If you have (and even if you don’t) an online presence, your brand, and it’s reputation, needs management. After all, your reputation determines your profit statement, doesn’t it? I’ve always maintained that social media has the power to drag your brand out to the open. People talk about it. Websites like Quora.com and focus.com have thriving discussions on everything and if you are in business trying to solve problems, you might have been mentioned.
Managing your online reputation is something we’ve talked about before (check out this article) and certainly a topic that has others, such as the New York Times, warning you to step up and take notice, because, as they stated in their article, “Your Customers are Talking About You. And the Whole World is Listening”. Hard-hitting, but true!
Brand management starts at all levels of online engagement: whether it’s the comments from your blog (even the negative ones), interactions on Twitter, comments on your Facebook Fan Page, discussions on forums, and mentions on Q & A sites (or social search). For instance, I noticed this question about Rand Fishkin – CEO of SeoMoz.org — popping up on Quora.com where Rand himself steps in to manage the conversation. Now that is some online reputation management!
As a small business owner, it’s touch to know just where to begin and what steps you should, and should not, take to manage your reputation. Let’s see if we can offer some suggestions to help you figure it out.
Begin at the hub and hunt later. Your blog and all your social media networks are your first point of consideration. Blogs have a way to ping you when there’s a new comment (or perhaps you could use Disqus, Intense Debate, or LiveFyre). You have notifications and mentions on all social media networks you might use for your business. Keep a hawk’s eye on these mentions and notifications. Reputation management begins with basic conversations, courtesies, and small talk – no business or business owner is too big for social media engagement.
Use Brandify.com. How would you like to keep track of what’s being said about your brand? Given the fact that over 97% of customers search for information like that before they even consider making a purchase – online or offline, you need to ensure that your comments are positive? Using Brandify.com, you can evaluate, monitor, and track everything that’s being said about your brand. Often each business also gets a “score”, some “recommendations”, and other tools to “track” reputation while keeping a pulse on your progress. Guess what? It’s free.
Change your Reputation, if you have to. Would you like to use a tool that helps you to boost your brand, manage your brand presence, track what the search results spew out about your brand, clear the negative energy around your brand on sites like ripoffreport.com, Yelp, and other communities (you do know that nothing stops “anyone” from posting “anything” about your brand, don’t you?) ? Reputation changer has tools that’ll allow you to keep your head up and take corrective action. Use their brand protection suite or Google Auto Complete tools to keep on top of situations instead of feeling victimized.
Protecting your brand online and it’s reputation is an important process that your business should undertake, but it doesn’t have to be a cumbersome process. Try implementing a few of these suggestions and hopefully you’ll find it a much easier task.
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