First Rule of Online Reputation Management: Get Control!
Successful pro-active online reputation management is, in essence, about control. Before something negative is posted, you are in control of your reputation–without question. But when a negative search item emerges, the control begins to shift.
With years of experience in online reputation management, the team at Reputation Advocate has found that the more solidly established an online reputation is, the better. However, whether or not you have deliberately engaged in online reputation management, your online reputation exists. It’s important to note that even if an online search doesn’t bring back pages of information, people are now able to access public records, either free or for a small charge.
We advise clients to begin online reputation management early, before negative posts arise. Reputation Advocate introduces many of its clients to the concept of the “public” online person in addition to the “private” off-line reality of life. By being proactive in crafting an online reputation, individuals and businesses put themselves in control. To begin online reputation management, Reputation Advocate recommends the following steps:
- Own your name. Whether or not you place anything on them, buy up as many domain names as possible that relate to you personally or to your business, as well as social media sites under names that relate to yours. This will not only protect your online identity by preventing someone else from setting up false profiles to impersonate or malign you, but it will also offer many outlets to post content, should you ever need to do so.
- Regularly interact on social media. Good online reputation management goes beyond simply setting up a social media page and leaving it alone. Regularly interact with followers and fans to create a relationship with those who frequent your pages.
- Monitor new content. Several sites offer services that will alert you when content is posted matching search terms you enter. It is good online reputation management practice to sign up for these alerts and stay attuned to items that may become accessible to the public about the various iterations of your name.
By taking these steps, businesses, professionals and individuals can monitor their own online reputation. Reputation Advocate recommends building a public online presence as soon as possible in order to represent yourself and your business fairly and transparently.