If you have (and even if you don’t) an online presence, your brand, and it’s reputation, needs management. After all, your reputation determines your profit statement, doesn’t it? I’ve always maintained that social media has the power to drag your brand out to the open. People talk about it. Websites like Quora.com and focus.com have thriving discussions on everything and if you are in business trying to solve problems, you might have been mentioned.
Managing your online reputation is something we’ve talked about before (check out this article) and certainly a topic that has others, such as the New York Times, warning you to step up and take notice, because, as they stated in their article, “Your Customers are Talking About You. And the Whole World is Listening”. Hard-hitting, but true!
Brand management starts at all levels of online engagement: whether it’s the comments from your blog (even the negative ones), interactions on Twitter, comments on your Facebook Fan Page, discussions on forums, and mentions on Q & A sites (or social search). For instance, I noticed this question about Rand Fishkin – CEO of SeoMoz.org — popping up on Quora.com where Rand himself steps in to manage the conversation. Now that is some online reputation management!
As a small business owner, it’s touch to know just where to begin and what steps you should, and should not, take to manage your reputation. Let’s see if we can offer some suggestions to help you figure it out.
Begin at the hub and hunt later. Your blog and all your social media networks are your first point of consideration. Blogs have a way to ping you when there’s a new comment (or perhaps you could use Disqus, Intense Debate, or LiveFyre). You have notifications and mentions on all social media networks you might use for your business. Keep a hawk’s eye on these mentions and notifications. Reputation management begins with basic conversations, courtesies, and small talk – no business or business owner is too big for social media engagement.
Read more here.