Jeff Bezos is quoted as saying that your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. That is to say, your brand is your reputation and your reputation is your brand. It takes a lifetime to build and could be dashed apart in an instant.
Managing your online reputation is all about protecting this valuable asset and making sure that there is an accurate representation of your brand promise available for prospects and clients to find online. Here are five tools that you can use to manage your online reputation and make sure that when you are not in the room, people only have good things to say.
While Googling yourself might seem like an overly self-centered thing to do, it is an important activity that anyone who is serious about their online reputation needs to do on a regular basis. It is the quickest way to discover where you stand in the rankings of the SERPs (Search Engine Return Pages) that are most important to your brand. Of course, nothing is more important than your name. If you are not coming up near the top of the search for your own name, consider putting additional effort into your social presence. Several of the other tools on this list will give you the opportunity to increase your standing in the search rankings.
Be sure to also search Google Images for your name. Make sure that the pictures that come up are ones that you would want potential clients to see. If there are images that you have access to and would like deleted there is a process for that. First, delete the original picture then visit Google’s ‘Remove Outdated Content Page’. Once you have cleaned up your images, you can rest easier knowing that anyone else who runs a Google search on you will be seeing your best representation.
One of the most comprehensive strategies for monitoring your online persona is to create a simple Google alert for your name and your company’s name. Google alerts are nothing more than an email that arrives in your inbox with any news of new occurrences of the designated phrase. Since it is not feasible to consistently Google yourself every morning, a Google Alert will take care of this for you.
You can also set Google Alerts for key clients and competitors. This will give you a head start on responding to all kinds of news that affects your business. It will surprise you how powerful being the first person to respond to a new story can be in many different instances.
One of the most important aspects of your reputation has to do with your location. Attracting clients who are near you is a powerful way to increase your book of business. Local searches have been shown to more frequently lead to engagement by those conducting the search. A recent study by Google found that “a greater percentage of local searches lead to a purchase within a day versus non-local searches (18% vs. 7%).”
Local search has become much more important in recent iterations of the Google algorithm. Businesses whose information is correctly and consistently listed across the Internet gain preferential treatment in search listings. If you are looking to improve your discoverability, Google Local Listings is a must for your reputation management.
One of the most important things you can do for your brand is secure your name or your company’s name across the different sites and social platforms. Securing your name provides consistency to your users and allows your business to be seen and recognized in more places. Namechk is a site that has partnered with the top social companies to help you ensure your brand is consistent and easy to find across the internet.
Use Namechk to see if your desired username or vanity URL is still available at dozens of popular Social Networking and Social Bookmarking websites. You can also use it in the early stages of naming to find a brand identity that you can consistently register for the majority of the most popular sites.
One element of a great marketing experience that we fervently recommend is automation. If you are trying to do everything manually yourself, you will undoubtedly experience burnout and human error and it will negatively impact your ability to execute your marketing strategy. If you are using FMG Suite, you are already experiencing some of the best automation on the Internet, but if you are looking to automate aspects of your brand management outside the FMG Suite environment, there are few tools that can match If This Then That (ITTT) for its ability to automate your workload.
ITTT’s recipes allow you to create instances of automation on almost any major social platform. Do you want an email every time you are mentioned on Facebook or Twitter? Want to make sure your branded content is evenly distributed across all of your different social platforms? ITTT has everything you need to not only keep an eye on your reputation but to create the kind of ubiquitous experience that communicates you have spent the time and effort to own your brand online.
Your reputation is a valuable asset that you can not afford to let get tarnished. Use these great tools to keep an eye on your reputation and manage it going forward.