How to Manage Your Personal Reputation Online

Sep 20, 2013 | Updated Nov 20, 2013

I recently interviewed Rich Gorman, an established blogger and expert on online reputation management, to get his tips on how to improve your brand's reputation with online consumers. There is an incredible amount of data available to today's consumer that makes it essential for businesses to actively monitor their company's online reputation. In addition to the management of product and company reputation, it is also important to manage your personal reputation in the online community.

Social media makes it possible for consumers to share their opinions, both positive and negative, through a variety of different channels and easily reach thousands outside of their direct circle of influence. Word-of -mouth referrals are now more important than ever since a customer can broadcast their review of your product quickly and easily to the online community.

There are millions of people making judgments on your company and the constant evolution of the online market allows users to create more reviews on your brand in a day then the media could produce throughout the course of a year. Positive online reviews are shown to be a strong influencer on consumer's purchasing decisions. So as you can imagine, in addition to building a positive online reputation for your company, product, or service, it is equally important to actively manage the negative consumer responses.

In a recent interview with Rich on Technorati, he shares several tips for companies on how to preserve their online reputation. Most importantly, a company cannot just tell the consumers how to feel about their product. Let your customers help you spread your message by focusing on relationship building rather than broadcasting through impersonal mass media ads. Social media has created an environment where consumers are more likely to help you advertise your product or service for free than ever before.

When attempting to help a brand overcome negative press or reviews, rather than just telling the media that a certain brand is good, professional reputation management focuses on highlighting the positive qualities the consumers' desire. Essentially, you need to produce and distribute positive content focusing on the reasons why your consumers choose your brand and this will eventually replace the less optimistic reviews online.

If you have experienced negative online reviews regarding yourself or your company, you know how frustrating this can be. The sources of the negative press could range from a competing product, an upset former employee or even an unfortunate bad experience with a customer. Regardless of the source the negative press and reviews can potentially cause a downturn in your sales and business. It is important to take action quickly to address the issues and present positive marketing. By quickly generating positive brand image marketing you will start to once again persuade consumers to rely on the positive reviews when making their purchasing decisions.

One of the ultimate goals of an online reputation management campaign is to provide your company and brand with a voice in how you are presented online. Utilizing the tools available to control the way your company is presented online will help to reinforce positive brand awareness with consumers.

Here are a few tips you can implement to help start actively managing your company's online reputation:

•Encourage Customer Interaction
Your customers are already sharing their opinions and reviews on their own social channels so use this to your advantage to reinforce your own brand's voice. Encourage or persuade your customers to share their positive experiences.

•Build-up Your Online Presence
Make sure your company has someone monitoring social media for both positive and negative online engagement from your customers. Reinforce your brand online through the use of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Reward positive comments and create and interactive experience for your customers by responding to positive comments online. This will encourage future sharing and strengthen their connection to your brand.

Remarketing ads are a great way to reinforce brand awareness and create a positive reputation online. By targeting ads to consumers who have already had an interaction with your website or product you are focusing on reinforcing a visible presence of positive marketing. This not only will help you get your positive branding message out there but will help you to show customers you care about them and how they feel.

The online reputation of your business and product is so important to the success of your company. Both businesses and individuals alike have a right to control the way their image is presented online. The key is that you cannot tell the online world what to think; you must creatively persuade the consumer to respond to the positive marketing presented. Don't' tell them what to think, show them.