How Do You Manage And Protect Your Online Reputation?
A few weeks ago I was reading an article about “BIG Corporate Companies” that were missing the boat by not getting involved in Social Media. “They are missing out on the ability to track and manage their brands, their names, their business and reputations” or something to that effect. It got me thinking about how important it is to connect on-line and know what’s going on around you at all times, or at least as much as possible.
“The On-line world is also the Off-line World making them both one in the same. What happens Off-line ends up online, and what happens On-line gets spread quickly Off-line and visa versa. It’s known as “viral” in both worlds.
How do you manage and protect your reputation in the off-line world? In order to build, protect, or manage your brand or reputation, you have to interact so you can hear the chatter, the rumors, the buzz, the testimonials, or even the whisper when someones talking about you or your company? No matter what, whether it’s good or bad, people do talk. In the social media world, even more-so. Good news travels fast, and often times, bad news travels even faster.
How do you know when someone is talking about you, your company, or your business in the on-line world? What are people saying or whispering on LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace or FaceBook? What about your past or current clients, your sphere of influence, or even your competitors? Would you even know? I think many of the Larger Companies and Businesses DO know the power of Social Media Marketing and the importance of Networking. I see it more and more, they are wanting to stay close and connected to what’s being said about their products, their services, their company and business, or even them as individuals.
Managing and Protecting your online reputation isn’t just for the Big Corporate Companies….
…it should also be important to you.
Here’s some ideas and suggestions that can help you in the new on-line social media and off-line networking world. Let’s start with the simplest and basic of all tools. When was the last time you ran your name or Company using Google? Google Search. This is typically the first thing we learn and try to do regularly to see what shows up in the search engine results. This is a great and basic way to find out how about your online Internet presence. What shows up? I still do this on a weekly basis.
Next, there are some free and simple tools available to help you get a better handle on what’s being said across the WEB. Start with Google Alerts, it’s an easy way to setup specific keyword searches. Once those specific words or terms are found and indexed, notifications are emailed directly to you. Setup alerts for your name, your company, employees, your brand etc. Some even setup Google Alerts for their competition or other specific business topics or “interesting” terms and phrases. This is a good start to keeping yourself connected and informed.
Many of you will remember the “viral” video “United Breaks Guitars!?!” I wonder how long before United knew they were famous on Youtube? I bet they have multiple alerts setup now… maybe not… :-O
Now you can stop reading right here of course, unless you’d like to go a little deeper….
Ok, you’re still reading so you must want more. You should consider what happens and what gets said on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Let’s be honest here, if someone wants everyone else in the world to know something, they post it on Twitter and Facebook. It’s the fastest way to gather and spread information, but at the same time, it’s the fastest and easiest way to build or destroy a name or reputation. Look what happened to Wal-Mart and Target last Christmas. A classic example of the “Thrill of Victory” and the “Agony of Defeat.”
Search.Twitter.com is a tried and true method of finding out who is talking about you and what they are saying. Twittergrader, and Facebookgrader are a couple of other products you can check out from Hubspot. If you’re looking for more of that “visual” display of your online presence, then check out spezify. This one is not only informative, it’s fun and entertaining at the same time. Addictomatic is another one you should visit, you’ll love the compilation of content it will pull up using various resources to do all the work for you. I always suggest starting with your name or company when visiting and trying these sites. You will be surprised at some of the things you’ll find.
Now let’s dig really deep for gold! Measuring your online presence and influence. Klout.com and OnlineIDcalculator.com each have devised their own internal way for determining your influential impact in the on-line world. SocialMention which is a similar service will “grade” your results based on your participation in a variety of places. The last site I’ll mention is StepRep, this is one I use daily. You can receive daily email updates on the results Steprep finds, and the social networking aspect of it certainly can’t hurt when building a positive reputation.
We’ve all seen what can happen to a company or individual via the Social Networks albeit from a single tweet, a note on a FB wall, a Video on Youtube, a photo on Flickr, or even a Blog post or article on a website. There is great power in the hands of those millions of consumer messages that get transmitted over the cyber-lines each and everyday. No one can protect your good name or business but you. That was until now… there is online help. Sleep better at night knowing you have done your best to manage and protect your business and reputation.
Don’t forget your ReBlogged posts, it’s good to keep up with what others are saying and adding to them.
These may not be the catch-all, fix-all, but it’s a start to “managing and protecting your online reputation.”