hour of every day managing your social media platforms but doing it a few times a week is a good idea.
Don’t have time to do it yourself? You can hire writers to contribute to your blog and there are a number of agencies, as well as freelancers, out there who will help you manage your social media. Finally, there are a multitude of social media tools, such as Hootsuite that enable you to “set it and forget it” or, if not that, make your social media management an easier task by automating certain aspects of the job.
4. Maximize your privacy settings on all of your social channels and stay away from posting tons of personal photos, in general, of yourself and your families. Essentially, don’t “over-share”.
In addition to keeping it close to the chest, many people set up 2 social profiles- one private profile that is meant only for close family and friends, and another that is meant for professional use and public.
5. Consider hiring a good online reputation manager. Part PR specialist, part tech guru, these experts specialize in scrubbing online reputations clean through a mixture of burying negative search results, creating new results, and building upon the positive.
One caveat to this piece of advice, though, is that there are now dozens of such agencies out there and not all are reputable or ethical. Do your research thoroughly before you hire one of these agencies and check references thoroughly.