After blogging for almost 8 years, there is one thing that I’m certain of. The world wide web can either make or break your reputation.
Sometimes people know you and sometimes they don’t.
Some bloggers like to mention you as part of their blog posts helping you boost your credibility and some don’t.
Large companies have the most to lose from the World wide web and the most to gain from it as well.
If their product goes south then it destroys their reputation.
And if they do not take care of such things they will soon find their business dwindling to nothing.
I used to follow few bloggers when I started off blogging 8 years ago. I’m not mentioning the bloggers name to protect their identity.
After a few years it came to light that these bloggers were making false claims and luring other bloggers to purchase products they recommended.
This news literally wiped the bloggers off the web, I stopped following them or anything they had to say.
Growing and maintaining a positive brand on the web takes time.
At times your competitors might work on a negative campaign to destroy the reputation.
Negative SEO is one of the ways competitors prevent your site from reaching the top of Google.
Companies and businesses don’t always play fair. Its all about business and money and they sometimes try to buy out top bloggers so they can do better business.
Brand reputation does not apply only to businesses and companies. It applies to bloggers and entrepreneurs as well.
How would you feel if someone said that your blog sucks and starts to write reviews and posts, tweets about how bad your blog is?
It would drive me mad. But then, I cannot leave it at that.
I will try to fix and address the issue where ever possible.
Even though I will be using an example of a company in this post, its just to show you what an impact it can create to your business and how much damage it can cause to your brand.
As a blogger you can monitor and maintain your brand reputation online.
Step #1 – Monitor Your Brand
I speak to a new blogger almost every day and one question I ask them is if they monitor their brand online.
No. Is all I get.
The best part is they ask me, I don’t own or have a brand so what is there to monitor.
Just like negative SEO, there are people out there who are into negative branding. They will be publishing and writing negative brand comments about your product or your blog. While this can happen, sometimes there are real customers who have had bad experience with your brand or your product.
The web is a space where they can vent their anger and frustration especially when their issues are not addressed.
Lets take a look at an example, I think this is a company that pretty much does not care about which way its reputation goes.
Lets try this example together.
1. Go to Google.com
2. Type “Vodafone Sucks”
You will see that there are so many results including video posts. Vodafone is a very large telecom company that does not care about its brand.
Vodafone Sucks Results
I say this because, if you read the posts or watch the videos on the search page, you will notice that they have not made the slightest efforts to address the customers issues.
This only goes to show, that they are either not monitoring their brand at all, or they really don’t care about their brand or their customers. its all about the customer money.
The point I am trying to make is, don’t wait till its late. You might not be able to fix the damages caused to your brand, and if you don’t monitor your brand you will never know.
I’ve put a list of tools below for bloggers to use and monitor their brands online. These are easy to use and are free. Go on try them out and start monitoring your brand.
10 Free Tools to Monitor Your Reputation Online
- Google Alerts – Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.
- SocialMention -Receive free daily email alerts of your brand, company, CEO, marketing campaign, or on a developing news story, a competitor, or the latest on a celebrity.
- Twilert – Twilert is a free web app that enables you to receive regular email updates of tweets containing your brand, product and service.
- TwentyFeet – TwentyFeet is an “egotracking” service that will help you keep track of your own social media activities and monitor your results. We aggregate metrics from different services, thus giving you the full picture of what happens around you on the web – all in one place.
- Topsy – Topsy provides comprehensive analyses of hundreds of billions of Tweets and web pages gathered from millions of unique websites, blogs and social media services. Topsy’s platform leverages these social conversations to index, analyze and rank content and trends. With instant access to conversations from moments ago or years ago, Topsy enables users to discover, quantify, predict and make decisions using the world’s most powerful social analytics products.
- Hyper Alerts – Hyper Alerts is a feature for everybody who wants email reports of posts and comments on a Facebook Page. You don’t have to be an administrator of the page to get our email alerts, and you can have as many subscriptions as you want. You can get the alerts within minutes, or a digest every hour, day, week or month.
- BoardReader – A search engine built to search forums for conversations. Highly used by SEO for backlink from relevant locations or posts.
- HowSociable – Is a web solutions startup based in India and is also involved in WordPress (Themes and Plugins) and Joomla (Templates and Extensions) solutions.
- NutshellMail – NutshellMail by Constant Contact takes copies of all your latest updates in your social networking accounts and places them in a snapshot email.
- Kurrently – See what people are saying about your brand, both good and bad, so you can tweak your messaging and respond appropriately.
Step #2 – Customer Issue Forum = +ve Brand
One of the best ways to handle customer complains and maintain a brand without stains is to create consumer forums like GetSatisfaction where you can create communities and have your customers raise views and addresses them.
This helps you bring all your negative impact to one specific location there my reducing negative brand impact.
Another best way is to visit these blogs that have negative comments or remarks and address the issue. Once the issue has been addressed request the webmaster to take the post down as the issue has been resolved.
Avoiding your customers are one way you can take your brand down quickly. However, if you are a company that really loves it brand then you will take action immediately.
The sooner you address the issue, the lesser impact it would create on your business.
I listed out 1o free tools in the previous tip that you can use to monitor your brand and then engage with them every time something negative comes up.
These are two of the most simple brand monitoring and maintenance strategies that you can apply in your business to build a healthy brand.