Reputation management is often ignored until an emergency arises. Do you know what is being said about your brand? Do you want to take a proactive approach to managing your good name? We are going to show you five simple methods to manage your reputation and in the process, build online trust.
Many business owners realize that online reputation management is necessary these days. Trust is one of the most valuable assets your company has. It is also one of the easiest to lose and hardest to recover. Even if you are not running an online business, people are talking about you on the Internet. You need to be on top of everything being said. While it is possible to hire a professional to handle your reputation, it is also possible to do this yourself.
6 Reputation Management Strategies
With the proper technique, anyone can do their own reputation management. It is up to you to decide if the cost of handling the research in house is worth more than outsourcing it. One thing is certain: No hired gun is going to care more about your business than you do. If you are like me, your business is your baby. You will protect it at all costs.
1. Setup a monitoring system to hear what is being said about your brand.
There are several options for social listening using alerts. You can check them out in my embedded Social Listening list. Each one of them helps you monitor your brand by alerting you to mentions of your name (or other keywords) on the various social networks, blogs and commenting systems and forums.
They all function very similarly. Set up your alerts. You should create alerts for your business name, as well as your own name. You may also want to set up an alert for your industry or other relevant keywords. For example, if you run a vegan bakery you would want to be notified of any news on other vegan bakeries in the area. For a more in-depth look at TalkWalker or Mention, please see this article I wrote for Steamfeed. You can opt to receive these notifications every day or every week. It’s best to stay on top of them, so once a day is often the best choice.
Social Listening Tools & Resources
Media monitoring made simple. Work smartly as team. Community management, wherever your are. Analyze your visibility.
Explore Google trending search topics with Google Trends.
DataRank is a leading social analytics company. We monitor online conversation so that our customers can gather valuable comments and insights about their brand. We have demonstrated success with Fortune 100 companies who use DataRank for consumer insights. From increasing distribution and revenue to protecting their brand’s reputation, DataRank has assisted many companies with their marketing strategy. Our dedicated social analytics platform offers a variety of tools to help businesses perform competitive analysis before releasing a new product, monitor the social media conversation about their brand, track a social media campaign, and much more.
Brand24 gives you instant access to mentions about your brand across the web.
2. Search the web.
Apart from alerts, you can also do Google searches to see what is being said about your company. Don’t forget to search Google images. You may find photos relating to your business with reviews. Searches will let you know exactly what people are seeing when they look for more information on your company. For a really great overview of using search engines for building online trust, take a peek at this post by Jackie Bigford.
3. Solicit good reviews
Testimonials and positive reviews are the next best thing to word of mouth advertising and as such, they are the perfect reputation management tool. They can persuade potential customers to give you a chance instead of the competitor down the road. Positive reviews on location based sites such as Google Maps/Google Local or Yelp are especially powerful because 60% of mobile searches result in a phone call or a similar action.
While you can’t tell anyone what to write, you can certainly ensure that they get excellent service. You might put a card in the purchase package to remind them to leave a review on a specific site if they enjoyed the service. Not only do positive online reviews help impart trust, they have the added benefit of standing out more in the search results as rich snippets. Having testimonials and good reviews can help persuade people to at least consider doing business with you. Meanwhile, good reviews on sites such as Google Maps or Yelp can encourage people to click to learn more about what you have to offer from among a list of competitors.
4. Replace negative content with positive.
Notice a few articles that rant against your company in the Google searches? If there are negative reviews on the first page of the search results, you need to move those down as quickly as possible.
One of the best reputation management techniques is to eliminate bad reviews by promoting good content. Guest posts on popular blogs can help. You can also add posts to sites such as Squidoo or Tumblr. These two sites tend to rank well. In this type of a situation, it is definitely a case of quantity over quality. Pump out as much content as you can to dilute the negative impact.
Another factor to consider is claiming your username. Everywhere. You want to make sure that no one else – especially someone who may not care about their reputation like you care about yours – has a chance to register a username that could be misconstrued for YOU. There are several username tools to do this for you automatically. (See the List.ly below).
You do not need to use all of the available options. Who has time for that? However, by claiming them, you are assured that no one else can claim them. Another benefit is that the more usernames you claim, the easier it is for you to be contacted. An angry customer is going to want immediate satisfaction, even if it comes from an anonymous complaint because they could not find you.
Check to see if your desired username or vanity url is still available at dozens of popular Social Networking and Social Bookmarking websites. Promote your brand consistently by registering a username that is still available on the majority of the most popular sites. Find the best username with namechk.
Username Search for the most popular Social Media and Social Networking sites. Check for your brand, trademark, product or user name on 160 Social Networks.
A directory of direct links to delete your account from web services. Find out how to delete your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts and more.
Check username availability on over 550 social networks in social media, domain names and the USPTO Trademark database to see if your company, brand, product, or username is available or taken
Find your name the easy way! Use namechecklist to check if your brandname, username, domain and vanity url are still available on the worldwide web.
Check name availability across multiple social networking websites and domains. Quickly search social profile and domain name statuses.
5. Link to positive content.
Use all your social media resources to boost positive reviews of your site by linking to the best articles. Link from Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Mention the site on your blog. These backlinks can help move the positive reviews up in the search engine results.
Another area to focus on is your About Us page. This is your opportunity to put your best foot forward. Fill it with customer testimonials, embedded tweets from happy clients, warm friendly images of your staff, your store, the essence of who you want the world to see.
6. Harness the collective power of your employees.
The best way of doing this is by using a service such as Addvocate.com From their website: “Imagine you could join the conversation your employees are having about your brand, figure out who they are, and validate them for it. Addvocate makes it easy to track the social voices of your business, foster a sense of community, and empower that community to be heard”. Your employees’ collective reach is often far more significant that the reach of your individual business. Utilize that asset…your human, social asset. Use their voice to amplify your brand’s message.
Continuous reputation management is required to ensure that your company’s best side is always presented on the Internet. Whether you have an online store or not, you need to be aware of what people say about your business. Then take action to keep the best information in front of searchers. It can take some serious work, but the results are well worth it.
Do you manage your reputation? What have you found to be the most effective tool? Please let us know your best reputation management tip in the comments below.