Much has been written on the importance of maintaining a professional online reputation for yourself or your company (especially after the debacle that was the Ryanair respose to Jason Roe’s blog post the other week). On a simple level (as this is not what this post is about) it is generally advised to maintain a positive attitude to critisicm and to acknowledge that a comment has been made in the first place.
While it would seem that some people are still unaware of the importance of an online reputation the majority of people do ‘get it’. For anyone out there who needs convincing, let us take the opportunity to explain why it is worth keeping track of.
Personal Reputation Management:
It’s not just companies who need their reputations monitored. There have been several instances of employees falling foul of their name being Googled by employers who discover something not becoming of an employee. Take for instance, the Virgin staff who were sacked for their negative Facebook comments (read it here). I know a lot of people may argue that a personal life should remain just that but:
If it is online, then it can be found.
If it can be found, then it needs consideration.
Protecting your Brand:
What if you run a company?
What if a competitior bad-mouths that company online?
And what if you have no idea your company or it’s products has been bad-mouthed?
Keeping control of your online branding is more than just vanity, it’s about protecting your brand from negative publicity and being given the chance to respond to any bad press. Observing what’s been written about you can be the making or braking of your business.
Three simple steps
So how do you monitor your company’s online presence in order to react to it? Below are three simple ways to monitor your online reputation that anyone can do. There are others but these should be enough to get you started!
First, you can get notified each time a site is found to mention a certain name or phrase. So set up a Google account and set up an alert for your company’s name, your name and anyone else who may be important to the reputation of your company. This lets you see when you have been mentioned and gives you the opportunity to react if needs be.
Monitor Referring Websites
Keep an eye on who is coming to your website and from where. If you suddenly see a sudden barrage of hits from www.My-Boss-Is-A-Spud.co.uk then it’s worth having a quick look over the referring site to see if there is anything negative relating back to you!
While a Google Alert should negate the need for this there is nothing wrong with the odd vanity search once in a while or simply if you don’t want to set up a Google Alert. By vanity search we mean sticking your name or company name into Google and seeing what comes up.