When it comes to online reputation management, what’s the best strategy to keep on top of your digital profile and ensure that your online reputation stays optimised for the best possible digital representation of yourself?
Nevertheless, whether you are a seasoned professional to your own personal brand or new to the concept of Online Reputation Management we will summarise what you need to know about Monitoring, Optimising and Managing your Online Reputation and begin taking the right steps to manage this process.
Step 1: Monitoring your Online Reputation
By evaluating and then monitoring your name or your company’s name you can easily find what people are saying about you or your organization. Services for monitoring include the following activities:
Actively monitor news and content via the Internet for any mention of an individual and/or organization’s brand name. The easiest way to do this is to “Google” your name, your brand name or your product name in Google News. From that page you can set up an email alert for news items about your brand or an RSS feed
If you are a Business Owner flagging negative reviews can be done by signing up your business to Yelp, Google Local, Facebook and Angie’s List. You will receive emails when your business is reviewed. When you get a negative review, you must respond publicly about what happened so others can see that you are addressing any negative content.
Step Two: Optimization & Management
Getting the most from your digital profile requires attention to three key areas:
- Being active on the critical platforms: Being present and active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ is critical, as is understanding how these platforms work at a basic level, because it isn’t advisable to outsource these activities in a wholesale manner - authenticity matters.
- Perfecting messaging: Designing and delivering a messaging strategy that is both compelling and consistent across platforms is just as important as being there. So you’ll want your Twitter profile to be an obvious summary of your LinkedIn profile, for example. A steady drumbeat of integrated storytelling across channels will pay dividends over time, by way of new, unexpected opportunities.
- Expanding reach: After you have the fundamentals in place, it’s time to transition to promotion. Specific promotional tactics will depend on your personal preferences and skills. Some executives loathe Twitter but are addicted to LinkedIn, so their strategies are LinkedIn-centric. Others bristle at the idea of compiling a 700-word blog post but are exceptional at 140-character commentary, so their strategies are built around Twitter. With the vast quantity of digital outlets available today - dozens around the world with more than 10 million users - not to mention traditional offline communities with powerful online presences (Forbes, Fast Company, Fortune, etc.), it’s not difficult to devise a plan that plays to an executive’s strengths.
- PUSH THE BAD STUFF DOWN: Let’s be clear: it’s hard to get things taken off the internet. There are some cases where it can be done, but they are few and far between. Always remember, more than 90% of people searching Google click an article before ever scrolling below the fold. The more positive content appearing at the beginning of search results, the better. You can do this by creating new content and competing against those search rankings.
Step Three: Timelines
The good news about online reputation management is that for 99% of online personal accounts, it is largely controllable; that is to say, you can determine the results that Google or Bing serve up when your name is searched.
The bad news is that it’s difficult and usually inadvisable to try to make this happen quickly. The search engines don’t like abrupt movements in their results pages, and taking shortcuts often leads to short-lived improvements that fade quickly.
With that in mind, a 90-day time period is usually required for meaningful changes to be apparent, and it can take much longer for crisis management. The ideal duration is 24-52 weeks to define a strategy and put the core pieces in place to build upon, and then ~2 hours/week thereafter to maintain.
For CEO/Executives or Business / Practice owners who rely on their personal brands to get their employers or businesses a competitive advantage in new business, partnership, or recruiting scenarios, investing in online Reputation management management can be hugely beneficial to your company and brand.
For those who are new to online reputation management - the vast majority, since most of these techniques are new - there is a learning curve, but one that seems to be making it to the crosshairs of more and more executives every day.
Contact us now for your free reputation management evaluation.