Regardless of whether or not your business has a website or related social media profiles, your past, current and potential customers are talking about you. While you can’t stop any negative press from publishing, you can monitor and manage your brand’s name online, and respond if needed.

6 Reasons to Care about Online Reputation Management

1. Ownership of name across all web and social media platforms

A site like KnowEm.com is a great tool to check the availability of your preferred username across nearly 600 social networks. After doing so, create accounts with your social platforms of choice, claiming your preferred username.

If you are using a “free” website platform like Blogger or WordPress.com, and have “.blogspot.” or “.wordpress.” in the middle of your URL, it’s important to spend a little bit of money to purchase your own domain.

2. Control your message, tone and basic facts

When you claim your social profiles, be sure to complete all available fields with the same text, tone, imagery and colors (if applicable) that are used elsewhere on the web. This ensures a consistent message and “first impression” for all touch points with your brand.

3. Protect yourself from competitors

Although it would be under-handed, the snatching up of URLs and usernames does happen, and you don’t want to be stuck without, say, a Twitter handle that matches your brand’s name.

4. Avoid any name confusion

If there are available URLs that are very similar to your business web address and/or very close to your business name, you may consider purchasing those URLs, too, and having them redirect to your home page.

5. Track mentions of your brand

Set up Google Alerts and use social mention tools to monitor mentions of your brand online. This can be a great way to discover negative search results before those entries have a chance to move up to Page 1.

6. “Push Down” negative search results for your brand

Many of the most popular social media platforms are also highly ranked by Google. By populating several social media profiles, you are stacking the deck in your favor that Page 1 results for searches relating to your brand are comprised solely of profiles and content written by you.

Online reputation management isn’t limited to businesses; you as an individual should set up your customized URLs on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and consider purchasing YourName.com.

How do you monitor mentions of your brand?

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