For those of you who know me, I am a huge advocate of “proactive” online reputation management. The last thing any business wants is to one day wake up and realize that their brand has been tarnished by unsatisfied customers talking negatively about their products or services and all of the sudden they are ranking for your brand name.
Also, for those who know me, I am a huge advocate in building efficiencies in processes and over the last few years, I feel like I’ve built a pretty efficient process to both monitor your brand reputation and secure high quality back links simultaneously. This is crucial to not only protect your brand, but secure top organic search engine rankings. Let’s get into the process.
Setting Up Brand Monitoring
The very first thing you need to do is set up the monitoring process. There are several tools on the market that can do this for you, but I would recommend two of them. First, the free option, Google Alerts and second, the paid option, Trackur. I’m not going to go through the detailed process of setting each of these up to monitor your brand (it’s pretty straightforward), however, I’d like to address what you should be monitoring:
- Brand name
- Names of your company executives
- Names of your top products or services
Make sure to really think this through and add every variation of word your brand is associated with, doing so will allow you to proactively monitor negative content that shows up online.
Setting Up A Review Schedule
Because I’m a time management and efficiency freak, I usually don’t check my monitoring tools on a daily basis. For some brands… you know, those big ones like Dell, Nike, or Nordstrom, you may have to monitor daily, sometimes even hourly. I mean, Dell has a Social Media Command Center where they monitor their brand 24/7. I’ve seen it in person and it is freaking awesome!
When setting up a review schedule, you will need to make a business decision on how often you need to check in and see what’s being said about you. I recommend at least once per week and increase it as your brand awareness grows.
Once you have your review schedule set up, the next step is to look for opportunities. There are two different opportunities you are looking for.
- Content that is negative toward your brand
- Link opportunities
- Brand mentions without a link back to your site
- Use of an image, video, or digital asset without credit given
You should be able to open up the content, review, and determine if you need to take action in as little as a few minutes per piece.
Once you find an opportunity, you will want to put together a game plan to address it. Obviously, the way you address it will depend on the situation (negative or link opportunity). If you are doing some outreach for a negative post, you are going to have to put your customer service cap on, maybe even get someone from the client services team to help with messaging. Your goal here is to remedy the situation and get the negative content removed or updated.
If you are doing outreach to secure a link back to your site, you need to put on your marketer hat. Depending on the situation, you will need to craft a message (I like to go positive of course) as to why you would like them to link back to your site. Personalize it and sell it hard. This is often times one of the easiest forms of link building.
Outreach Management & Follow Up
To make sure that these brand mentions don’t disappear from Trackur or Google Alerts and become lost forever, I like to add them to Buzzstream. This helps me manage each opportunity and helps me to remember to follow up. You will want to spend some time reviewing and following up on a regular basis. This will increase your chances of getting negative content removed and of securing killer links.
So there’s my process… all laid out for you. What do you think? Am I missing anything? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.