Online reputation monitoring and management is vital for individuals and companies. Listening, understanding and engaging is the new protocol and it’s become a necessity in this age of citizen journalism / consumer generated media.
Listening To the Buzz
Monitoring your online reputation is rather simple once you have yourself an automated process. Choose your areas for investigation carefully, depending on where you would normally be active or where others would normally discuss you and your products.
- Do a bit of research into search volumes and determine which keywords and terms you’d like to monitor. Include synonyms and common misspellings, but keep the list down to a minimum otherwise you’ll be swamped with unnecessary information. Monitoring your name and your company’s name should be the first port of call.
- Make use of trackback URLs when blogging, and perform random searches for snippets from your articles to monitor content reproduction online.
- Google Alerts (as well as Yahoo! Alerts) are great for reporting on external content. Set up alerts to respond to your name and slight variations (remember not to be too broad) and send instant notifications straight to your inbox.
- Set up RSS feeds, and channel them into one thread. That way you’ll receive relevant real-time updates in one single location – automatically.
Recommended sources include:
- Blogs (Google blog search is handy).
- Social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit and Delicious.
- Twitter, Technorati and BlogPulse.
- Special interest groups (Yahoo! and Google Groups).
- News groups.
Analysing the Noise
There is a considerable amount of online reputation monitoring software out there that can help you keep a tally of your reputation’s health – but for starters it’s relatively simple to understand the general feeling yourself. We’ll be looking at various tools which can help you monitor the conversation online in a future post, so stay tuned.
Check out the Google, Yahoo! and Alexa rankings for your website, blog or social media profiles and compare them with that of your competitors.
Influencing the Perception
The best way to improve credibility is through online visibility, which can be accomplished by befriending your audience or potential audience. Analyse your website, blog and LookupPage profile traffic and ask yourself: “where are my visitors entering from, and why?”
Identify these voices of authority in the crowd and pay them special attention – this will greatly increase your web presence and overall visibility.