There’s a lot of buzz around reputation management – and that buzz gets louder the closer you stand to people selling software to monitor & manage online reputation. First question – what is it?
Well, the web has switched from a place where people read information (content) to where they also publish content for others to read. There are plenty of examples of this – you can upload a YouTube video, comment on someone else’s video or blog, post an update on Facebook to all your friends, publish a review about a restaurant . . . those are just a few, but you get the idea. Reputation management is about ensuring you know what’s being said about you and you’re doing your best to influence that toward being positive discussion.
For a local business owner, there is nothing less exciting about yet another job to spend money & time on and lose sleep over. I particularly like Google Alerts as a really basic form of reputation monitoring. You set up an alert for your business name, and whenever Google finds something new online matching your business name, you are sent an alert in the form of an email. From there, you can easily scan the email and work out if something’s worth reading or acting upon.
I set up a Google alert for WordJack – here’s what an email from Google Alerts looks like . . . pretty simple:
I can click on the link and read the page where the reference to my company was published. Generally, a Google alert can pick up:
- New reviews about your business
- Mentions in news articles
- Information you publish about your own business (which you would already know, but it’s still good to know Google found what you published)
- Occasionally pieces of info that are not relevant because the words in your business name appeared in a different context. For example:
So how do you set up Google alerts?
The good news is it’s free and easy:
- Go to alerts.google.com (you will need to be logged into a Gmail or Google account)
- Set up an alert for your business name (type in the name)
- Setting up weekly alerts for new material on the web with your business name makes sure you know if something especially concerning is said about you.
- You may want to think about how you enter your business name – If your name is “Orlando Septic Service” this might be difficult because it’s such a broad phrase to search for – you can still do it, but expect a few alerts that don’t relate to your business specifically. If your name is “O’Connor Landscape Design & Property Management LLC” you should probably be less specific (e.g. O’Connor Landscape) so you don’t miss comments that are about your business but don’t refer to it by its full name exactly.
- You can set up 3-4 alerts and write them differently if you like.
That’s it! It’s usually fine to ask for a daily summary, and then if there is nothing new found that day, you don’t receive an email alert. Easy!
Bonus tip– nothing to do with reputation monitoring, but you may like to set up an alert for a competitor’s business who you think does pretty well with their exposure. You might get some ideas you can copy with your own marketing strategy.
WordJack Media provides a wide range of website design and online marketing solutions to clients throughout Canada and the US, including Collingwood ON, Ottawa ON, Barrie ON, Miami FL, Lakeland FL, Orlando FL, Charlotte NC, Hickory NC, Asheville NC and more. Contact WordJack Media today for more information about how we can help your business win on the web!