Tools and Tips to Effectively Manage Your Online Reputation

Recently, a friend told me about a negative incident she had while dining at a large restaurant chain. Her waitress was very rude and inattentive. By the time her meal arrived, her colleague had finished eating. The last straw was realizing her steak was prepared wrong. Angrily, she took out her iPhone and sent out a tweet to her followers about her experience. Minutes later, she received an apology from the restaurant’s general manager; the cost of her meal was waived; and she was given a $100 gift certificate for a future visit. Imagine if that restaurant chain didn’t have a social media presence? What you don’t know can harm you!

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Benjamin Franklin

Do you know what people are saying about you, your business or brand? Whether you are managing one or all, your online reputation is extremely important.

According to a recent study at Forrester Customer Experience Forum, a single negative comment using a social media platform, can equate to a loss of 30 potential clients. Can your business afford such a loss? If the answer is NO, then read on for tools and tips:

7 Tools to Monitor Your Reputation Regularly

  • Blog Pulse: an automated trend discovery system for blogs. This search engine analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere.
  • Board Tracker: a message tracking and instant alerts system designed to provide relevant information quickly and efficiently while ensuring you never miss an important forum thread.
  • Google Alerts: updates sent via email of the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of query or topic.
  • Social Mention Alerts: a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information. It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time.
  • Technorati: a search engine that indexes blogs. Find mentions of your blog or specific keywords across other blogs. Subscribe to the search results feed and get notified of new mentions.
  • Trackur: pulls keyword mentions from a variety of sources, not just Google Alerts, but its biggest use comes from the ability to save, sort, tag, share and subscribe to particular feeds.
  • Yahoo Alerts: a notification service that instantly informs you of what you consider important and relevant via instant message, email or cell phone.

Unfortunately, you can’t control the actions of other people. You can however, have a positive influence over the outcome. Here are:

5 Tips for Handling Criticism

  • Handle the situation or issue immediately
  • Listen with an open mind and use the ‘criticism’ as a way to improve
  • Thank the person for his/her feedback
  • Apologize… and apologize again
  • Explain how you will rectify the situation or issue

So, why do you need to create, monitor, and engage through an online presence? It’s simple, if you don’t control your reputation, someone else will.

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