Manage your online reputation

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As an entrepreneur, you must never fail to look beyond today and prepare your brand towards what the implications of sharing and storing of information online will have on your long-term brand value.

What do you do when someone is posting negative/derogatory information about you, your company or your brand?

Monitor your brand You will need to set up automated notifications within various search engines. The “Google alerts” feature is a free service that will send email notifications to you when specific words or phrases related to your brand are mentioned online. This will indicate online sentiments of your brand whether your mentions are mostly positive or negative.

Manage your brand Your main objective is to get your brand on the top of the list in search engines when people search for it. This can be achieved through offering interviews, reviews, writing articles and blogging.

Damage control Control your personal emotions when responding to a damaging or harmful response. You must be professional when dealing with negativity and don't allow your personal feelings to get in the way. Online reputation for your small business is crucial because of the internet preserves and archives history in a way that was not possible before. As an entrepreneur, you need to control your online reputation management for prosperity.

 

Post By: SimplyBiz This article has been repurposed for the purpose of this blog original article can be sourced from: small-business-software.net

 

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18 comments
    More than ever consumers are researching companies before they do business with them. They search to find information about products and services. They look for price comparisons and they look for reviews. After a little research into it I found a studythat mentioned 88% of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a local business and 72% of consumers will take action after reading a positivereview. Potential customers will be far more likely to do business with you if they find positive reviews from others that have already worked with or purchased from you.
    That's very interesting. Obviously peers trust each other's reviews. What about the reputation of individuals? What if the business owner has a bad reputation online?
    Indeed jndub it's hard to imagine a time when people will be talking about you or your brand when your business is small or just getting started but as it grows so will the interest in you as an owner as much as your brand. It can be so damaging! I was given some sage advice when I started mt first business and that was to clean up my social media (not that it particularly needed it but it was good advice in any case)...political and religiousviews bad language pictures of parties...any of that sort of thing is now under the scrutiny of potential clients investors and even staff. Your personal online presenceshould be reflective of your business you are after all one in the same.
    Your online presence is a window into the person I'm not sure I would trust someone with a bad online reputation? And coupled with the fact that my name may then be linked to them is a fair deterent. Is that unreasonable or do you all feel that way?
    Reputation goes hand in hand with trust. One way to mould trust online is to have a good SEO ranking as well as earned media that pops up on the 'news' section of search result pages. It all adds up to a good reputation.
    Not only customers you can bet that the first thing a potential partner willdo is search for your business and then for you personally. What they find could seal or break the deal depending on what they find. I have learnt this the hard way!
    From what I have read the most recent business commandmentis to “Be transparent.” Opening up to criticism and feedback seems to be beneficial for companies that embrace thiswith their audience. What does being “transparent” mean though? These were the common threads that popped up: Allowing employees to talk about products and services publicly Establishing a 1-to-1 communication channel Asking for feedback Not hiding criticism and addressing it publicly Easier said than done! Most small and medium sized companies do not invest much on communication and they struggle with this concept. As a result their efforts usually are incorrect or inconsistent. Being transparent seemsrisky. But in the long run it looks as though not being transparent is riskier.
    So I have been looking into tools that can help manage your online presence and found a few that may be helpful: Google Alert can be thought of as a customized Google search that sends you notifications when new content is added for keywords that you’ve specified. The service scans and pulls information from relevant web pages blogs research or articles within the Google network. Setting up a Google Alert is free and can be done in only a few steps. Simply enter the search terms you want alerts for choose the type of results you want Google to send you and then select how often you want to receive alerts and where the alerts should be delivered.
    I use Hootsuite to manage myis a social media it allows you to maintain all of your social media networks in one place. You canschedule future messages listen and engage with your followers and view in-depth social media analyticsto see how your content is being perceived and make improvements where they’re needed. And it's free!
    This article is a good read for those who are a little unsure of how to manage your online reputation...check it out if you need some advice. https://www.thebalance.com/online-reputation-small-business-2951730
    ORM or in long form Online Reputation Management is the be-all and end-all of marketing people and business owners the world over or at least it should be. Some tips for managing your online reputation on a regular basis without huge budgets (over and above Google Alerts) : 1. Google yourself your business your proucts even your family etc at least once a month - whoever/whatever is important to you and your life. I do it weekly. You can search by name image or keywords. This is mirroring what others are seeing or finding when they search for you or your business (in the case of a business owner - this is interchangeable). You maybe surprised by what you find out about yourself and business ;)! 2. Have your website as your home page or as an added page to your set of pages that you open to access your internet/email/etc. This will help you to see yourself and your business every day 3. Set up more alerts over and above goole alerts - you can set notifications on all your social media pages to notify your email inbox whenever there is any activity on your pages 4. Put in the highest possible privacy settings on all your digital assets so that you can keep out the risky entities. For your business pages make sure you put the right access in place for the right people to engage with you. When someone is rude or disrespectful you have to right to address this issue with them and tell them it won't be tolerated but you are willing to listen to them if they replace their remarks with something more appropriate 5. Trolling is a reality for all those who navigate the internet - accept that. Online bullying is another reality. When you are the victim/target of either please remove and block these people. Then make a note of this on your walls to be able to indentify why these people were removed. 6. Change your passwords at least monthly if not every 2 weeks - this makes it more difficult for hackers. You don't have to be a celebrity to be the target of hackers - they hijack'normal' people's pages to extend product advertising as they have cottoned on to the fact that peer recommendation is more powerful than traditional advertising. 7. Check that your business or personal pages are correctly tagged with the right aspects so as to improve SEO which will positively improve ORM Hope this helps somewhat!
    Hootsuite is great and was an early leader to monitor and track analytics - all the conduits of ORM. There are other tools as well but Hootsuite remains a classic. A suggestion maybe to have more than 1 so that you are not seeing it only from 1 perspective. Just a suggestion.
    I think the word 'transparent' is quite subjective - there are ways and means of doing what you have mentioned but its more about perceptions of transparency rather than just being broadly transparent which can lead to risk miscommunication and online bullying (which is obviously the down side). Being transparent is about being transparent for the right things and for the right reasons.
    The holy grail of digital marketing is ENGAGEMENT and engagement is built on one thing and one thing alone - AUTHENTICITY! The online world and especially social media will 'show you' if you are not being authentic. People can see right through fake attitudes -so overly-posed pics marketing-speak etc will all be treated like an advertising execrise or 'forced'. Building trust through authenticity will result in great engagement rates. Positive engagement is all up to how much you make a connection with who you are targetting ito customer engagement. Be unique be interesting be 'human' be authentic and BE SAFE to manage your ORM effectively.
    awesome article ... thank you!
    We live in a world of 'search' so everything is searched for to be able to initially engage - at this point its the same online as it is offline - first impressions are lasting ones. When anyone accesses your pages both individual and business they haveaccess to your life your world your beliefs your truth and can even see you in different roles outside of business. This holistic view accumatively gives the person searching a perception of you - don't fight this and see it as a violation (because then you should rather be off the grid - if you choose to go into a public space then expect to be 'assessed' - no different to walking around in public and people judge you by the way your present yourself publicly) rather see it as an opportunity of how you can bond with people who are truly interested in you and your business because as much as they get to see you in your entirety so the same goes for you tosee someone else's ;)!
    Your ORM will be punsihed if you do too much or too little. ORM is about trying to balance things and making sure that all necessary risks are managed but most importantly all the leverageable points are optimised and the opportunities maximised
    When managing the 'risks' of ORM its over and above just the safety and security factors - its also about being VERY strategic in thinking. Make sure that your website and all digital assets are updated with regular information - even if there is nothing to change keep things fresh and 'new' by changing profile pics give opinions make comments on others' posts. Celebrate others achievements as much as admitting to failures in a humble and human way (don't be overly formalwhen dealing with a complaint or negative situation because it tends to mask your intention of resolving the compliment - just be 'human' be understanding but stand your ground if things areb becoming 'difficult and you can see or feel you are being treated unfairly