You may have a great site, a product you’re more than satisfied with and a good customer base, but can you count on your reputation to weather every storm? What are people saying about your product and your business online? Is it beyond your control? This is where internet reputation management comes into the equation.
As people have become more active in forums, on social media sites and in blogs, it’s become much easier to talk about anything and everything online. It’s as easy to share ideas about products and services as it is about book and music, and you can bet that the public are doing it. Whatever you provide, there’s a good chance that it’s being actively discussed in some capacity right now. So, should you be worried? Well, perhaps not worried, but you shouldn’t ignore the fact either.
There’s no need to assume that the public are criticising your product. If you provide something worthwhile you can bet that they’re praising it too. Fashions change, and if you provide something that might be considered part of a trend, you’ll want to know what people are saying about it, and which way the wind of change is blowing in terms of public opinion. You have every reason to monitor the internet for comments about your product, but does the process end with learning about public opinion? No.
The forms of media that grant the public the space they need to talk about things like your product offer you exactly the same opportunity. Why sit idly by while everyone apart from yourself is taking an interest in what you do? Why not be pro-active? This is precisely where online reputation management and social media marketing come in.Internet reputation management covers a range of issues, and is an ever-changing sphere of endeavour. Many businesses choose to get advice from experts. Whether you do or not is up to you, but we’ve compiled a list of tips to help take control of your reputation and make yourself heard.
1.Check blogs. Do a check to see which blogs are taking an interest in what you do. Check for specific references to you and monitor consistently. Be aware that it only takes one very disgruntled blogger to undo marketing that’s taken a lot of time, money and effort. Use alerts to find out who’s talking about you.
2.Launch a counter-offensive. If you find a blogger who’s actively criticizing your product or service, find out why and get active by leaving comments and possibly acknowledging the bad press through your social media marketing. This is just one of many means at your disposal for offering intelligent reactions to negative press in the social arena.
3.Discuss your product. Use discussion boards like boardtracker.com. Alongside blogs and news sites, discussion boards are a vehicle for comment on the net and one you should be aware of. Use sites such as this to keep track of public reaction to your services or products. Stay abreast of the latest development and again, contribute to the online community from a marketing perspective, by adding threads, and have a voice. Find all boards related to your interests and explore the possibilities.
4.Check Twitter.Com. You might be aware that it’s a microblogging site that hosts over 3million people but you might not have considered the ways in which it could be important to the success of your enterprise on the web. Locate instances where your name, product or service has been mentioned and reply. Messages on Twitter spread very quickly, and you might find you have an audience who appreciate that you care enough to listen to what they have to say.
5.Use Sites Like Friendfeed.Com. Social aggregators like FriendFeed can prove very useful from a business point of view. Feeds from other social networking sites can be pulled together to form one single stream of messages and information. Searches of your brand or product on many sites can be made through this one search engine.
All five of these tips can be used to good effect in monitoring your own and your product’s reputation online. Remember that if you don’t care for your reputation then you have little defence against those who have reason to benefit from your downfall. Search engine reputation management is dependent on sites like these. Remember that online reputation management isn’t a chore; it provides desirable opportunities for marketing, receiving new ideas and networking.