What’s on the internet is forever…and that’s a mighty long time. This includes any information about you or your company. Because of this you should think of your online information as your fingerprint; it’s something that stays with you lifelong…regardless if you can’t find it using Google. But have you stopped to find out what the internet says about you? What is your online reputation?
If you’ve ever Googled yourself to see what the internet says about you then you’ve taken part in what’s called ‘egosurfing’. In reality it should be called ‘reputation surfing’, but basically both are terms coined for surfing the internet looking for information about yourself or your company.
It sounds like a bad thing doesn’t it? Maybe it’s the word ‘ego’. However ego- or reputation surfing is actually a very good thing to do. Think about background checks. They’re performed daily for things like job applications, licenses and permits, and even credit. What you hope is that only good information is found, but how do you really know unless you check yourself and monitor what is found.
Reputation management is key in the internet world we live in. Believe it or not, your identity is something that others CAN control, so you need to do your best to manage it. Remember your brand is tied to your reputation.
There are a few ways you can keep up with the information being published about you.
You can conduct Google searches periodically or set up a Google alert with your company name and keywords. This will, at the very least, make you aware of the conversation going on around your brand.
Yes, that’s right…start one or amp up your blog. The key here is to put out as much positive and credible information about your company as possible. Be sure to always optimize your posts, however, so that searches point back to you for this affirming content.
There a many review sites today and they are more powerful than you might imagine. It’s extremely important to maintain a positive image on these sights as 93% of shoppers state that reviews do impact their purchasing decision; with 82% saying that they read reviews before making a purchase. However its not only important to monitor your reviews but you should also engage your reviewers. A response to a good review is easy, but a well thought out, sincere response to a bad review is actually gold. Many reviews are inclined to edit their comments with personal engagement from said company. At that point your reputation has just taken a turn for the better.
While you may think that taking a look at your company from time to time is adequate, it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Dedication is necessary to maintain a positive online image and it takes time and effort to do a good job staying on top of what others are saying out you, especially on multiple platforms. Is it worth it? Well, it’s your reputation at stake.