Smart Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation

smart online reputation managementOnline reputation management comes in all shapes and sizes… and all types of prices.  But it doesn’t have to be as difficult or as expensive as you think.  In fact, some of the best reputation management strategies are easy to do on your own.

I thought I would share a few suggestions about how to take charge of your online reputation that are easier than you think.

1.  Be Smart vs. Ridiculous

Search Engine Journal writes that many new businesses, as well as individuals, are looking to enhance their online reputation will veer toward the ridiculous or provocative to attract attention.  We are used to seeing eye-catching tabloid headlines at the supermarket checkout line and the same strategy is being used all over the web to generate clicks and shares, and establish a presence online but sometimes those antics can backfire.

In a recent article, Search Engine Journal writes, “Time and time again we see a new company post something ridiculous or offensive on their social networking pages, then it becomes a big PR disaster. It’s not just about being active on your social pages, it’s also about being smart and connecting with your audience.”  Does this mean you cannot have a sense of humor?  Of course you can – but soft sounding your idea first with a smaller group of friends and colleagues can go a long way to avoid a communications crisis.

2.  Use Social Media to Promote Your Personal Brand or Business

There are many ways to promote yourself directly to your returning customers or constituents and Twitter Chats are an exceptional tool for promoting and enhancing your online reputation. There are twitter chats for virtually any subject, from the mundane to the miraculous, and it is a great way to meet others who are passionate about the same topics as you and establish yourself as an expert or influencer. 

3.  Support a Worthy Cause

Supporting a good cause is always a plus – for you as a person as well as for your online reputation.  It is easy to find charities and not-for-profit organizations that can benefit from your financial support or volunteer efforts.  If you are active on social media, you can promote the charity to your social and professional network. This creates a “halo effect” for your business by associating your brand with a charity and gives the charity a way to connect to a wider audience.

4.  Reputation Management Services

Individuals and companies of all sizes are increasingly looking to reputation management services and public relations firms for brand management and online reputation management.  Although reputation management can be very expensive, it doesn’t have to be.  If you are too busy to create and maintain professional profiles and update blogs regularly and/or if you find a negative comment regarding you or your business online, an online reputation management company can help bury the negatives and highlight positive content for less than you might think – as the saying goes, “you never have a second chance to make a first impression” so it pays to get it right the first time!

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