If you are reading this article right now I am assuming you already know a bit about Online Reputation Management (ORM), therefore I will not go into detail of what it is. What I do want to discuss is some basic points of how to keep your online reputation solid.
First off, let me lay down some general guidelines that should be followed for ORM to be effective. Lesson number one is just doing it. Keeping your online reputation intact requires constant effort. It is a proactive endeavor that needs time and sometimes money. It is well worth it though. You really can not put a price tag or time limit on maintaining how you Brand Yourself in the eyes of the world. The main thing to remember is to take it easy. It can be quite overwhelming to keep track of every little place your name is mentioned online, but if you are patient and learn the ropes, it becomes second nature.
The second lesson is to be nice. If you find some derogatory remarks about you or your company, handle it with class. If you start spouting off at the mouth you will only be promoting what is being said and will not be defending against it. Always respond to comments cordially and leave your contact details, so that people feel you are really trying to rectify the situation in question. Finding out about what is being said is the first part, defending against it is the second. Both are needed and both are equally important.
If you can budget in ORM into your online expenditures, I highly recommend you do so. There are a number of companies that specialize in online reputation management services. They really take the hassle out of tracking and protecting your brand. Do not worry, however, if you are new to all this and are just beginning to build an online name for yourself, because the final piece of advice I am going to give is where to find what is being said about your brand, for free!
There are plenty of free resources online that allow you to find out what people are saying about you or your company. Just because they are free does not mean they are ineffective. I, myself, have used the following free tools to keep my reputation safe for years.
If This Then That (IFTTT)
Complaint Site Search
Of course, you can simply Google your brand as much as possible, but this is not going to notify you of every place your name is mentioned online. That is why I suggest using the above tools to scrape as many areas on the Net as possible.
If you follow the free lessons and advice I have just mentioned you will be on your way to mastering ORM. Once you become rich and famous, or if you already are, please do look into hiring some professionals to do this job for you. That way you can spend your time on what you do best – building your brand!