A wise entrepreneur once said that “you can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” While computers weren’t around when Henry Ford coined the phrase, his words still resonate today.
With billions of people online—and probably the same number of bloggers and social media participants—it’s imperative to take a pro-active approach to your company’s reputation management. Don’t wait until there’s a problem–that’s too little, too late.
Start Monitoring Your Brand’s Reputation Now
Here are five quick tips to help you take an active role in monitoring your company’s online reputation today:
Monitor Your Company’s Reputation on a Daily Basis.
Things happen quickly online. The internet offers near-instantaneous access to news, images, and commentary through search engines, emails, blogs, videos, podcasts, and more. Things can change at a rapid pace, and you must keep up. You should monitor what’s being said about your company on a daily basis, if not more often. A good starting point to do this is setting Google Alerts for your company name, branded products or services, and key management personnel. Then, anytime your chosen phrases appear online, a message with a link to the mention will be sent to your email.
Read What Bloggers Have to Say.
Hopefully, bloggers are writing nice things about your company, but sometimes they’ll write a negative statement that can be harmful to your business. It’s vital to monitor blogs to know what is being said about your company and who’s saying it–good or bad. You can use a free service such as Serph.com or IceRocket.com to get started.
Familiarize Yourself with Social Networking Sites.
From Facebook and MySpace to LinkedIn and others, it’s important to get a handle on the many different social networking sites. You should understand what’s out there, what’s being said about your company and where potentially damaging material could appear. And, it’s great to know where positive things are being said. This can help you determine what the right social networking sites are for effective social media marketing.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Search Results.
Is your company website ranking in the top search engine results pages (SERPs) for your company name and branded keywords? If not, that means a different website is. Remember, you need to define your company, or someone else will. Do a test to see if your corporate website is in the first page of Google and Yahoo! search results for your company name and branded keywords. If not, it’s time to take a hard look at your search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search (PPC) campaigns.
It takes dedicated time and staff resources to effectively monitor your online reputation. Start looking for an online marketing or public relations agency who you can partner with to not only help monitor your company’s reputation, but also keep a possible crisis at bay.