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How much value do you place on your company’s reputation? Our reputations help us in more ways than one; to get work, make money and become more influential in our targeted industry. Not to mention, a good reputation is something you can be proud of and something that will make you feel good.

Reputation Management has evolved over the last 5 years due to internet and social media. The concept is still the same; it is the practice of understanding or influencing an individual’s business’s reputation.

Out With the Old…In With the New

I don’t know about you, but I am glad that the internet and technology was not what it is today when I was in high school or college. I’m sure I would have gotten in way more trouble and there for sure would have been a record of some of those nights we don’t need to mention. Ones reputation in today’s world is far more fragile than before due to these changes. Mistakes made today are easily tracked and can go viral instantly.

Just like your personal life, it used to be more difficult to affect the reputation of a business. An individual who wanted to spread their grievance for a particular company could, but rarely did it affect a company on an international level, unless it was picked up by mainstream media. These days, everything is instant and international due to the ever evolving technology and social networks. Just like technology has evolved, so have PR teams, legal specialists and reputation management experts.

Reputation management is becoming increasingly important for obvious reasons. Smaller companies and worldwide companies alike are now on the same playing field, or at least close, when it comes to protecting their brand and reputation.

Reputation Management vs. SEO

Even though Reputation Management (RM) is a part of what you do for SEO, SEO is not Reputation Management and vice versa. SEO is the process of affecting your visibility online whereas Reputation Management is the act of protecting all the work you have done online as well to build your company brand and image.

Companies need to realize and understand how SEO and RM work separately but how they are equally important. So many companies are learning SEO right now and are doing a decent job with it.

However, they aren’t implementing the same effort into protecting those efforts with a side-by-side RM strategy and plan. Many believe that RM is only important when something bad has already happened, which is not true. The truth is that a company needs to be proactive about implementing a RM strategy; the more you can track and protect your brand along the way, the less fires you’ll have to put out later.

3 Tips to Manage Your Reputation Online

1. Be Proactive: As I mentioned above, consistently monitoring your online presence and brand is very important to your overall Reputation Management (RM) strategy. It is proven to be more cost-effective to manage it ahead of time, then after something has already occurred. First you’ll need to audit your current position; look for what people are saying about you, negative comments showing up, etc. Second you will need to update or publish more appropriate content and promote it; this is where the SEO part of RM comes into play. Third, you will want to conduct the same research on your competitors and see what is being said about them and figure out how you compare.

2. Listen & Engage: Use your tools to monitor mentions, monitor trends in your industry and to get involved in fast breaking, popular trends and discussions. After you set up your tools, you will want to create an engagement strategy for you and your team. Don’t simply reply, retweet or comment to do so – there should be a set of guidelines setup for such a purpose. Create a dialog and discussion; get your prospects and client to interact with you. This type of social media use will help you gain followers and likes the right way, as well.

3. Implement Security: Simply put secure your online stuff. Protect against spam and hacking by implementing an online security procedure and then monitor it constantly. I have seen many small and large companies alike have their reputation scared simply because they didn’t have the right security measures in place.

5 Web Tools that Can Help You Manage Your Reputation Online

Part of managing your reputation online is being able to see your data in real time and make conclusions based off of that data. It is important to have a strategy in place to do just that. There are many tools out there to help you with this; I have chosen 5 of them to introduce to you below:

1. Google Alerts: This is one of the most basic forms of reputation management; however it is very user friendly and easy for most to adapt to quickly. You simply add a term you want to track (like your company name), and you will get emails and alerts telling you where and when it was mentioned. It simply gives you the facts, but does lack the analysis part.

2. SocialMention: One of the best features about this tool is that you can send alerts for all of your keywords and it also analyzes when your brand is mentioned and gives you information about how important those mentions are.

3. Alterian: If you’re looking for tons of information and data, this tool is the one you want. It can discover what people think about your brand in different countries or from different demographics and also in different languages. This tool really does give you everything you’ll need to know about your online reputation.

4. Brandwatch: As far as popularity goes, Brandwatch is one of the most popular tools to manage your online reputation. It works best though for social media management to monitor certain keywords on social sites.

5. Trackur: This tool is unique in that it shows you what people are seeing when they search for you on Google or other social networks. It can also tell you if people talking about you are influential to the industry or not. Very useful tool.

If you have more time, some additional tools to research and checkout are BrandsEye, Naymz, Technorati, Whos Talking and Rankur.

Final Thoughts

“A reputation that took decades to build can be threatened by a single event, especially in today’s digital age.”

RM can lead to conversions, and as we know conversions is how you make money and build your client base. While SEO techniques are and can be used as a part of your Reputation Management strategy, know that RM is more than just SEO. Find the right balance and align both efforts; you will see a change and overall success.

Reputation Management

Your audience trusts Internet reviews now more than ever. Reputation Management is the best way to keep those reviews as close to 5 stars as possible.

 

It’s no secret that the Internet age has brought with it an insanely huge amount of benefits to businesses, making it possible to reach far wider audiences than previously dreamed possible.

The Internet has even enabled small businesses to compete neck and neck with massive corporations in true-life “David and Goliath” smackdowns, leveling the playing field and giving smaller enterprises the tools necessary to become competitive on a global scale.

But as you probably already know, anytime you open the door to let the goodness flood in, you’re bound to see a few negatives float to the surface. Like the reputational harm that a single dissatisfied customer can do, armed with nothing more than an Internet connection and an axe to grind.

This is where Active Marketing consultants can step in and save your company’s hide.

The Best Offense? A Good Defense

Active Marketing offers reputation management services that are comprehensive. This means we don’t just sit around waiting for someone to trash talk your company before throwing together a damage control plan. We take proactive measures to ensure that when it happens, you have everything in place to turn a bad situation into a positive one.

Start by Covering All Bases

As a part of building a strong defensive line, we register your company name with all of the available social media platforms out there. We don’t only focus on Facebook and Twitter – we also reach out to the other lesser known channels.

Why? Because one of the most effective ways that an individual can do damage to your company’s reputation is by creating social media profiles under your company name, then using them against you maliciously.

Although this sounds a bit too nasty to be a common occurrence, trust us – it’s not.

Know When Your Name Pops Up

Yet another defensive measure that we use to help protect your company against reputation harm is a constant monitoring of the Internet for any mention of your company.

Public relations nightmares can be a lot like grass fires: the sooner you put them out, the greater your chances are at keeping your house from burning down.

At Active Marketing, we’re constantly in a state of alert and when we smell smoke, we bolt into action.

Call and hire us.

1 (231) 946-2334

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Addressing Reputation Issues Head On

The last thing you want to do if you smell smoke is take your sweet time to react, therefore switching into damage control mode quickly is essential.

As soon as we’re notified that someone has posted something negative about your company online – whether that’s directly on your company Facebook wall, on a public forum, or on their own blog – we move fast to diffuse the situation.

We’re proponents of the school of thought that says the best way to deal with a dissatisfied customer is to try to make amends.

Doing this can turn a bad situation around, especially if it’s done publicly where other readers can follow along and identify your company as one that’s willing to ensure all customers are satisfied.

Avoiding the Big Mistake

Do you want to know the biggest mistake your company can make when trying to perform preemptive damage control? Removing the ability of your online followers to post comments to your website and social media channels.

Think about it: silencing your detractors also means silencing your proponents. If your website only exists as a method of one-way communication, you’re never going to achieve the kind of engagement that’s necessary to really grow.

Don’t Wait on Reputation Management

By failing to have a reputation management plan in place, you’re not only asking for trouble – you’re handing it an engraved invitation to crash your party. Remember, even the most well-intentioned businesses who go out of their way to ensure complete customer satisfaction can come under the attack of one motivated individual.

Unless you have someone like Active Marketing in your corner, the damage to your reputation – both online and offline – could be irreparable. Check out our reputation management consultation services to find out how to avoid this particularly nasty fate.

Call and hire us.

1 (231) 946-2334

Subscribe to our Newsletter Today!

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