How Social Media Affects Online Reputation Management

Social media plays a huge role in online reputation management. The many platforms available, their popularity in search results, and how quickly and easily they can spread information all make social media powerful tool in your reputation management arsenal.

There are 4 major ways social media can affect your reputation management online, and the consequences can be either positive or negative. That’s why it’s crucial to have a strong, sound strategy in place for what types of content you’ll post, when you’ll be active, and how you will respond and interact with followers.

Build, Change, or Solidify Your Reputation

Everything you say and do on social media–including the major social platforms as well as blogs, forums, review sites, and other interactive media online–has the power to build a new reputation, adapt an existing image, and solidify your current profile. What you like, what you share, the comments you make, the content you create, the causes you support, the information you give–all of these affect how followers perceive you.

This is where a sound strategy is so important. Without a plan to follow, a seemingly innocuous comment or a small mistake can snowball into a big reputation problem.

Social media has such a powerful effect on your reputation management because your actions happen in real time. Where press releases and traditional management tactics may take days or weeks to make a difference, what you say or do online can go viral in a matter of hours.

In addition to creating a good strategy, use social media to your reputation’s advantage with these best practices:

 

  • Claim your name on all the major social platforms

  • Use the social media most relevant to you and your target audience

  • Be consistently active

  • Use a variety of social channels, such as forums, blogs, multimedia platforms, and the big 4 (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+)

Control How You Appear in Search

On top of affecting your reputation itself, social media is an important component of managing your reputation because it tends to appear high in search results. When your social profiles and content appear on the first page of a search, less desirable content gets pushed down, meaning your audience is less likely to see bad reviews, detractors’ comments, and other negative content.

So not only does your social strategy build or change your reputation, it also affects how much of the first page of Google you own.

The good news is, following the best practices listed above is a pretty easy way to get more real estate in search engine results. The bad news is, any negative consequences of your actions on social media will also appear highly in search results.

Rule of thumb: if you don’t want it to appear on search, don’t put it online at all.

Monitor What Others Say About You

Although there are too many social channels to effectively keep track of everything everyone thinks about you, the real-time publishing nature of social media helps you see a fairly accurate representation of how others perceive you at any given time. And knowing what people think of you is the first step to managing your online reputation.

How do you know what people are saying and thinking about you?

 

  • Set up Google Alerts for your name, your company name, and important keywords

  • Use Technorati to discover what bloggers are posting about you

  • Sign up for tools like TweetDeck, SocialMention, or Trackur to find and save keyword searches, hashtag searches, multimedia, and social conversations

Respond to What Others Say About You

With monitoring how others perceive you comes the opportunity to respond. Strategy is important here, too, because responding to a detractor’s comment or bad review in the heat of the moment is often worse than letting the negative content sit for a few days.

At the same time, staying abreast of your followers’ and customers’ real-time perceptions and comments can help you avoid crises, take advantage of newsjacking, provide exceptional support, and continue building your reputation.

Responding to positive mentions of your brand–such as retweets of your content, good reviews, and thank yous–is always a good move. It shows you listen to and value your audience.

Done right, responding to negative brand mentions can help you resolve problems, improve your offering, and correct misinformation. When you respond calmly and professionally, even negative social mentions can support your reputation for listening to and valuing your audience.

It’s impossible to ignore how much social media affects your online reputation and how you manage it. The trick is to craft and follow an effective social strategy.

 

5 Steps to Controlling Your Personal Online Reputation

Personal reputation management is a growing trend, and has been for awhile as corporate professionals and business owners continue to realize the power of building their own brand.

Controlling your personal reputation online depends on what you’re trying to achieve and how much time and effort you have to put into it. Get started managing the brand of you with a new vpn to can protect your identity, if you do not have one, visit the best webinar software 2021 to download this service from their website..

1. Register your name across all major social media accounts.

Thanks to the advent of social media, potential employers and anybody who wants to learn more about you can find you pretty easily. Control what appears in search results by owning your name in all the major social platforms, including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube

If you work in a field with an industry-specific social network, register your name there too.

2. Set up privacy controls.

Most social platforms give you privacy options, so only yourself or connections can see certain information on your profile. Set your privacy setting to the equivalent of “Friends Only” or “Friends of Friends Allowed.”

Additionally, you may be able to adjust the privacy setting of individual updates. But a word of caution: privacy controls don’t stop your friends from sharing your posts, so a photo you thought was between you and the guys could suddenly affect your job search if the guys are sharing it publicly.

The best way to make sure no one sees anything you don’t want them to see is to never let it go online in the first place.

3. Be active enough.

If you’re not active on your social accounts, they won’t show up in search results, leaving lots of room on the first page of Google for other things to appear. Sharing, commenting, or posting something new at least once a week on the major social platforms should be good enough for basic personal reputation management.

If you are an executive in your company or trying to build thought leadership, you need to be a lot more active–at least one post on each network and plenty of shares and comments daily.

4. Own your branded domain name.

In addition to social media accounts, exact and partial match domains tend to show up well in search results. So when people search for “John Smith” they are likely to see results like JohnSmith.com, JohnSmith.net, and JohnSmith.wordpress.com as well as John Smith’s social media accounts.

If you’re just trying to control how you appear online, you don’t necessarily need to add any content to the website. You want to own your own domain name so no one else can use it. But if you have the time, it doesn’t hurt to create a blog or portfolio on your site to show off your skills and build your brand.

5. Use personal homepage sites to pull everything together.

Buying domain names, getting hosting, and setting up a website costs money. If you don’t want to spend much to manage your personal online reputation (or if you’re a college student and don’t have much to spend), you can use personal homepage sites like About.me or Flavors.me to create a hub for all your content online.

These free pages tend to rank very well and include a short bio, a photo, and links to your social accounts. You can even attach your branded domain name to the personal homepage to give it more weight in search engine results.

And here’s a new video I did with Online Reputation Management Tips:

Social Triangle of Trust Accordign to The Top Food Social Media Agency

Although it’s a proven tool throughout the marketing, SEO, and reputation management industry, there are still a number of old-school CEOs and business owners who hear the word “social media” and think about their grandchildren using Facebook and doing the Twitter. The truth is, over the past few years social media has grown into an online marketing juggernaut. There are ever people calling themselves “social media marketers” as a full time job. There are even entire companies dedicated to just optimizing Facebook marketing for clients or offering free trial followers Instagram.

So it should be no surprise to anyone who knows what they are talking about that social media is not only an effective tool for standard marketing but also for online reputation management. In fact, earlier this year, Branded3 conducted a study to find out if social factors had a direct impact on search engine rank. They found that websites that were highly shared on Twitter tended to rank higher in the search results than websites that did not. Specifically, they found the first 50 tweets of a URL had a significant impact in moving a site up in the ranks and that after 7,500 tweets a website was virtually guaranteed a spot in the top 5 search results.

Further, a strong social media presence for your brand is highly correlated with positive online reviews and those reviews are one of the most important factors in local search ranks. For example, if you have a seafood restaurant in Bend, Oregon, and you have a strong social media presence, positive reviews are more likely to appear when customers search for “seafood restaurants in Bend, Oregon.”

There are a number of other studies that link a strong social media strategy to high rank, but the underlying question will always be the same: how can you use social media to fix your online reputation?  Keep in mind that just doing a little social media won’t solve all your problems. But it can definitely help.

One of the most basic tactics you can execute is to establish a “Triangle of Trust” online. That is, make sure you have a Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ profile set up for your company and make sure that each account links to your website.

According to food social media experts you can hire at https://saucecommunications.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are the most trusted social media platforms on the web, and as such, the major search engines pay attention to them and pull data from them in order to determine page rank.

Creative Brainstorming for Reputation Management in “Boring” Industries

Last month, we discussed the idea that doing reputation management for “boring” industries is harder than doing reputation management for industries like energy drinks, celebrities, or trampolines (trampolines are awesome!). But nothing could really be further from the truth. In reality, each industry will pose its own set of unique problems. And if you think you are doing reputation management for a boring company, perhaps the problem is not the company, but a lack of creativity on your part.

One of the best examples of thinking outside the box and making a boring product exciting comes from the great Don Draper of Mad Men. In the clip below, Kodak has just invented what they call “the wheel,” a circular slide projector that allows you to continuously flip through slides and not have to insert them one by one. The Kodak executives think marketing the product will be extremely hard because there’s nothing exciting about their new product. They think it’s a huge leap forward in terms of technology, but the science behind slide projectors is not exactly frontpage news.

Don throws science out the window and is able to capture the real essence of the product and what it will mean for everyday people. He didn’t start with any preconceived notions about what the product should be. Instead, he looked at what the product could be and what it could mean to people. In a nutshell, he was simply being creative.

Creativity is Not a Gift

Anyone can be creative—even doing reputation management for a boring product. Creativity is not a gift that one is simply born with. It is simply the exercise of looking at an everyday object or idea, asking questions about it, and looking at it from a different perspective. And anyone can learn to do it. In fact, here are some strategies that can help you look at a boring industry with a different perspective and do better reputation management as a result.

Define the Problem

Many times, if something isn’t succeeding, we either simply ignore the problem and plow ahead anyway, or we try the first solution that comes to us—we fall back on the strategies we’ve always used. As a result, sometimes we offer many solutions without actually solving any problems. The next time you’ve hit a wall with linkbuilding, linkbait ideas, or more, look to understand the problem first.

One way to do this is the “5 Whys” method. If you have a problem, ask why. Answer that question, then ask why again. And so on. Like this:

1)    I can’t get my client’s YouTube video to rank higher. Why?

2)    Because no one is watching it. Why?

3)    Because it’s boring to watch. Why?

4)    Because it’s just the CEO talking about the financial structure behind the product. Why is that boring?

5)    Because the company’s customers don’t care about the finances. Why not?

6)    Because the product is for stay-at-home moms, and business finance doesn’t relate to their everyday experience.

Once you understand what the problem is, you’ll begin to understand how to solve it.

Define the Audience

Post-Penguin and Panda, it’s getting harder and harder to rely on our old tricks as reputation management specialists. Now we actually have to get people to like, link to, or talk about our clients and their products in order to build a better reputation. But you can’t make people care about your boring company if you don’t know who you are talking to. Do some research; look at your customer data. Sometimes, simply knowing WHO you need to target will present a thousand different ideas for improving your reputation management strategy.

Think Offline

Why is it that we rarely have our best ideas while we are at work? We’re usually too busy working to be able to let our minds wander and find solutions on their own. If you’re stuck doing the same old strategies for the same boring industry, take a break. Walk away form your computer and think offline for a while. Sitting in a restaurant, watching people at the grocery store, putting together a model car, or doing a seemingly non-related task can help you make connections to the problem you’re dealing with.

Add Constraints

Too often, we don’t want to be constrained when we are brainstorming. We want all out options open so we can be more creative. But that’s not when we’re most creative. When we have all possibilities open, we get confused, don’t know which direction to head, get frustrated and give up. So, instead of saying, “Let’s brainstorm all the ways we can get site X to rank better,” give yourself a constraint, like:

  • What if we couldn’t use Google to get traffic to the site?
  • What if we could only get links from Facebook?
  • What if the site only had one page?
  • What if the site was only text (or only picture) based?
  • What if the site was targeted at dog owners?
  • What if we could only use HTML5?
  • Etc.

Instead of limiting your ideas, constraints can help you look at a project in a new way, and spur many great ideas.

When it all boils down, doing reputation management for a non-exciting industry or company is just a matter of stepping outside your normal paradigm and looking at the problem form a different perspective. And if you can do that, the ideas will come and you’ll make the boring job an exciting one.

The Importance of Anchor Social Websites in Your Reputation Management Strategy

When you are building a reputation management strategy, you don’t want to build it like a house of cards. Rather, you want to make sure everything is strong and that all parts of your strategy are working together to achieve the goal of a unified and ironclad SERP. To that end, you can’t simply have a dozen websites and profiles out there floating in cyberspace, hoping that they’ll all rank.

Post-Penguin and Panda, Google is not just looking for keywords and a high number of links, they’re also measuring authority. Although authority can be measured in many different ways online, Google likes to see companies and websites that clearly link their properties together. That way, they know which sites and profiles are genuine, which ones are fake, and which ones to trust the most.

Think about it like a tent—not the nylon tent you used to go camping last weekend—but like a huge circus tent. In a large tent like that, the center pole is held in place by a series of little 6-inch stakes that are pounded into the ground all around the tent. The tension the little stakes create on the canvas holds the center pole in place and allows people to come in and see the big show.

In this analogy, your corporate site is the center pole. The only way it’s going to make it to the top is if it is anchored by a number of other sites that are sponsored by you and clearly link to your main site. That way, when Google walks in the tent to see the show, they know that your circus (nee, company) is legit.

So what are the anchors?

Facebook

This is a must-have if you want to have a solid reputation management strategy. Publish news from your corporate blog through your Facebook page, link to your home page in the information section of your profile, and publish your contact information. When Google looks at your Facebook page and sees that the information syncs with your corporate page, it’ll know you’re legit and rank everything higher.

Twitter

Similar to Facebook, make sure all your profile information syncs. Additionally, if you can put your official corporate Twitter feed on your site, Google can verify that both sites are clearly and officially connected.

LinkedIn

Again, make sure all your information syncs with your main site and you link to your main site from your profile. Beyond that, if you have an HR section on your site, link to your company LinkedIn and encourage your employees to connect with it and interact with it.

YouTube

One of the great things about YouTube is that you can post compelling content on the site and share it across the web. So, not only should you link your YouTube channel to your corporate site, but you can publish corporate videos to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles. Google can then see the clear connection between all your sites and acknowledge that they are all official properties of your company.

Google+

Whether you like it or not, Google+ plus can play a significant role in your reputation management strategy. One of the ways you can use it is to link author profiles to your Google+ page. For example, if you have employees who are blogging on your corporate blog and out in the blogosphere on company business, have them link their bylines to corporate profiles on your official site, and then have their Google+ profiles link to their corporate profiles. It’s a way to leave breadcrumbs on the internet of who is connected to who, and Google appreciates the roadmap to all your connections, which will only help build their confidence in your official site and all your other web properties.

If the stakes of the tent are taken out, the center pole will fall. Although it’s a solid piece of wood, it can’t sustain itself without the help of the anchors. Don’t let your corporate reputation management strategy fail, anchor your sites together and link them all, so Google will see everything you do and trust you more for it.

Simple Online Reputation Management Guidelines for Politicians

There is no shortage of politicians with reputation management problems. It seems that every time we turn on the news, another politician is in trouble for something they’ve done in their personal or professional life. From Anthony Weiner to Herman Cain, we all understand that when you run for office your personal life becomes public.

But there are other threats out there as well. For example, take the case of Rick Santorum.

Santorum has made many derogatory statements about the LBGT community, so Dan Savage—a prominent blogger and gay rights advocate, created a campaign to push blog.spreadingsantorum.com to the top of the search results for searches with the keyword “santorum” or “rick santorum.” The blog features an extremely crude definition for the word “santorum” that was at the top of the SERPs until just recently when it was finally defeated by the official Rick Santorum campaign website. It has now moved down further below various social profiles for the former presidential candidate.

As a politician, how can you guard against these attacks on your character and name—attacks that could have a real impact on your success and campaign? Although it is hard to patch up a public lapse in morality, there are a number of safeguards you can put into place to protect your online reputation.

1) Hire a Reputation Management Firm

When you are running for office, your reputation is just about the most important thing you need to take care of. So this is no time to start your amateur venture into online reputation management or assign an intern to do the job. You need the experience and knowledge that a reputation management firm can bring to your campaign. They’ll know exactly what to do to move bad information out of the SERPs for your name and maintain a positive reputation for you as you run for office.

2) Maintain Social Accounts

Although you should hire a reputation management firm to do the heavy lifting of your reputation management blitz, there are a number of other guidelines and practices you can put into place to head off future mistakes before they become nightmares. The first of which is to create and use multiple social profiles.

Creating a great social presence online is standard practice for modern political campaigns, but you need to make sure that you create multiple accounts and that they all get some love. In the case of Santorum, they were used to push a rather unflattering search result down. For you, they can help prevent an unfavorable result from reaching the top of the SERPs.

3) Share Your Social Account Credentials

Part of the reason politicians like Anthony Weiner get in trouble is that they feel like their social accounts are a personal space—something they can control privately. But this feeling of control and secrecy can lead to problems. To prevent misuse of your personal social profiles, give the credentials to trusted staff members who are trained in social media. Let them do the heavy social media work and post updates as if they were you. Giving others access to the accounts makes it harder for you to hide unfavorable content online, ultimately keeping your online reputation more secure.

4) Review Messaging Before it’s Sent

As a politician, it’s probably standard practice to make sure a press release is passed before multiple eyes before it is given to reporters—why not your Tweets? This does not mean that a whole team of copywriters needs to go over every 140 character update, but you should run your social media messaging by a trusted member of your staff before it is sent. Too many politicians have gotten in trouble for sending off an ill-thought-out Facebook status. Don’t be that guy. Make sure you’re not the only one who is doing the updating to your accounts.

5) Run a Clean Campaign

Lastly, simply run a clean campaign. If you can put safeguards in place that will protect you from sending potentially harmful messages through your social media profiles and you can keep your professional and personal life clean, you’ll reduce your risk for a reputation management catastrophe and have a better shot at running a winning campaign.

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