Let’s look at one of the biggest topics in search marketing today… reputation management. Total online reputation management is a crucial and time consuming part of online marketing. It can be done by a small business owner in their spare time or by a professional SEM agency for a large corporation. This article will go over some of the fundamental topics when dealing with total online reputation management.

The Social Update

It is vital for businesses today to be up-to-date and active on major social media outlets. The 3 main players here are:

  1. Facebook
  2. Google+
  3. Twitter

Of course there are many others, but at bare minimum a business needs to be involved on these social mediums.

There are two core actions for each of these social sites that can get your business up-to-speed.

The first thing is to set up your page. You’ll need to add or claim your page. Each site will have a different procedure, but getting through the process is relatively easy. Make sure to fill out all information completely and accurately. Twitter, Google+, and Facebook all have ways to customize your page, I highly recommend this, the reason i it will make your page stand out and also potentially increase conversions.  All of these social media sites also have tools to help you connect with people and share information. All businesses need and individual or agency that can administer these accounts.

Next is to STAY ACTIVE! Just making sure you have your page secured with contact information isn’t enough. Google is actively integrating social content into it’s organic search algorithm, so your search ranking will be effected by this as well. Make sure to post updates a least once a week. You can use tools like HootSuite and SproutSocial to make it easier. The key is to make sure you're posting quality content that informs your users and generates value. From local charities, to office parties, to the holiday weekend, you want to interact and inform your audience. Give your social media accounts individual personality.

Google Places and Other Business Listings

Local business listings with reviews are huge for getting positive business exposure. Yellow Pages has been replaced by the internet, so everyone finds businesses online. Identifying and claiming all of your local business listings is crucial to successful online reputation management.  If you don’t control the information that is out there about your business, someone else will try to.

Be Consistent

One primary factor in all of this is to be consistent. It’s very important for the information on each of the websites to match up. All websites are all somewhat interconnected these days. Google can pull data on your business from anywhere and use it in the listing…and they do. So make sure if your name is ‘ACME SEO Company’ on Facebook, make sure it’s not ‘ACME SEO’ or ‘ACME SEO Inc’ on Google Places.

Also be consistent in how often you are interacting with you social network and producing content. Starting a blog you post to once a week. Syndicating your blog posts to your social network, creating an easy way to provide consistent updates across multiple platforms. Hire an agency or assign an employee to do it each week.

Reach Out to Your Customers Make sure you are reaching out to your customers. Feedback from customers is so valuable, and all of the online tools make it easy today. Here are 6 things you can do to start reaching out:

  1. Respond to Negative Reviews, everyone gets them.
  2. Include links to Google Paces in follow up emails and ask for a review.
  3. Make sure to link to your social outlets and blogs from your website.
  4. Start an email list and periodic email campaigns.
  5. Start a promotion on Facebook.
  6. Ask your customer to ‘like’ you on Facebook OR review you on Yelp! Some won’t, some will.

Create Positive Informative Content

When creating content for all these outlets, make sure you are being positive, informative, and valuable. Think of all of the good things your business does and let people know about it.

Give to a charity each year? That’s an article. Complete a special project with pictures and description? That 'sa great blog post. Even wishing your customers and fans a "Happy Fourth of July" can be a great thing to do.

Just try to add value in each piece of content you create. Much of this can be done quickly once the accounts are set up. And remember, you can have outside sources create SEO content for you, but the best content is going to come from within. For our customers, make sure you work with us on this, we need your input. BE INVOLVED!

Monitor the Major Outlets

Lastly, make sure that someone is monitoring your online reputation. Do it yourself or have us do it for you, either way its very important. Things change so much in the online world. Every month there seems to be a change in how we are doing something involving SEO and Social, if you leave it for even a few months you can be in trouble. Take these steps and you won’t have any problems.