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Your online reputation is worth gold if you manage it correctly

Gold

If you are interested in finding out what people are saying about your services and products online, have you considered starting an online reputation management strategy? Online reputation management, better known as ORM, involves so much more than just checking for links online. It’s about monitoring (listening) to your actual reputation on the web and how people feel about your services, products, and company.

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Many assume that ORM should only be used to monitor any negative comments and feedback to anything related to your business, but it’s also a gold mine to find opportunities and ways to increase your positive reputation on the web. If you have a process in place to effectively monitor the online conversation happening about your brand, you will better understand how people feel about you, better respond to criticism and complaints, and find ways to increase your reputation online.

How do you start with this process? It’s easy.

Google

This is still one of the best and easiest ways to start with any online reputation management campaign. Search on Google (local and international) for your company name, products, services, and anything your business relates to. Monitoring the results for the keywords you used is a big part in finding out where people are complaining and praising your company online. This is a great method that you can use to target the areas where you’ll have to start with protecting your reputation online. You can also use Google’s search features to narrow down your search. View the search results for any mentions about your company on the news section, blogs, YouTube, and image search.

Google also offers an alert service called Google Alerts where you can set up a couple of keywords and you will be alerted when Google finds any mention of those keywords. This is a free service and can be accessed from your Google account by going to Google Alerts.

Review channels

When brands have no online presence at all and they are listed on review sites such as Hello Peter with a couple of negative comments, these negative comments will often be displayed on Google’s first page when searching for the company name.

Another review channel that will be hitting the scene soon and will make a major impact is Annoyd.me. This channel features a central place where brands and consumers can have a conversation. It’s a platform where brands are given the chance to really listen to you and respond to your feedback. On Annoyd.me, you can praise, air your grievances, and get your problems solved.

Search for any mentions and comments about your brand on these review channels. Create an account on these platforms and start responding to any positive and negative comments you receive.

Social media channels

Google may not display what is being said about your business on various social media channels like Google+, Twitter and Facebook. Search these channels for any mentions about your brand and find out what is currently being said by your fans and followers related to your brand. Angry customers might not take the effort to write a full review on a review channel as explained above, but will vent their anger on their favorite social media channel.

The easiest way to get started with this is to visit Twitter Search and search for any keywords related to your business. The word of mouth commentary you receive via social media will not always be obvious unless you actively search for what people are talking about, yet these comments can be damaging and very influential. Make a point of actively looking at these channels for any mentions about your company.

Blogging
There are many bloggers online that can give you a very good sense of your current reputation. They are very influential online and people in the market for your services and products are going to find their blog posts and might even comment on them, giving you a very good look at what your reputation looks like. Search the blogosphere for any mentions about your company and comment on those posts.

Ask for opinions and never go into attacking mode. Trust me, these bloggers can build or ruin your online reputation with a single blog post. If you establish a relationship with them, they themselves can become very important parts of your overall strategy in order to build your reputation online.

Your reputation online is worth gold. Make a point of finding what people are currently saying about you online, and what has already been said. It could save your business in the long run.

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