Reputation management is monitoring what is being said about you online, knowing your customers’ perception of your product or service, and also knowing the missed opportunities and threats. 

Have you searched your name or brand to see what results pop up?  Are your social media profiles such as Facebook and Twitter listed?  What about your web site?  Do the results show your customers’ opinions on blogs or consumer review sites? 

With the explosion of the Internet, the customers are now in control.  Today’s consumers are more savvy and do their research online, which drives their buying decisions.  They’ll Google you.  They’ll check out the reviews on Yelp and Foursquare too.

And social media makes it easy for unhappy customers to rant.  Former employees have been known to air their beefs in various forums as well 

What to do?   Improve  your online reputation by responding quickly to negative content.   Be polite.  And be sure to take the conversation offline:  search engines have a long tail, sometimes as far back as ten years.       

As a part of protecting your brand, engage in social media and encourage your happy customers to comment on forums and blogs too. 

Another suggestion is to control your message by mass distributing articles and videos to flood the online world, concentrating on all the positives about your business.  Press releases and testimonials are effective in overshadowing negative posts too.   

Is online reputation management a part of your marketing strategy?  And how do you manage that?