How can I monitor my reputation online?
Reputation management is the effort to influence what and how people think of a brand or person when viewed online. There are many different reputation management strategies that will allow you to maintain or improve your online reputation.
You may choose to manage your reputation on your own or with the help of a reputation management company. Either way, you will work to monitor and improve your reputation over time, often starting with improving your search engine results.
Setting up Google Alerts is a great first place to start monitoring your reputation online. You will see when negative news articles, blogs, reviews or images are posted, and what people are saying about you on social media.
What if what I find is bad? How can I improve my online reputation?
Luckily, reputation can be improved over time. But it takes a lot of hard work and consistency to achieve results. If you are facing a full-blown crisis or a bout of negative publicity, there are steps you can take to turn your search results around and rebuild your online reputation.
The road to reputational recovery can be simplified into three steps:
- Analyze the damage: Take a moment to assess the extent of the damage. Before you take any actions to respond to the damage, track existing and new press, research what is being said about you, and touch base with any investors or stakeholders.
- Regain control: This is the time to turn the situation around. Regaining control often starts with an apology. Issue a statement apologizing for any wrongs that may have been committed, and continue to update the situation as it progresses.
- Create a recovery roadmap: Oftentimes simply issuing an apology is not enough to recover from a bad online reputation. Once you’ve done all you can do to immediately try to improve the situation, start thinking about long-term strategies, such as creating and promoting positive content.
How do I choose a reputation management company?
A reputation management company can help improve your reputation faster and more efficiently than if you were to go it alone. An experienced reputation management company will likely have dealt with a similar situation to yours before, and will know exactly what works and what doesn’t to solve the problem.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a reputation management company:
- How many years of experience does the company have?
- Do they specialize in the specific area of reputation management you need help with?
- Do they deliver exceptional customer service? Will they be available to answer any questions you may have or to deal with crises as they unfold?
- Have you researched the company and reviewed their references/testimonials?
So, what about your reputation?
Reputation management is more necessary today than it has been in the history of humankind. With the proliferation of review sites, news media and twitter, information can spread in a matter of seconds and can linger for years.
At the risk of sounding like doomsday prophets, every brand and every business today are at risk for reputation damage. Tech-savvy antagonists know how to create and distribute false information. All it takes is a single fake-but-compromising Photoshopped image on 4chan, a fake review on Google, or a spam comment on your Amazon product and you are facing a crisis that could destroy your brand.
Reputation, as this article should have made clear, is largely out of your control. But there are things that you can do — both proactively and reactively — to manage your reputation