It has become really essential to monitor and manage what is being said about you and you’re your company online. Any typical online reputation management services are expensive and not exactly free. In fact the big companies that totally takes control over your company’s online reputation can bill you hundreds and thousands.
So if you run a small business what are your options? Well there are plenty actually. If you are an average Joe or a company with limited resources, there are some techniques that you can apply to manage and monitor your online reputation without spending thousands of dollars.
Most of the methods discussed in this article are absolutely free and it will get you started with the online reputation management:
1. You should make effective use of free tools like Google Webmaster Central & Technorati to find out who are linking to your website. Sometimes when someone is talking about you via their blog or website, in most cases they will point to your site with a hyperlink. These free tools are very good at picking up that hyperlink and from there you can easily backtrack and go to the original discussion.
2. You should make it your habit to Regularly Google your own name and business name and keep track of the first 50 results. You will often be surprised to see what may show up there.
3. If you want Google to alert you periodically when someone mentions your name, your brand or certain keywords, then the easiest thing to do is to set up a Google Alert. This is a very nifty tool that notifies you when you or your organization has been mentioned in a blog, by the media or in an online forum.
4. The best way to secure the top 50 results for your brand name is to create a profile of for your business in all big social networks and bookmarking sites like – facebook, LinkedIn, delicious, Digg, Twitter and so on. You can also contribute to online forums, write an article for a user-generated knowledge base such as Squidoo, Google Knol or create an Amazon.com product review to demonstrate that you’re somewhat of an authority on a particular topic. You can also create free blogs on Blogger & WordPress and put some content there about yourself and your business and cross link each other.
5. Do a search for yourself and your brand in the social media sites like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and see what others are saying about you. If someone has anything positive or negative to say about business, jump right in to the conversation.
6. Use Free and Subscription based online reputation tool like Whoistalkin.com and Trackur.com to get more advanced insight about how you and your company is represented to the public.
7. Be aware of all the online content you’ve created or that has been created about you over the years. You definitely don’t want anything embarrassing showing up in your search results page. If there is content that you wouldn’t paste it onto a highway billboard, then don’t post it on Facebook, twitter or any other social networking sites.