Phrase for the day: Reputation Management

You’ve heard about risk management, waste management, wealth management, weight management… and now today, there’s a new area you have to keep under control: Reputation Managment. Whereas protecting your personal and business reputation isn’t a new concept by any means, the scope is ever changing, and you have to keep your eyes on more than just the bathroom walls in today’s business climate.

So what is reputation management? And how does a business owner go about managing their reputation? First, let’s not confuse this topic with brand development. While the two topics are related, they’re really not the same. Brand development and maintenance is more about what you say about yourself to give the audience an experience. Reputation management has to do with what that audience is saying about you – to your face, and behind your back.

Hopefully, if your branding and marketing is on track, there’s someone out there talking about your business, your product, service, your employees… or you. What are they saying? How do you find out what’s being said? Are they praising or cursing you? and How do you counter negative buzz?

Thanks to the power of the Internet, and more specifically, social networking, your hard-earned reputation can be boosted by a satisfied customer, content employee, or wowed vendor, or it can be blasted by a disgruntled employee, upset customer, even a competitor, and the news can go around the planet in a matter of minutes… Tweet Tweet!

The type of buzz it takes to launch a new product or service successfully can now be done in a fraction of the time it used to take (and at a fraction of the cost) simply through praise reports on blogs, forums and reviews. It could also go the other way – crashing and burning before launch. Hence the need for Reputation Managment!

So how do you know who’s saying what to whom, and how can you make a difference?

The first thing you need to do is “jump in the pool” (as Lisa Murad, Maxsell Real Estate, might say). You have to get into the social media pool, get online and track what others are saying.

To be notified when a blog or other spidered page mentions your name, stay alert!  Take a few minutes and sign up for email alerts using the keywords you’re interested in hearing the buzz about (your company name, your name, your competitors name… etc… on Google and Yahoo!

Sign up for Twitter, LinkedIn and FaceBook, and start making friends (or catch up with some old ones). Join groups, make recommendations, reviews and ask for the same from satisfied clients. Managing your reputation is as important as ever, and the tools you need to manage well are available if you know where to look. Inspired 2 Design can help – contact us for more information