In the digital age, your online reputation is more important than ever. Not only do potential employers, clients, and customers research you online, but thanks to social media, anyone can say anything about you at any time.
That’s why it’s essential to have a good online reputation management (ORM) strategy in place. ORM is the process of monitoring, managing, and influencing your online reputation.
There are a lot of moving parts to ORM, but we’ve boiled it down to 10 essential rules.
Follow these 10 rules and you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a positive online reputation.
1. Google Yourself Regularly
If you don’t know what’s being said about you online, you can’t do anything to manage your reputation. That’s why the first rule of ORM is to Google you regularly.
Set up Google Alerts for your name, your company, your product, and any other relevant keywords. That way, you’ll be notified anytime someone mentions you online.
2. Monitor Your Social Media Accounts
In addition to monitoring your general mention in the news, it’s also important to monitor your social media accounts. Set up alerts for when people tag you or mention you in posts and comments.
Most social media platforms have built-in tools for this (Facebook Pages has Page Insights, for example). You can also use third-party tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to help you keep track of your social media mentions.
3. Respond to Negative Reviews and Comments Promptly
When people leave negative reviews or comments about you online, it’s important to respond promptly. The sooner you address the issue, the better.
If possible, try to resolve the issue offline. If that’s not possible or if the customer is unwilling to work with you, then respond publicly and professionally.
4. Get Involved in Relevant Conversations
In addition to responding to negative reviews and comments, it’s also important to get involved in relevant conversations online. This includes industry-specific discussions as well as conversations about your company, product, or service.
Joining in on these conversations shows that you’re active and engaged with your online reputation. It also allows you to get your side of the story out there and influence the conversation.
5. Encourage Positive Reviews and Comments
In addition to discouraging negative reviews and comments, you should also encourage positive ones. This can be done by asking satisfied customers to leave reviews on review sites like Yelp or Google.
You can also encourage positive comments by responding to them when they’re left. Showing that you appreciate positive feedback will make customers more likely to leave more of it in the future.
6. Address Misinformation Quickly and Directly
If there is misinformation about you or your company floating around online, it’s important to address it quickly and directly. The longer it sits there, the more likely people are to believe it.
If the misinformation is on a reputable site, reach out to the site’s staff and ask them to correct it. If it’s on a less reputable site, you can try reaching out to the site owner or leaving a comment yourself.
7. Create Positive Content
One of the best ways to manage your online reputation is to create positive content. This could be blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, or anything else that promotes your brand in a positive light.
The more positive content you have out there, the more likely people are to find it when they search for you online. And the more likely they are to develop a positive impression of you.
8. Promote Your Positive Content
In addition to creating positive content, you also need to promote it. This will help ensure that it gets seen by as many people as possible.
There are a number of ways to promote your content, including social media, email marketing, and paid advertising.
9. Manage Your Online Footprint
Your online reputation isn’t just about what you put out there—it’s also about what others put out there about you. That’s why it’s important to manage your online footprint.
This includes anything that appears under your name online, such as social media profiles, blog posts, articles, comments, and reviews. Make sure that everything is accurate and up-to-date.
10. Keep an Eye on Your Reputation over Time
Finally, it’s important to keep an eye on your reputation over time. This will help you identify any potential problems early on so that you can address them before they become too serious.
There are a number of ways to do this, including Google Alerts, social media monitoring tools, and review sites.
By following these 10 tips, you can effectively manage your online reputation and ensure that you always put your best foot forward online.