5 Simple Online Reputation Management Tips

Before we get into the meat of today’s post, I’d like to recommend the article, Monitoring Your Online Reputation in 2013 appearing in Web Marketing Today. It is definitely worth a read especially as it is a good setup for this series of posts on Reputation Management.

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Positive Reputation ManagementManaging your reputation and the way the world sees your reputation and your company reputation is not as difficult as you may believe. Specific steps that you take help you manage your online reputation and enhance your brand and brand image in both the online and offline world. You already know that designing your message and delivering it to the world online is just one component of your marketing mix. Actually, it is probably one of the most important parts of the mix, and you do not need to be an online reputation management expert to get it right.

Here are 5 online reputation management tips toward a winning online and offline reputation:

Step 1: What Do We Look Like Now?

A thorough assessment of where you are today – good and bad. Searches: your full name, company name, brand names or other key phrase in the top three search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing. You really need only look at the first two or three pages of results, as most people will not dig deeper than that. Record your findings in a spreadsheet for easy reference: record the URL, position in the search results, and information about what that page shows – you may want create a column for “Positive” and “Negative” so you can sort and group them after you finish the research.

Step 2: What Do We Need to Change?

Sort and examine the results and mark the ones that need attention. The negative remarks are a priority: either try to get them deleted (contact the source of these negatives and see if you can resolve the issue so that they wind up with a better opinion and change their negative information to positive) or pushed down farther in the results. For the positive results, mark those as items you want to try to move up in the search rankings.

Step 3: What are Our Most Appealing Arenas?

Look at the positives. Do a lot of them come from Twitter and Facebook? If so, you want to consider posting to your blog more frequently to gain more exposure. If, indeed, the search engines like your blog, give them more. Possibly, you are showing up for the videos you have posted on YouTube – give them more. The great thing about adding to your social media presence, YouTube videos, and the like, is that YOU control the content, not someone else. So if you get more posts visible, these will “force” the other listings, over which you do NOT have control, further down in the listing – and that’s what you want. So if you get good “action and reaction” from your social media presence, do more of it. If you get good reaction from your web pages (that you create with your message), create more of them. The more you place with your message, the less room there is for other messages, over which you do not have control.

Step 4: What is Our Online Reputation Management Strategy to Maintain the Quality of Our Reputation?

Knowing the positives and negatives of your reputation today (your spreadsheet shows you this), design the strategy to enhance the positives. Focus on what you say, where you say it, and the type of content that best serves you and your business: possibly blog posts, press releases, videos, articles for directories, tweets, Facebook pages, or interviews. Always place your emphasis on placing your information where it does the most good.

Step 5: Do It!

The last step in building and maintaining your reputation is follow-through. Start creating content and promoting it using good SEO techniques. Always have your name, your brand, or your company shown as the source of everything published so credit accrues where you need it. Continue to create content that enhances your reputation and continue to monitor your position in the search engines. Keep track your progress (that’s where the spreadsheet comes in handy), and watch the mentions of your name and other key phrases so that you can immediately respond and clear the negatives. This is a great monthly “Recurring Task” in your planner.

Keeping your reputation positive is relatively painless if done on a regular basis. A constant stream of blog posts, social media entries, videos, etc. will keep your message coming from you, and not leave room in the search engines for the negative information. So assess your current situation, develop your strategy, and then execute, execute, execute. The positive image you create will “crowd out” those few folks with negatives.

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