Online reputation management is increasingly important for anyone with a web presence, including politicians, doctors and dentists, business owners, and people in the public eye. Keeping tabs on your reputation on the Internet is the second step in maintaining a positive image; the first being a proactive establishment of a positive reputation online.

Vigilant management of your reputation includes finding out where your customers are online. Meet your clients where they are online, be it Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook or Twitter, and then be vigilant about monitoring your Internet reputation on these sites. How do you find the unhappy and happy clients?

Google yourself. Searching for your company on the big three search engines gives you a big picture of your online reputation and lets you see what a potential consumer sees. Monitoring what comes up on search engine results pages (SERPs) is part of finding where your customers are praising and complaining online. This will help you target your efforts in protecting your online reputation.

Search social media outlets. SERPs may not bring up what is being said about your business on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Get on those sites or find the ones which are influential for your industry. Search for your company name and find out what is being said among friends and followers. Your disgruntled customer may not take the effort to write a review on a formal review site but will air his complaint on a social network. This type of word-of-mouth commentary won’t be obvious unless you actively seek out what your customers are saying, yet these comments can be influential and damaging as friends tell other friends about the bad experience. Vigilant monitoring of these sites is going to help you manage your online reputation.

Read what the bloggers in your industry are writing about. Influential bloggers can give you a sense of your current reputation. Their voice is listened to and shared by current or potential customers. Consumers in the market for your product are going to find these posts and even comment, giving you a better sense of what your online reputation looks like. Comment on their posts, ask their opinions and treat them with respect because influential bloggers can help or hurt your online reputation. With an established relationship, they’ll become important aspects of your strategy to protect and preserve your reputation on the Internet.

Ultimately, your reputation should be targeted and vigilant. A firm which specializes in managing online reputations of businesses in your industry knows where to find your clients online, will catch negative remarks, and then help craft the appropriate response.

Jennifer Greenfield writes articles on public relations and online reputation management strategies. RepRepair helps individuals, businesses, and brands repair and restore their online reputation. For more information, visit

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