With a plethora of information available on the internet at the click of a mouse or a swipe on the touchscreen, life is certainly not easier for those with a reputation to maintain.
The internet is connecting millions of people worldwide; has enabled rapid data and information sharing; some across secure networks and some across uncontrolled free networks. This data and information can easily be retrieved through an online search. Content posted years before, including photos and text, can be used to embarrass or cause harm years later. It is literally a constant state of survival in cyberworld against malicious elements. And online reputation management has become one weapon in the fight against such elements.
Online reputation management is equally important for brands, established businesses and start-ups, and individuals. Unless monitored, pre-existing information may crop up and lead to negative conversations online. But it is not as bad as it sounds, as there are ways to monitor your reputation online.
Here are FIVE WAYS for you to easily monitor and manage your reputation online:
- Use Google Alerts
A fairly simple and straightforward way to keep track of the online conversations around your company and/or brand is to monitor them using Google Alerts. The tool delivers any recent information, about the term(s) you select, from the web straight to your inbox. This information allows you to monitor your image among consumers, what they feel you are doing well or not so well, and any burgeoning issues that may damage your reputation in the future.
If you find negative results, you can then take steps to improve your reputation, such as brand promotion or PR to restore a flagging reputation.
To set up Google alerts, go to Google.com/alerts.
Then, type in the subject you want alerts on in the Alert field. If you want to use a combination of terms, use double quotes around each term you want to consider in isolation. Use the pull down menu under Show Options to specify in detail the kind of alerts you want.
Next type in your email address in the field next to create the alert button.
Press the Create Alert Button, and you are on your way. Google sends you an acknowledgement and will start delivering notifications to your e-mail, based on the number of times you want to be notified.
- Use Trackur
Another way to monitor your reputation online is to use Trackur, a social monitoring tool, to track your brand or business’s name. Trackur helps highlight your brand, whenever and wherever it is being talked about. You can easily monitor the trends and make appropriate responses and actions, as and when needed, without delay. If the talk is positive, you have a good thing going; however if it is negative, then you’ll have to take the necessary steps to clean up your online reputation. In case of positive responses, you can observe the trends or measures that are helping boost your branding/marketing efforts.
To get started, create a Trackur account and use their easy to follow tutorial for the steps on how to use it.
Once you’ve created an account, you can search for the term of interest and the tool will display relevant results. For example, for the keyword “ipads”, one can carry out the search using the following format and restrict the search to a few or several social media platforms.
The results are displayed as follows, where every link related to this keyword are picked from the pre-selected social media sites.
The results can then be analysed to give a snapshot, as well as tracking:
3. Social Mentions
Social Mentions is another tool that can be used to monitor and track the conversations about your brand or business. It can perform real time searches of social media platforms, blogs, forums, images, videos and websites. The results describe your company’s profile in the conversations in terms of its strength, sentiment, passion, and reach. It also provides various other parameters such as the dynamics of re-tweets etc.
To get started with the tool, go to socialmention.com.
Enter your keyword, and select whether you want to carry out the search against the all fields or some select platforms, like images, microblogs etc. individually.
The results shown are quite extensive. The values for the four parameters are displayed on the left hand side, along with the dynamics/speed of sentiment etc.
4. Reputation Defender/ Brand Yourself
While there are more general ways of preventing your online reputation from getting besmirched, there are easier and simpler technological solutions that can be used when the damage has been done. One such way is to use a reputation management tool such as Reputation Defender. This software offers a wide variety of services, which includes removing any unsavory mentions about your company. In addition, it provides effective SEO services, which can be used to leverage the business online reputation and help it achieve a positive ranking.
While Reputation Defender provides such services for hefty fees, there are some relatively cost-effective apps which are available for those who want to do their reputation management on their own. One such is provided by brandyourself.com, where you can enter the name which you want to monitor in Google results and protect.
Once you have entered the name and continued using the button shown above, the search will present a report card of your name and search results that you can label as yours or not. You will also get a search score and will show you whether there are any potentially damaging results. The site also provides ways of how to clean up your reputation in the case of unsavory reports. The advantages of using this tool are that: it is relatively low cost and easy, simple and do it yourself. If you have the time to do your online reputation this is an affordable solution.
A brand or company’s online reputation can also be influenced by the kind of images being shared about it. Image sharing has never been as popular it is as now, with Instagram and Pinterest. Images from your website can easily be pinned by people and used in wrong ways, without your permission and awareness.
Pinalert is one tool that notifies you whenever images from your website are Pinned. Using Pinalerts is a great way to track the circulation of your images, and to ensure that you are able to monitor the use of your images in an easy and effective way.
While you may not be able to delete all the images circulating on Pinterest, you can certainly take measures to ensure that the content does not damage your company’s reputation.
With all these tools at your disposal, maintaining an online reputation is not difficult. All it requires is commitment and dedication and most importantly, avoiding doing things which will spoil your reputation. Try these measures out and see for yourself, on how well you are able to maintain and improve your reputation.