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How to Monitor and Control Your Business's Reputation Online

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 12:40pm | by Guest Contributor

We've all heard the saying that one poor decision can ruin a reputation. This doesn't just apply to one's private life, but what goes on in the professional world as well. Indeed, just as tabloids look for celebrity fodder to put online via social media outlets, there are also business outlets that do very similar things (think Apple and Samsung's ongoing lawsuit, or what Yahoo went through this year with their CEO challenges, for instance). This is why it's important that you do all that you can to both monitor and control you own business's reputation online.

Are you wondering how you can do just that? Well, we actually have five tips that can get you on the right track:

Control your content. Virtually every company has a website. Some also have a Facebook fan page, Twitter and LinkedIn account and even a Pinterest and YouTube subscription page. It's imperative that you specifically designate who can post content on those pages, that the login info remains confidential and that you also make sure to monitor the comments that are posted under all of those accounts.

Link it all together. Professionally, it makes things a lot easier if you make sure to streamline all of your accounts by giving them the same name or something as close to it as possible. For instance, if your company is called "The Green Pickle Store", set up your website and social media accounts under that name too.

Google yourself. One surefire way to know what is being said in cyberspace is to Google yourself on a fairly consistent basis. As a matter of fact, you can actually set up an alert system with Google where they will email you any time that your name or your company's name (based on how you list it) is mentioned.

Let services do the work for you. Trying to keep up with all of the information about your company can be a job within itself. When it comes to coming up with online reputation management strategies, luckily, there are companies that will help to do the work for you. For instance, Social Mention is a website that ranks "positive", "neutral" or "negative" info that is said on the blogosphere. Reputation.com is a site that prides itself in having the technology to make your good news soar, while making the not-so-good news not so relevant (it will run you around $50 per month). And Addict-o-Matic provides you with the ability to customize your own page with the latest "buzzworthy" info.

Communicate with your customers. Word of mouth travels fast and the internet is certainly no exception. If you do happen to receive some bad press or you have a couple of disgruntled employees, make sure to reach out directly to address any questions, comments or concerns that your clients, customers and potential customers may have. It only takes a few negative statements on your Facebook wall or Twitter account to taint the perception of your business. The courtesy of a timely response can, more times than not, restore it back to having a healthy professional reputation.

 
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