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A Guide to Monitoring, Managing, and Repairing Your Online Reputation

Managing your online reputation is crucial for personal reputation, brand reputation, and a brand’s employee perceptions. Ignoring online reputation can lead to missed business and career opportunities due to negative perceptions, impacting personal and professional relationships.

78% of survey recipients said they believe it is very important to look up information about people and/or businesses online before deciding to interact or do business with them.

Harris Interactive for Intelius

The downsides of having a poor reputation online are:

  • Personal Impact: Neglect can damage personal relationships, missed career or business opportunities, and a long-term tarnished image.
  • Brand Consequences: Brands face lost sales and diminished consumer trust due to negative reviews or online content.
  • Employee Implications: Employees with a negative online presence can inadvertently harm the company’s overall reputation.

What is Reputation Monitoring?

Reputation monitoring is the process of tracking and analyzing mentions of an individual’s name, brand, products, or company across various online platforms. This practice involves identifying where conversations occur, understanding what people are saying, determining the sentiment of those conversations, and determining the influence of those speaking.

Reputation monitoring is a crucial aspect of online reputation management (ORM), as it allows for measuring public sentiment and tracking trends in real-time. By staying informed about online mentions, individuals and businesses can effectively manage their reputations, address concerns, and maintain a positive public image.

What is Reputation Management?

Reputation management is the practice of shaping public perception of an individual, brand, products, or organization by influencing online information about them. It encompasses marketing, public relations, legal, and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to promote, protect, and defend an online image or business reputation.

Reputation management aims to control or influence the narrative about a person or company online, as first impressions are increasingly made via digital channels. Effective reputation management involves monitoring and responding to online content, managing reviews and social media presence, and creating positive content to enhance or restore a favorable public image.

How to Monitor Your Online Reputation

Companies typically deploy a couple of solutions for reputation monitoring. Google alerts provides basic mentions, while reputation monitoring platform provide much more detail, including sentiment analysis.

Google Alerts

  1. Setup: Go to Google Alerts and sign in with your Google account.
  2. Configure Alerts: Enter your name, brand, or relevant keywords.
  3. Customize Settings: Choose the frequency of alerts, the types of websites to be monitored, and the language.
  4. Receive Notifications: Google will send emails when new mentions are found, allowing you to track your online presence and respond quickly to negative content.

Reputation Monitoring Platforms

  1. Choose a Platform: Select a reputable platform that suits your needs, such as Brand24, Mention, or Awario.
  2. Set Up Your Account: Register and configure your profile with details about your brand or company.
  3. Input Monitoring Criteria: Add keywords, names, or phrases relevant to your reputation.
  4. Customize Alerts and Reports: Set preferences for how frequently you receive updates and the type of data you’re interested in (e.g., social media mentions, reviews, news articles).
  5. Analyze Data: These platforms offer analytics to understand the sentiment and influence of the mentions, helping you gauge your reputation’s health.
  6. Engage and Respond: Use the platform’s tools to engage with your audience, respond to feedback, and manage negative content effectively.

Utilizing these technologies allows you to maintain a vigilant watch over your online reputation, allowing for timely responses and proactive reputation management.

Strategies for Crafting a Better Online Reputation

  • Acknowledge, Appreciate, Apologize, Act: Address negative online mentions constructively to reverse their impact potentially. This includes having an effective crisis communications plan with your public relations team in extreme situations.
  • Content Creation: Regularly produce and share valuable content to suppress negative online information.
  • Collaborations: Engage with affiliates, influencers, and other businesses for cross-promotion and link-building. Utilize your public relations team to pitch and spread the word with content, third-parties, and other information that helps craft a positive reputation.
  • Repair: Online reputation repair involves taking steps to mitigate or reverse damage to an individual’s or organization’s reputation on the internet. This process typically includes identifying and addressing negative content, promoting positive content, and implementing strategies to strengthen the online presence. Reputation Rhino emphasizes a proactive and strategic approach, focusing on both immediate and long-term reputation management solutions:
    1. Assessment: They begin by assessing the current state of the online reputation, identifying negative content, and analyzing its impact.
    2. Strategy Development: Customized strategies are developed, which may include content removal, suppression, or legal action.
    3. Content Creation and Promotion: Positive content is created and promoted to overshadow negative information.
    4. Search Engine Optimization: SEO strategies are employed to ensure that positive content ranks higher in search results.
    5. Monitoring and Maintenance: Continuous monitoring is conducted to keep track of the online narrative and make adjustments as needed.

Effectively managing an online reputation involves a strategic blend of technology, proactive engagement, and ethical practices. Whether it’s personal, brand, or employee reputation, the digital footprint left online significantly influences how individuals and entities are perceived. Ignoring this aspect can lead to detrimental outcomes, while actively managing it can open doors to numerous opportunities.

online reputation monitoring guide
Source: Reputation Rhino

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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