A Simple Reputation Management Strategy for Busy Marketers


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If you’re a marketer, then you’re used to wearing multiple hats – project manager, content writer, brand ambassador, consumer psychologist, researcher extraordinaire… The list goes on and on, and somewhere on there it probably includes “reputation manager.” But what do you do when there’s no room in your budget to hire a rep management firm, and no room in your schedule for 24/7 reputation monitoring?

Step 1: Set Up Google Alerts
Your first step is to set up Google alerts to let you know whenever someone mentions your brand online. To set up your Google alerts, visit http://www.google.com/alerts and create alerts for terms like your brand name, the names of your products, the names of any publically known company executives, etc. Once you have your alerts set up, whenever someone mentions any of those terms online, you’ll get an email letting you know.

In the “Search Query” field, enter in the term you want to receive alerts for (like your brand name). For “Result Type,” leave it as the default “everything.” Under “How Often,” you can choose how frequently you would like to receive the alerts (once a day, once a week, as they happen). You can also choose what kind of results you’d like to receive in the “How Many” field (only the best results, or all results). Finally, choose the email address you’d like your alerts to be delivered to.

To cover all of your bases and get the most thorough results possible, create alerts for all of your terms both with and without quotation marks around them. When you put your search terms inside quotes, Google will return results that contain that exact phrase, just the way you typed it in. For search terms that aren’t in quotes, Google will return results that contain those words in any order. For example, if your search term is XYZ Brand, you would create Google alerts for:
• XYZ Brand
• “XYZ Brand”

Step 2: Start Responding
Now that you’re all set up to receive alerts whenever someone mentions your brand online, it’s time to start responding to what people are saying. Here’s an example of what the alert emails look like:

In this example, I have an alert set up for our brand name “freewebsite.com.” As you can see, this alert is about our company Facebook page, but you’ll also receive alerts whenever people mention you in forums, on complaint websites, on Q&A sites, and anywhere else people go to talk about companies online. You can then click the link in the alert email to be taken directly to the page where you’re mentioned. From there, you can submit a reply, contact the person who posted the comment about you, or take whatever action is appropriate for the situation.

Get More Out of Your Alerts
You can use Google alerts for a lot more than just your reputation management efforts. For one thing, you can create alerts to monitor relevant industry news and updates so you can stay current and join the discussion (great way to establish yourself as an industry authority!). You can also set up alerts using your own name to monitor and protect your own personal reputation.

Google alerts are also an easy way to monitor your competitors. By creating alerts using your competitors’ brand names, you can stay on top of what they’re up to and what their customers think about them. Then you can use that information to make improvements to your own brand and products. Say, for example, you find that your competitors’ customers are all in forums talking about how their product doesn’t do this or that. Sounds like a great opportunity to add that feature to your own product and promote it to them!

You can also use Google alerts to promote your brand online. For example, I have alerts set up for FreeWebsite.com for the term “create a free website.” As you can see in the Google alert below, someone went to Ask.com and posted the question, “What are some sites that allow people to create a free website?”

This is a perfect opportunity to promote our service! Now I can jump in on the thread and leave a comment letting everyone know that they can create a free website of their own by signing up with us.

Spend some time thinking about your reputation management and brand promotion goals, then head on over to http://www.google.com/alerts and get started!

Beth Marcus
Beth Marcus is Content Marketing Manager at FreeWebsite.com, a leading provider of websites and domain names. A content writer by trade, Beth's passions include SEO, digital marketing, PPC, and social media.


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