In the past, businesses largely managed their reputation through big news media, such as television and radio. Today, in a more consumer-focused environment, a business’s reputation is largely controlled by its customers. For better or worse, social media has made it possible for the everyday consumer to give his or her opinion on your brand. Once something is on the web, it can be difficult to remove. Negative comments made about your brand could be hurting your business daily.
It takes time and effort to maintain a good online reputation. A proactive approach means monitoring your reputation regularly through online reputation management. In this blog post, we’ll give you the tools to perform a full online reputation analysis and see where your brand currently stands with customers.
Performing an Online Reputation Analysis
Step 1: Establish Goals
The first step in a reputation analysis is to establish goals. How do you want your brand to be viewed, and what types of customers do you want to reach? What social platforms are popular with your ideal customers, and is that where you find most of your mentions?
What actions would you want consumers to take when they see your brand mentions? Maybe you want them to visit your website after seeing positive brand mentions. More website visits or even sales may be a goal for you.
If you are still confused about establishing goals, then look at your most successful competitors. This will help you figure out where your customers are online, and the types of conversations they are having. It will also help you set benchmarks for your own business.
Step 2: Organize Ideas
When you do an online reputation analysis you’re basically searching for your company online using different tools to discover brand mentions. Decide what you want to track. Think up every term people may use to talk about your business. This list can be long or short, but these are the basic starting points:
- Company Name
- Unique product names
- Company name + branch location combinations
- Industry-related searches
It’s important to record all mentions you find or at least the most pressing ones. You may choose an Excel sheet. Decide how often you would like to update it and who on your team would be in charge of updating.
The first 10-100 Google results you find in your reputation analysis are the most relevant. Use the spreadsheet to document links and references to what you find and be sure to include the date you found it.
Step 3: Start Your Search
Now that you have a list of terms, you can begin your search. If your company’s name includes common terms, use quotation marks when you do your search. For example, if you own a nail shop called Lovely Nails, searching just Lovely Nails is going to return a lot of irrelevant results. Searching for “Lovely Nails” in quotations tells Google to search for the terms together.
In Google’s advanced search, you can set the number of displayed results to 100. An option on Google’s sidebar also allows you to preview text from webpages. You can perform your reputation analysis without clicking to visit every link.
Step 4: Expand Your Search
Depending on your business, there may be specific review sites for your industry. Come up with a list of ten. It’s a good idea to also scope out your mentions on those sites. You can use the search functions on those specific sites to find your company mentions, or you can use Google’s advanced search feature to only return results from specific niche sites.
Blogs are another location where you may find mentions of your brand. On Google search’s page, click on “News” and then “Tools.” A dropdown should appear. Click the “All News” and in the drop-down option click “Blogs.” This will allow you to make searches of your mentions on blog sites.
Social media is another area to manage your online reputation. You can always search your mentions using the advanced search features found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also search for all social media mentions on those sites using Google’s search engine. In the Google search bar type “your brand name” site:facebook.com OR site:instragram.com OR site:youtube.com. This will return your most relevant results on those social media sites.
Remember in addition to review sites, blogs and social media pages, your customers will likely find mentions of your brand on:
- News sites
- Related wiki pages
- Press releases
- Competitors’ results/paid ads
Your online reputation analysis must cover all of these bases.
Step 5: Review Your Results
Now that you’ve performed your online reputation analysis, you have a clearer picture of where your brand stands with consumers. Remember your brand mentions are what people will find when they search for you online. Maybe you barely found any mentions, or maybe most of your online presence is general information about your business. If your business falls in the latter category, most of your online mentions will be from your business itself.
If your brand presence is more established, then your online reputation from other people can be negative or positive. Figure out who is impacting your business the most; influencers or detractors? If your brand reputation is negative, you have a unique opportunity to listen to your customers and better yourself. Compare your results against those of your competitors. By studying what your competitors have done to gain a good reputation, you can improve yours.
If your online reputation is mostly positive, then grow it! Your most loyal customers can be your best brand advocates. You can also focus on expanding your reach to other parts of the web.
Online reputation management is a never-ending job, so keep monitoring no matter what you find. A positive perception can turn negative overnight, and your brand could suffer serious damage. One way of keeping track of new mentions is to set up a Google Alert. Compare any new data alongside goals, and highlight any changes in your audience sentiment.
Online review management doesn’t have to take up all your time. Want your online reputation analysis done for you? Rize Reviews can help. See where you currently stand and where you need room for improvement. Contact Rize Reviews today!