In the business world, your reputation can make or break your success. If you have a bad reputation, very few people are going to want to do business with you. The same goes for your online presence. If you have a brand online, you need to work hard to maintain a good reputation so you will have continued success. There are a variety of way you can accomplish this:
To find out what people are saying about you, the easiest thing you can do is go straight to the source. Do a Google search on your name, the name of your product, your website, and anything else that pertains to you online. You may not see anything outwardly negative by just glancing at the search engine results; however, you may begin to see some things as you delve a little deeper.
If you come up on a forum that is related to your niche, you may have to weed through the comments on a single site before you see anything negative. This does not mean you have to pour through all those comments to find a single bad one. Your time is more important. Instead, see if you notice a trend on a variety of sites visited by your community. If there is an issue with your reputation that seems to be consistent with everyone, you may have something to be concerned about. Once you know what the problem is, you can take some action to figure out how to repair your image.
Utilize Google Alerts
To save yourself some time and a lot of searching, you can sign up for Google Alerts. This is a service that will contact you anytime your name or other relevant keywords to your brand are discussed online. You will receive great insight whenever you are being talked about online. This will allow you to not only keep on top of what people are thinking about you, but also can help you monitor the competition in your niche.
Maintain Activity on Social Media
Another key component in online reputation management is to be active on social media. Content is king, but activity on social media is a close second as far as brand importance is concerned. If you are promoting yourself or a product online, you should have already launched on all forms of social media. Some people make the mistake of starting a profile, only to abandon it when they get busy with other things. You should check your profiles daily for comments, questions, or requests for information. Having a relationship with your community is a great way to gain a favorable reputation online, especially if you are communicating regularly.
Moderate and Monitor Comments from Your Followers
Along with monitoring yourself with Google Alerts and being active on social media, you should also think about the other places where people may have something to say about you. For instance, if you sell an eBook on Amazon, you will probably have some people who come back with their comments on your book. If there are negative comments about your product simply because it just wasn’t their style, there isn’t much you can do other than thank them for their opinion (unless you want to rewrite your book catered to the needs of one or two people). However, if you notice a common trend, such as the book wasn’t long enough, didn’t contain enough detailed information, and other criticisms, you have something to work with. You can do one of two things: if you feel like the comments are unwarranted, you can politely respond to them by asking what they would like to have seen added so that you can possibly add that to your next book. Or, you can take that information as constructive criticism and edit your book to reflect that information. Either way, it will look like you care about your product, you are responding to your critics, and ultimately leaving a good lasting impression.
Your online reputation is very important, so it is crucial to do all you can to keep on top of it. Take some time each day to monitor your reputation and what your community has to say. You could even utilize some tools that will monitor your reputation for you, making the process quick and easy.