Too often, people and organizations wait until they have a reputation management crisis on their hands before considering a strategy to clear their online reputation and get back on track. Ideally, reputation management should be part of any business or individual’s strategy for creating a positive image online and being found by the right people—like customers.
And today’s media landscape makes it easier than ever for anyone to implement a reputation strategy that is proactive and preventative. Through blogs, social media, and more anyone who wants to get their name out in the world in a positive way has many avenues open to them. And being active online is s great way to prevent a future crisis.
Being actively engaged online gives you great advantages for your online reputation. For instance, the more you can get your name (or company name) mentioned, the more instances Google has to draw from when compiling a SERP for your name. And if there are more positive or neutral mentions of your name online than negative, then the SERPs will reflect that. Also, if you are actively engaged online, chances are you will be making friends and acquaintances across the world that can help you if a reputation management crisis should occur.
Being Actively Engaged
The benefits of being actively engaged online before a crisis occurs are apparent, but how do you start? How can you build a positive reputation right now?
If you don’t have one already, get a blog and use it as a home base for information about yourself or your company. This is a great place to publish content about yourself as well as quality content that other online communities and individuals can access and link to. If you are regularly publishing quality content, your blog will gain regular readership and rankings in the SERPs, giving you a positive online reputation.
2) Social Media
Social media is another great way to prevent future attacks on your reputation. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ profiles all rank well in the search engines—especially if you have a high number of followers who regularly share your links and comments. This is key: if you are actively engaged online through social networks, you will naturally increase your rank for those profiles in the SERPs and prevent the invasion of negative information should it ever arise.
3) Forums and groups
Another place to be active online is through forums and groups. Online forums connected to your niche or area of expertise are a great way to be helpful and answer questions, raising your online profile and the chance that people will link to your blog, social profiles, and more. LinkedIn is an especially good place to form some great relationship through professional groups. These friendships and positive relationships can come in handy for promoting your content and boosting your online profile to guard against future attacks.
4) Conferences and Meetups
Online is great, but offline encounters can also help you build clout and a positive reputation online and off. The more people you encounter within your field, the better your chances of being mentioned online, trusted, and used as a resource. The result is that you’ll garner more attention for the positive things that you do, building a great online reputation before something negative comes along.
5) Be a Resource
Lastly, be a resource to people in your field. If you can create a website, social media account, or other online repository for great information, your online community will link to you and use you as a source around the web. And when that happens you’ll be sure to create a rock solid online reputation.