When it comes to reputation management, there are definitely many right and wrong ways to approach your methods. Whether you are planning on hiring an outside ORM company to help monitor and protect your reputation or if you prefer to take on this task yourself... it's crucial to the longterm success and first impression of your name or brand to follow these do's and don't of reputation management.
First off... reputation management services aren't cheap. In many cases, the companies and brands that are using these services already have a lot invested in their products, brands and businesses for them online. When approaching an ORM firm, they may be in such an urgency to have any existing problems relieved, that they could quickly find themselves paying thousands of dollars for methods that may not even work.
Before attempting to manage your own reputation online or going to an outside firm, be sure to read through our recommended do's and don'ts below.
DO Create quality content
Content is king and when you are in control of the content that ranks at the top of the search results, you are in more control of how others first see your brand online. If you are already posting quality content to your own sites, consider reaching out to other authority sites and providing them with content as well.
DON'T flood the internet with spammy links
Many SEO experts and ORMs will tell the average person, brand or site owner that links are what drives content up in the search results. While this is true, anyone with a legitimate web site or brand should only focus on high quality links. Placing spammy backlinks all of the place won't help your article rank against the most competitive sites and it could actually get you banned or penalized from Google in the process!
DO take advantage of news & media outlets
Huge news and media outlets are always looking for new stories, quotes from experts and contributions for their online sites. Being an expert or well known brand within your space can go a long way when trying to get press mentions and publicity for your brand. Reach out to top news sites, editors and reporters who might be interested in your story.
DON'T spend a ton of money on publications
Getting publications and stories on high end news and media sites is something many ORMs specialize in -- however it also comes at a cost. Clients of top ORM firms may end up paying thousands of dollars for content to be placed on top news sites, while they could potentially have contacted these news outlets directly and got the same opportunity for free.
DO monitor what people are saying about you
One of the best ways to protect and manage your online reputation is to actually know where, why and when people are talking about you or your brand online. Free tools like Google Alerts is a simple, yet affective way to start monitoring Google's search results for new content around your name or brand. Many ORM agencies will also offer their own monitoring and tracking platforms that can scale way beyond just the search engines.
DON'T attack or respond negatively to reviews
Knowing how to respond to online complaints, negative content and reviews is one of the most powerful ways to manage your brand. While other companies or individuals will go and publicly attack anyone who has left a negative article or complaint online, the best approach is to connect with the person directly, try to resolve the issue and not do so in an open forum.
DO take advantage of social media
There are currently over 2 billion people across the major social networks. Not only should your brand be active with their own social profile pages, but it's a great way to monitor what other people are saying about your brand and also connecting with your audience and customers in the process.
DON'T outsource to a cheap agency
Always be cautious when looking to outsource any type of SEO, content creation or reputation management online. What might seem like a fancy web site or service, could actually be an outsourced individual in a third-world country that isn't up to speed on industry best practices.
Now that you've read through out list of do's and don't for reputation management, it's time to put these best practices into affect for your personal name and brand.