There’s no sugarcoating it: online reputation management can be tedious process. There’s more to it than simply smiling and being nice, especially because social interaction has a completely different dynamic online.
Get on social media
Social media plays a significant part in maintaining an online reputation. Facebook, for instance, is considered by many to be the place to be when you want to promote a certain product or service. Twitter is a popular social media site as well, and is used to post status updates of 140 characters or less. Still, when it comes to social networking, one of the best sites you can sign up for is LinkedIn. If you don’t have enough time or resources to manage several social media sites at once, focus on LinkedIn, at least, for the beginning. Experts are finding that LinkedIn profiles rank higher in terms of credibility compared to other social media sites, though not as many people use LinkedIn as they do Facebook. Not many business owners are aware that people are more likely to scour LinkedIn for professional services than on Facebook.
Link to other websites
Familiarize yourself with the way links and anchor texts work. The anchor text is a word or phrase that, when clicked, directs the user to another page. The link is what connects your page to another. Linking to other pages is a significant aspect in search engine optimization. Search engines use the anchor texts to figure out how relevant the page being linked to is. The legitimacy of the page is a factor in raising the search result rankings for that particular phrase.
Another tricky part to linking is getting anchor keywords from other sites to point to yours, though not completely impossible. In fact, you could simply ask other site owners to link to you with keyword-rich anchor text. Be creative with your keywords, though. Google can detect overused anchor text directing to your page, and your ranking end up going down instead.
Monitor search results
You might find yourself constantly Googling your name or company name when you’re starting out, but this practice might pan out, as you get more confident of yourself over time. Still, it’s always a good idea to monitor your search results at least once a month. What comes up when you search for yourself on Google? Are the pages credible and offer legitimate content? Has someone tagged your name in a nasty review? The sooner you find the damage, the easier it is to mitigate it. You can even set up Google Alerts to let you know when new content containing your keywords appears on the Internet.
Face negativity head-on
Don’t run away from bad reviews, or when someone links your page to a negative anchor text. Remember, the more your company expands, the greater the possibility that someone is going to start talking smack about you. Look for valid comments that are more than simply rage and spitfire, and contact the creator. When possible, lay down your side of the story, and graciously ask if there’s anything you can do to make them rethink their sentiments. If you can do this publicly, that’s even better—people will see you are open to criticism and constructive feedback, and that you can also keep your cool under pressure, too.