Your Image in the Eyes of the Public
Monitoring the online reputation of yourself and your brand is crucial for success. Your reputation is primarily built from your website and the content you generate (blogs, comments, social networking). Building your reputation is only half the battle—now you have to manage it.
In this how-to, we’ll share tips in monitoring your online reputation.
Before you begin, here are some basic rules to follow while searching:
- Exact Phrases (ex: “Your Name”) - When you use quotations around a word or phrase, your search results will only find pages including the same words in the same order as your quote.
- Exclusions (ex: recipes -italian) - If you use a dash directly before a word or phrase in quotes, it will exclude pages from your results containing that info. This is helpful if you’re finding too many topics unrelated to your search.
- Social Tags (ex: @brandname) - Used to find social tags.
- Hashtags (ex: #brandname) - Searches for trending topics.
1. Google Alerts
This automated news alert system provided by Google is one of the most useful tools for monitoring your name and brand. Google Alerts works by automatically searching for new content being posted to the web based on your search specifications. For monitoring your name and business you should set up searches for:
- Your name, or the full name of the manager/owner of the business you want to monitor.
- The name of your brand.
- Specific or unique products and services you sell.
Remember to use exclusions if your results are turning up irrelevant content. If you need help setting up Google Alerts follow our guide: How To Set Up Google Alerts.
2. Bing Alerts
Very similar to Google Alerts, Bing Alerts is also a great tool for getting automated updates. For this tool, you’ll need to sign up for a microsoft account. Once you are logged into your account, go into your profile’s settings and navigate directly to their My Interests page.
Click ‘Add interests’ under the ‘News’ section. Use the same subjects for your search topics as previously recommended (name, brand, products).
Both Google and Bing have different search algorithms so you’re likely to get some different updates between the two of them. Using both will help ensure that you’re keeping up with as many new posts and comments as possible.
3. Google & Bing News
Many people overlook using the two biggest search engines to monitor their reputation. Even after you’ve setup your Google and Bing Alerts, it’s also very useful to search for your topics in the ‘News’ section in both search engines.
When searching for yourself or your brand, make sure you use quotation marks. This lets the search engine know that the words belong together, giving you a better chance of finding relative posts.
4. Blogs & Guest Posts
If you maintain a blog for yourself or your company, make sure you’re staying engaged with your followers. Some blogs allow you to follow comments by sending automatic updates, specifically WordPress, HubSpot, and Blogger. Subscribing to a blog’s comments can be especially useful if the blog you’re posting on is not yours, although not all blogs have this feature. Make sure that whether you're posting on your own site or someone else’s, you always need to check back to engage with your audience in a timely manner.
A helpful tip here is to keep a bookmarks folder on your web browser for recent posts and comments you make off your page.
5. Social Networks
Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or some other social platform, you should be logging in at least once a day, if not more to follow up on any posts or comments. Social sites are in real-time and your responses should be timely, which is why many companies today hire social media experts for their team. Social networks all provide notifications straight to your account which makes keeping up with any new updates simple and easy; these notifications can also be sent to your email so you don’t have to keep checking for updates. Social sites also provide useful search bars—Facebook and Twitter in particular.
Try searching for your name or brand on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t forget to use quotations in your search. Doing this is a good way to find the most recent comments and posts on social networks pertaining to your topics.
If you have multiple accounts, try using content management tools like HubSpot or HootSuite. These tools can help save time by letting you manage all of your accounts in one place.
Check Back and Check Often
Monitoring your online reputation is an ongoing process, but is integral for maintaining a positive image of your name and brand. Keeping up with timely responses is important because negative comments left unaddressed will attract unwanted attention. More so, you can use these moments to shed positive light on your brand’s image. Here are some response tips:
- Negative review: You should always acknowledge the issue promptly and promise to rectify it. This gives you a chance to show other viewers that you care and your business pays attention to its consumers.
- Positive review: Thank them! Show them that their brand loyalty is appreciated.
- Mention: Share great posts about you and your brand. People like to see companies that have good references, use them to your advantage.
You can also use these monitoring tools to keep an eye on your competitors and find out what they’re doing. Using these tips and tools will help automatically manage half of your search for you, while making the rest of your searches relatively easy.
If you need help building your online reputation or monitoring the reputation you've worked so hard to build, Miles Technologies can help!