Online reputation management is a term used to describe monitoring of what’s being said about you, your company, and your industry on the internet.
Why is there a need for such a service? Because thanks to blogs, newsgroups, online forums, and chatrooms, people are talking, and everything they’re saying may not be positive. It pays to be paying attention. Your reputation is at stake. Not only that, it’s a good way to stay informed on the latest buzz about your industry.
We’ve started providing this service for a few of our clients at Radiant Marketing Group, and I’m amazed how much content there is floating around about them. If you’re interested in learning how to do this yourself, let me provide some instruction on how to go about it and recommend some sites to use in gathering the information.
Everything revolves around two criteria: Keywords and RSS feeds. If you don’t already know the top keywords related to your business and industry, it behooves you to learn them. There are many search engine optimization companies that can assist you in gathering this information.
If you aren’t familiar with how RSS works, you need to learn, and quickly. Here’s a link to a great explanation of the technology.
After you’ve gotten an understanding of RSS and done your homework on keywords, the first thing to do is set up a Bloglines account. It will serve as the repository for information gleaned through the use of other sites. Bloglines allows you to create a directory of RSS feeds. That way, you can have most all your monitoring done in one place.
Each one of these sites provide aggregation of information gleaned from other websites and blogs. They each provide an RSS feed matching the keywords you use which you can add to your Bloglines account. (BTW, Technorati calls its subscription a “watchlist.”)
Now, you have a one-stop-shopping for relevant information about you, your company, your industry, and, if so desired, your competition.
It takes little technical know how to setup and the only cost is time. In my opinion, monitoring your online reputation should be a vital part of your internet marketing/PR strategy.