In 2008, Facebook had 100 million users and in March 2013 Facebook has grown to 1.11 Billion users. The world’s largest audience is literally a click away.
With powerful (and free) social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and others, the ability to improve and market your reputation for your business or yourself is limited only by the hours you have available in the day to type, tag and toggle.
You’re probably wondering what is the best way to improve a reputation online? Is there a way to target your efforts so they are not so all-consuming? While you could spend hours and hours tweeting and posting – many people have jobs or a family or a social life – not just a social media life.
I thought I would share three free online reputation management tools you already own that are 100% free and very effective for improving your personal or business reputation online.
1. Use social media to brand your business or yourself – and be active
Whether it’s Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest, there is a social media site that is appropriate for your business. The key is to join these free platforms and to ensure you are actively updating your personal or business profile with new engaging content to keep the profile fresh and dynamic.
For instance, joining Twitter is great but to get followers you must tweet and follow others who share your interests. Also make sure to utilize some of the business services on these social networks to better target your brand and business to the right audience. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter all have advertising services that allow you to promote your company to your target demographic.
You don’t need to devote hours a day to social media, a half hour a day is really all you need to post something thoughtful and creative. It’s quality not quantity that counts.
2. Target Your Efforts By Joining Vertical Groups
Most social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn offer affinity groups and organizations you can follow. There are groups for lawyers, doctors, marketing professionals and more – some with hundreds of thousands of members. If you are a plastic surgeon, for instance, you may want to join health and beauty or surgical sites where you can share practice management tips with other professionals in your field of expertise. You can also create a group of your own and be a “thought leader” within your field.
2. Be a Better Blogger
If you want to make sure your brand comes up in search engines, an active, frequently updated web site is a great way to get there. For example, having an on-site blog will not only showcase your expertise but it will provide a place to interact with customers, add photos of yourself or product and much more. The best part, if you update your blog regularly – once a week or at least twice a month – you may find yourself or your business first in online searches. One of the best online reputation management tools I know is your blog.
Improving your business reputation is not about doing hundreds of things right, it’s about doing a few things right a few hundred times. If you can leverage social media and blogging on your website, it costs you next to nothing for an opportunity to grow your brand and improve your business reputation using free online reputation management tools you already own.