Online reputation monitoring – Why do you need to search for yourself online?

Why do I need an online reputation monitoring system? Is it a worthwhile investment? Why do I need to search for my brand online? These are just a few of the most common questions for business owners. 

Your business’ reputation (both online and offline) is one of your most valuable assets. Your online reputation has the power to break you or make you. 

In this internet era, people talk about anything and everything. That includes your brand. And unless you are keen about what people are saying about you and act accordingly, your online reputation can be at risk.

In this resource, we will share what we’ve learned from our years of experience in crisis communications and brand strategy about online reputation monitoring and why it is important. 

The Importance of Online Reputation Monitoring

According to a recent study, the average buyer will spend approximately 13 minutes looking at online reviews before making a purchase decision. On top of that, 85% of consumers stated that they trust online reviews the same way they trust personal recommendations. These numbers emphasize the need for online reputation monitoring.

That’s why businesses are investing large amounts of money in review monitoring services. It’s no surprise that more than 40% of online marketers monitor their online reputation every day.  

A company that has a bad online reputation is at risk of being less persuasive to its audience and its clients. Below are the major benefits of monitoring your online reputation.

Your Online Reputation Is Widespread

There are so many channels where every person, organization, or brand is noticed online. People can talk about you on Twitter, Facebook, review sites, blog posts, Instagram … the list is endless. 

If you have invested a lot of resources in building your online portfolio, then your online presence can be effective across several platforms. But if your online presence is negative, any negative comment can reach a wider audience and thus cause greater damage.

Maintain the Image of Your Brand

In the online space, a client may mention your brand when seeking assistance, praising your service, or to raise a complaint. When you respond to these mentions and reviews, you’ll strengthen the relationship you have with your clients. 

It is also important that you respond to negative reviews. This way, you’ll be able to handle and contain any damage that would have been caused.   

Identify Underused Channels

When monitoring your online reputation, you may be surprised to discover social mentions on a social platform that you perhaps regarded as irrelevant for your organization. 

You may also identify an online review site that is driving massive traffic to your business. Or, you may find a directory that is used by many consumers. Searching for yourself online can bring these missed opportunities to light and allow you to capitalize on them.

Acknowledge Mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable. And, in this era, the first place that your consumers are likely to rant about bad service or a faulty product is on the internet. 

What’s worse, bad news spread faster than a bushfire. You may think that deleting a post or blocking those users may help. But the internet never forgets. People can take screenshots or even print out comments. 

In such cases, you’ll need to accept your mistakes and apologize. Do this openly without trying to hide. Your audience will appreciate the fact that you apologized. Online messaging gives organizations an opportunity to address problems, sound like actual people, and indicate that they’re working to improve. 

Collect Feedback

Nowadays, people leave online reviews and feedback (both positive and negative) about almost all the products and services they receive. Review and reputation monitoring services are software applications that notify you each time your name is mentioned online. 

Through online reputation monitoring, an organization can easily see the reviews left by their consumers, or who is talking about them on Twitter. This helps an organization to know how well their work is resonating with customers. 

If there are many positive reviews, then it shows that an organization is doing well. On the other hand, negative reviews can help a company to improve.

Why Do You Need to Search for Yourself Online? 

Before you can decide on the efforts and resources you need to put in maintaining your online reputation, you need to know how you look online. 

Statistics show that Google controls more than 75% of the search traffic across the world. Thus, a simple self-search on Google can help you know whether the information available about your brand is in line with what you want people seeing. 

However, since we live in a fast-paced world you may need to have to keep on self-searching your brand every day which can be quite time-consuming. 

The good news is that several online monitoring services will help you get an online reputation score. Some require a subscription fee while others are free. 

Here is a list of some online reputation monitoring and management tools:

  • Google Alerts
  • Cision
  • YouScan
  • Mention
  • Brand24
  • SEMRush
  • Review Push
  • SocialMention and more.

Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation

Monitoring your online reputation is a keystone to the success of any organization. That’s why you need to protect your digital reputation and ensure that you are covered in a positive light. 

Here are some tips regarding how to protect your reputation online: 

Search for yourself online

You need to monitor what people are saying online about your brand. Go through all social media accounts and read posts or photos that talk about you. Reply to the good ones, and see if there are trends among the bad ones. 

Protect your name

Research to know if there is any other online account that shares a name that is similar or close to yours. 

A good idea would be to change your name to a unique one to avoid any confusion that may arise. Otherwise, your organization’s name is at the risk of being confused with another business.

Join Appropriate Social Networks

Think about which social platforms are most relevant to your work. Do you need a lot of pictures to explain what you do? Are you targeting young customers or old ones? In general, decide which platforms are the right place to focus your efforts. 

Solve Problems ASAP

Always address any problem, be it a post of an inappropriate image, a complaint, or a wrong quote, as soon as you can. This will prevent the problem from causing irreversible damage. 

Ensure your accounts are secure

This is a simple and obvious step that is often overlooked by business owners. Always remember to set up all the appropriate privacy settings for each of your accounts. Privacy settings will differ from one account to the other. 

Keep Your Personal Information Private

Hackers and other people with ill motives can use your private data to gain access to your page. This includes details such as your age, names of family members, and more. 

Keep all this data private to keep hackers away.

Post Meaningful and Relevant Content on Your Social Sites

Content is King! By posting content that adds value to your prospective clients, you are creating a good name for your brand. 

Keep the content fresh and interesting. On top of that, always ensure that your contents portray you as an expert in your field. 

Be Transparent

Be open about your values and share with your online audience what your brand stands for. By doing so, it will be easier for clients to trust you. 

In Conclusion

Every organization should be vigilant in monitoring its online reputation. On top of protecting an organization’s image, online reputation monitoring can create strong relationships with customers and provide a jumping off point for prospective clients.