Someone is talking about you – Managing Your Online Reputation – Part 1

Whether we like it or not, people are talking about us, our businesses and topics affecting our businesses every day.

We hope that the mentions are positive and constructive, but occasionally they are not!!!

Your personal reputation and that of your business is now laid bare for all to see and judge on the internet, and you cannot prevent it. The genie is out of the bottle and will never return!!

It is therefore vital for every business to monitor the internet on a regular basis to pick up those news mentions, both good and bad. Traditionally many businesses have paid for press clippings services in the past, and you now need the equivalent for the internet.

This post and subsequent ones will look at some of the free tools available to every business to actively monitor the internet.

1. Use the Search engines

On a regular basis, use Google and/or Bing to search for your name, company name, brand name etc. Review the results – are they what you expected? Are competitors ranking for your keywords? Does another company have a competing brand name etc?

This helps you to understand the online landscape you naturally inhabit and may raise some warning flags on areas of possible concern or conflict.

2. Google Alerts –

Google AlertsGoogle Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on keywords you supply, such as company name or brand name..

After you enter the search query you wish to monitor, you will see a preview of the type of results you’ll receive.  As well as tracking your own company, it is a useful tool to use to keep up to date with competitors or developments within a specific industry.

The results are those which appear in the first 10-12 search results in Google for a specific query.

3. Social Mention –

Social MentionMore and more people are sharing their views on people, products, companies etc with their network of friends and acquaintances uses social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Social Mention is a social media search and analysis website that aggregates user generated content for a particular search term into a single stream of information.

It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.

The data is provided as a daily automated email news alert, similar to Google Alerts,  as well as in real-time through the website.

Both Social Mention and Google Alerts are automated services delivering alert emails into your Inbox every day, making it easy for anyone to keep a ‘weather eye’ on their online reputation.

The next blog post will look at two more free tools enabling you to track and react to social media activity.

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