Have You Checked Your Online Reputation Lately?

c232e7fbaef777feacccf7ad23412ab0 We live in a hyper-connected, tech-savvy world where information flows freely online. Everything – blog posts, status updates, photos, thoughts etc. – becomes our “Personal Brand Footprint” to the world. Anyone both within and beyond our network can see, review and form an opinion about us.

In this new Age of Transparency, social media blurs the lines about who we are to friends and family, peers, professional contacts and even those we do not know. Your personal brand is more important than ever.

Have you “Googled” yourself lately? If you haven’t, you may be in for a surprise.

You may think that you have control over your brand, but anyone anywhere can threaten the pristine image that you have taken years to establish with a negative post, embarassing photograph or unflattering article. Conversations are happening all over the Web without our even being aware of them. It’s the Wild, Wild West out there.

If you want to know what’s being said about you and monitor your brand online, then you need to have a tracking system. And you need to start listening.

Here are three tools you can begin using immediately to track and manage your online reputation:

1. Google Alerts (https://www.google.com/alerts)
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of topic. Set a comprehensive alert for your name, company name, industry topic etc. and you’ll be notified through email and RSS.

2. Twitter (https://www.twitter.com)
Using the search tool in Twitter, you can locate any mentions of your name and/or Twitter handle (if you are already using the medium). Conduct a search for your name, Twitter handle (if it’s different than your name), company name and topics related to your industry.

3. Social Media Search (https://www.socialmention.com & https://www.howsociable.com)
Social Mention and How Sociable are social media search engines that search user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, videos, news and microblogging services. They allow you to track mentions of your brand across all of these platforms.

©Liz Dennery Sanders 2010

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