Your online reputation can make or break your business, depending on which way it sways. As part of a series on online reputations, our previous blog discussed the real psychological reasons people respond to them and why it’s so important to be aware of what people say about you around the net. This time around, we’ll showcase the places you should be monitoring, and then we’ll follow up with a detailed infographic on reputation statistics as well as a tutorial on how to handle bad reviews and online negativity next week.

Run an Initial Assessment Using Your Preferred Search Engine

In the beginning, you’ll want to establish a baseline and find out where people have been talking about your business. Use a search engine and look for:

Your Business Name- Use quotes to get an exact match and the minus symbol to exclude your website. For example, we might run one for: “JJ Social Light” -jjsociallight.com.

Variations and Misspellings of Your Business Name- For example, the New York Times might be referred to as “NY Times” or just “the Times.”

Names of Key Employees- If your business is owned and operated by you alone, check for your own name. If you have managers or employees who play vital roles in your business, search for them as well.

Visit Common Sites and Look for Your Business

There are some limitations to Google searches, as not all social media sites are crawled and sometimes posts are indexed sporadically on the sites that Google does visit. To overcome this, you’ll have to visit specific sites that people post on and run a search for your business name and related terms directly on the site. Consider stopping by:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo Local
  • Yelp!
  • Yellow Pages
  • Other Similar Sites

Set Up Google Alerts

Once you’ve checked around the web to see where you’re mentioned, it’s important to keep up on new mentions. Google offers a free service that’s called Google Alerts. You can enter in any search terms you want to monitor for and their system notifies you when it has indexed new content that mentions you. Be aware that this has the same limitations that basic Google searches do, as their bot doesn’t catch all mentions on all sites, even though it can help point you in the right direction.

Use an Online Reputation Monitoring Service

Monitoring your online reputation is something you can do by yourself, but it can be time consuming and tedious. If you’d like to make sure you’re catching issues before they become real problems without devoting a whole lot of time to it, a monitoring service is the way to go. We’re very pleased to announce that we’re launching our own monitoring service, capable of effortlessly delivering information about your company from 50+ sites at once. You can also follow up with issues, thank loyal customers for positive remarks, and share glowing reviews with just a few clicks.

Pop in next week as we continue our reputation management series and explore how to handle bad reviews effectively or send us a message if you’d like to learn more about our online reputation management tool now.