Social media platforms have changed the way people interact and voice their opinions online. With billions of people on Facebook and millions more on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, Pinterest, and Foursquare, it’s easier than ever for an angry customer to attack your reputation and create a public relations disaster, costing your business money.
The question is this: When someone searches for you or your brand online, what will they find?
Let’s face it, your online reputation can make or break your business. So taking the steps to create an effective strategy to manage, track, and protect your established reputation is simply critical to your success.
So how can you keep your online reputation safe? There are steps you can take to manage your online reputation.
Search for yourself.
Run a full search for your name or brand on search engines and create Google Alerts to receive email alerts whenever your brand is mentioned online.
Monitor social media and utilize tools.
Monitor consumer feedback on review sites (like Yelp or Amazon) and proactively respond to comments. Sites like Reviewtrackers.com and Reputation.com help you track online activity on one dashboard. Utilize platforms like HootSuite and Radian6 to track and respond to all of your mentions across multiple social media platforms.
Buy your domain name.
Buy up the domain names – how many is up to you – that could be associated with your name or brand. Depending on your resources, create some official content that can live here.
Optimize your presence on social media.
Join social media networks and complete the profiles to optimize your presence and show up high in online searches. Review all of the privacy settings, and customize the URL of each profile with your full name or brand instead of the generic and lengthy URL. Connect all of your digital platforms to strengthen your presence.
Adopt branded hashtags.
Many major brands have created hashtags that users use to identify their brand. It not only helps your brand stand out, but it helps you track mentions. Leverage branded hashtags so users can easily mention you.
Keep private things private.
Don’t put anything online – anywhere – that you wouldn’t want the world to see. Don’t rely on privacy settings to restrict things to friends and family. Monitor what others are posting about you and remove identification tags if necessary. Create private and public social profiles to keep the two worlds separate.