I was recently interviewed for the Record Searchlight newspaper (Redding, CA) by Dana Cortez (thanks Dana!) and shared my insight on why it's important to stay proactive with your social media marketing and why you need to have a plan in place.
Dana's article touches upon online reputation management basics. It offers helpful tips from other social media professionals on how you can generate positive online buzz around your business brand. The articles brings up great points, but here are more online rep tips that weren't covered:
1. Set up Google alerts. You can set up the alerts under your name, business name or certain keywords. Emails are directly sent to your email when the name or keyword appears in Google.
2. Track and monitor analytics for your website, blog and social media. If you use a social media monitoring platform (i.e. HootSuite, TweetDeck, Vocus, etc.) analytics are already built into the software. This allows you to better manage comments and keep an eye on your traffic and page rank (PR)/search engine results.
3. Type your name into Google and see what you find. I did this recently and found one of my interviews posted on an Eastern European website. You never know what you will find. It's a good way to see where your name pops up in search engines.
4. Don't engage in online battle - keep it short, sweet and professional. This point was touched upon in the article, but I wanted to reiterate how important it is to be professional. I notice people on forums and LinkedIn groups who engage in nasty banter back and forth. It's not only rude but it makes you, as the business professional, look catty and mean-spirited. Not to mention, it's a poor reflection on your brand's reputation.
5. Lend a helping hand. The one point that wasn't touched upon in the article is that social media is about helping people. It's not about spamming people with your products and services. Be authentic and genuine and offer to help people by sharing information and offering feedback (when asked).
You don't have to create a complicated social media marketing plan, but it helps to be prepared, stay aware and proactively monitor your online reputation. For more online rep tips, check out my How to Protect Your Online Rep From Spammers & Scammers - my two-part blog series with Karen Elliott.