Today, many people and businesses are looking to manage their online reputation and this explains the increased number of companies in the online reputation management field.
Reputation Changer, Reputation.com, Metal Rabbit Media and Big Blue Robot are among the some of the more prominent companies that promise to hide any negative info that shows up on Google searches concerning you or your companies’ brand.
Companies and high-level executives are often the main people looking to utilise this service in 2013. One reason is because the growing trend for a very large number of online users is to research a company they are thinking of dealing with. This is why your reputation or your company’s reputation needs to be managed effectively.
A professional brand management company or online marketing specialist agency might be a worthwhile investment, but before you get to that, utilise the 6 steps below and see if it is needed.
1. Search Yourself
Simple yes, but an essential start to brand reputation management. Conduct a Google search for your name or company name and search it in the Google search and also Google Images – see what comes up.
Then establish a Google alert on your name for keeping track of any new content featuring mentions of you or your company. In addition, you can have the notifications mailed to you once every day to avoid overwhelming your inbox.
2. Buy Your Domain Name
To do this on sites such as GoDaddy costs $12 annually. Opinions differ on how much money and effort should be put into this. According to Patrick Ambron, CEO plus cofounder of BrandYourself, it is wise to snatch your own name as a domain name and safe guard your online brand for life.
If at any point you do get negative coverage you can use this domain name to rank for your own name very easily. You can also write an account from your life, a short biography of yourself and include your CV.
3. Put All Your Content in A Single Place
There are several sites that allow you to do this today, which includes Tumblr, About.me and WordPress. Besides, you can “apply” your domain name to these websites, which means that anybody who goes into your domain name will be directed to your WordPress page or your Tumblr page. That is convenient because WordPress and Tumblr provide templates that are nicely designed where you can create what resembles a website that is professionally designed without having to employ a designer.
4. Join Social Networks
Even though you feel that you do not have to be active on social networks, join these sites and take time to complete the profiles. As commonly known, the major sites are Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. Google+ might not be very popular today but it is bound to gain popularity over the coming years and it is definitely a social network Google search favours (as it’s their own).
If you can get time, it is also wise to join Pinterest, YouTube and Tumblr among others. Although you do not have to be active, do not be completely dormant either. Try adding new content no less than once every month. This can be as easy as attaching an article and making a brief comment about why it fascinates you.
Remember social profiles rank well on Google, so the more you have the more you will ‘own’ the coverage of Page 1 Google for your own name or company name – owning more Page 1 positions is the key to successful.
5. Optimize Your Presence on These Sites
Fill out these sites as completely as possible, customizing the URL when possible and repeating your name where suitable. For example, on LinkedIn, you could scroll down to where you see “public profile” on your profile page, and then edit the URL.
Also, ensure to use you full name, not a nickname. You will find that most websites offer you the option to link to other major social media sites. You should definitely do this as it will help strengthen your online presence.
6. Keep Private Things Private
You should be careful with what you post on the social media sites. Avoid posting private pictures or confidential data like phone numbers. You should also put privacy settings on all content you wish to share only with a selected group of family and friends.
Various sites have different rules on privacy and it is important to understand each of them. Experts say that you should avoid posting photos of yourself that you do not want the world to see.
If you cannot control what your friends and family post on your profile, then it might be wise to set up two accounts. For instance in Facebook, you can have a professional and an intimate account. While this might be difficult to manage, you will rest assured that your professional account remains professional.
Jonathan is focused on developing successful online marketing strategies. When he is not working online, he can be found on the golf course.