WEB REPUTATIONHow to build and monitor it [mini-guide]
Web reputation now plays a central role in the success of large companies, SMEs, or individuals.
- Have you ever wondered what people say about you and your company on social networks and in the digital world?
- Are you curious to find out what are the parameters through which to do this type of analysis?
- Do you want to understand what it is, how to build and manage a good online reputation?
Then read on!
When we talk about online reputation we can refer to a company, and in this case, we will use the term brand reputation, to an online activity, and then we will talk about website reputation, or professionals in their respective business branches must take care of their image online. And who, in this case, also takes care of their reputation. If you are interested in these topics, you can learn more about them with the Digital PR Specialist Certification training course.
By watching the video and reading this mini-guide, you will learn:
- what is digital reputation;
- which web reputation tools to use;
- the 6 cardinal principles of online reputation management ;
- how to improve your digital reputation;
- how an online reputation management strategy can improve your online presence.
Web reputation: what is it?
With Web reputation, we mean the reputation that a product, a service, a person, a project, or an event carries with it as a consequence of what is said online about it.
It has to do with how these elements are considered by those who, for whatever reason, come into contact with them. It depends not only on what you do but also on how it is communicated. In summary, it has to do with what is said on the Net. But it also concerns what happens and is said offline!
Without realizing it, by moving and performing actions, we leave traces of our passage. For example, traces of the production written “on our behalf” remain online in a blog, within a forum, on social networks, or in the discussion within a group on LinkedIn or Facebook.
Why is it important to manage your online reputation?
In the age of digital communication, the creation and maintenance of an online reputation, on the web and social media is essential. The important thing to consider is that since everything we do online remains, a reputation is created regardless of whether we consciously decide we want one. A certain image is saddled with us anyway, for better or for worse. We might as well try to create the one that best represents us.
- Web reputation to find work: those involved in human resources have infinite tools to analyze the candidate even before meeting him. To make the job search effective, it is necessary to worry about the photograph returned by social media and the Internet of us and our activities. This is why it is important to start defining your branding immediately and try to impress the recruiters or, at least, not put them in a position to discard your candidacy because of your online life;
- Web reputation for the success of SMEs and online activities even online businesses often find themselves having to keep the reactions of customers/followers at bay, able, with their feedback, to shake the credibility of the brand itself. For this reason, crisis management staff are increasingly present within companies who study in advance what to do in the event of a crisis resulting from online campaigns or incorrect communications by the brand.
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And who or what is involved in managing an Internet reputation? A little bit of everyone and everything.
- Customer products and services: this is what happens, for example, with hotel reviews which can impact the brand identity and compromise or boost the online image and, consequently, determine successes and failures;
- Companies or professionals: whose work, skills, and results, once made public, can determine the more or less positive judgment of those who have interacted with them;
- Popular personalities: politicians or fashion or tourism influencers, i.e. those who have to put their good personal reputation to good use in social media marketing, are an example;
- Ordinary people: who, as we have seen, may be interested in various reasons in giving themselves a positive image.
Managing a company’s online reputation is just one of the new digital professions. Discover the others and which one could be right for you!
The 6 Principles of digital reputation
Now let’s see some principles on which the management and care of reputation on the web are based:
- Verba volant, Scripta manent: we must never forget that any content published online, any comment, negative or positive, will always be available to the user. Precisely for this reason, we must be very careful about what is said about us and what is made public. It takes very little to ruin an online reputation, whether it is a personal web reputation or a brand reputation.
- Reputation influences users’ decisions: with the advent of the Internet, our habits have changed, as has the way we retrieve information. Before making a purchase, most of us search the net for reviews and opinions from other users. There are those who, like TripAdvisor, have built a business on their online reputation. That’s why, today more than ever, having a good online image is a key element for success.
- Information travels fast: in the past, getting an idea about any product or service could not be easy. Now it’s not only simple, but it’s also fast and at no cost.
- It is the users themselves who generate the content: this principle is all the more true since social networks and, consequently, social media marketing were born. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube are places for meeting and exchanging opinions where positive or negative judgments can be expressed. Users themselves influence each other, judging companies, brands, and public figures for better or for worse, subject to constant vulnerability. This is why taking care of the online image has become an indispensable practice.
- Over time, the sources to keep under control increase exponentially: by now we talk about “everyone everywhere” and if a critical situation is poorly managed or not monitored, it can trigger a potentially very dangerous chain of events. Monitoring online and social media reputation becomes a process that can no longer be managed from time to time, but requires continuous application and the use of specially created tools.
- Consider users and deal with critical situations: it is important to constantly check your presence on search engines and in media marketing, valuing official websites and social profiles and reacting quickly to potentially delicate situations. Any problems related to web reputation must be anticipated and foreseen, not passively suffered.
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How to improve web reputation and maintain it over time
Do you want to understand how to improve your web reputation? Let’s see together some precautions to follow.
- Constantly monitor the web: scanning the network in real time allows you to protect yourself from negative and penalizing situations. In many cases, intervening quickly prevents or limits higher damages (Web Reputation Check).
- Define analysis processes and intervention methods: by establishing control and data collection phases, you can set actions and reactions, both automated and manual, resulting from the occurrence of pre-defined cases. With this operational workflow, it is possible to make the most of the communication potential offered by digital media in every area, social, search, and mobile (Web Reputation Management).
- Amplify your strengths and enhance your brand: to enhance your work and consolidate your image, you need to focus on an effective web reputation strategy, made up of the right mix of content and highly engaged activities. The latter must be designed and created to gain visibility on search engines and must serve to stimulate word of mouth from users on social media.
What to do to maintain a good reputation on the web
And instead, once built, how to maintain a good reputation on the web or social networks? Let’s see some useful tips.
- Reviews and customer feedback: the first step is very simple to pay attention to what people say on the Net. Ratings and reviews to pay attention to. You have to work well and then take care of relationships with those who are already or will become your customers and who will be able, in the future, to express an opinion online about your products or services.
- Online Public Relations: nurture relationships with individuals capable of shaping points of view in your market niche. Magazines, influencers, and blogs can positively influence the perception of your company and the product/service you manage.
- Social Groups: Join discussions within social groups. Here the main reference is to open or close groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, or, for example, on blogs and industry forums.
Web Reputation monitoring tools
To monitor online reputation there are free and paid software. Web reputation analysis is precisely the discipline that takes care of it. and in recent years, it is becoming more and more popular due to the need for companies to keep under control what is said online about their brand (we speak of web reputation check).
You can use different tools to monitor and improve your web reputation, thus having a more active role in its creation and intervening where problems arise. These monitoring services can serve not only to understand what users say about your brand, but also to record the “standing” of your competitors.
Let’s see them together.
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Many users access content related to a brand through searches on Google and the first brand reputation monitoring tool to use to check what is happening is Google Alert, the reputation tool of the Mountain View giant. Just set it up to receive daily or weekly alerts of what is mentioned on the Net about your chosen keywords. It is also one of the few web reputation monitoring tools that is completely free. Quite an advantage!
A useful tool for social reputation analysis, Tweetreach.com allows you to monitor tweets on all topics – hashtags, brands, and events – in real time. Thanks to it, it is possible to find out, for example, how a tweet performed and why, thus quickly understanding what worked and what didn’t on social media.
If instead, you are interested in a brand reputation tool for brand monitoring, Socialstudio.radian6.com, acquired by Salesforce, is the main social listening and engagement platform on the market. It allows you to track, consistently observe and respond to questions or complaints as soon as they are posted. It is a paid web reputation tool.
If you deal with a medium-large company with hundreds of daily mentions, the continuous use of web reputation tools becomes indispensable. Social Mention is a web reputation monitoring and social media analysis software that can help you track and analyze data from different sources. It also allows you to know the author of the single comment and what is followed and listened to.
If This Then That
IFTTT is an innovative free service that allows you to “make the Internet work for you”. Through this software it is possible to connect different online platforms, creating logical chains that generate actions when certain conditions occur. A concrete example may be to automatically send an email when someone tweets using certain hashtags or when the user is tagged by someone else on Facebook.
This tool gives an overview of the company’s status online and facilitates future monitoring. An excellent tool for monitoring the digital reputation of companies, Talkwalker offers free and other paid features in the Premium version.
It is in a certain sense the web reputation tool dedicated to the visual. Often a picture can be worth a thousand words. What if someone uses your images? With Image Raider, it is possible to find out which websites talk about you without mentioning your name or who has ‘stolen’ and modified your photographs. Simply enter the URL to check or upload a file. The system will start its screening and send an alert via email if needed.
When web reputation becomes Personal Branding
Finally, here is food for thought that can be useful for everyone: it is necessary to associate the concept of online reputation or digital reputation with the idea of “reselling” oneself on the web.
It is an aspect that concerns both companies and people: the former, to improve their brand reputation, will do self-branding, the latter instead personal branding. A third possibility, for those who instead select personnel, will be to try to promote themselves and make themselves interesting by doing employer branding.
Having ascertained that even those who hire try to improve their reputation on the web, we must ask ourselves what is the best way to do it. The most important aspect is to be credible and authoritative by communicating quality content. This logic allows you to generate interesting leads and implement Inbound marketing strategies useful for increasing the probability of making profits.
Conclusions and free strategic advice
Even if the environment we live in every day is based on real relationships between people, it’s good not to underestimate the digital context, because it could make a difference in the success of your project.
Managing and building a good online reputation can be more complicated than in the real world, although there are tons of tools to support it. Contact us and request a free consultation to understand how.
On the other hand, it must be kept in mind that, although more difficult, the practice of monitoring the reputation (whether of a company, a brand, or a professional) created online has become almost essential.
Do you want to learn more about these topics? Contact us!