John Wooden, American Basketball Player and Coach said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Those words were spoken in the early part of the 20th century and are still relevant today. However, in today’s digital age, what others think of you has become increasingly important. Another prolific investor and well-respected businessman, Warren Buffet, said it well, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
Therefore, in an age where comments and opinions can become viral in a short time, how do you know what others are saying about you online? What do prospects see when they search for you? What type of information have you unwittingly put out about yourself that could damage your online reputation? You must assess your online reputation periodically. Here are four simple ways to assess your online reputation.
Use Multiple Search Engines
- The largest search engine is Google. However, it’s important to avoid focusing all of your search on just one search engine. There are others that people use such as Yahoo!, Ask.com, Bing, and more.
- Start with entering your name in quotation marks so you receive more targeted results. Then search for the name of your business.
- Use the keywords you want to rank and do this with multiple search engines.
- Disable personalized search so you’ll see results as everyone else will see them.
Go A Few Pages In Search
Most people who search for your information won’t go past the first couple of pages, but you should do your search beyond the first 5 page results. It may seem a stretch, but you may want to go even as far as page 15. I found blog posts I’d written in 2008 on page 10 or so in Yahoo search results.
Another point to keep in mind is that, especially if you are a business owner, something negative could have been said some time ago, and because of other positive reviews that negative comment or review has been pushed down but is still on the internet and can be found. It could affect your online reputation.
Use Social Media for Searching
Don’t forget that people more and more use social media almost as a search engine. Social media is therefore an excellent place to assess your online reputation.
Try searching for keywords, your name, the company’s name, the product name on each social media network. It’s a great way to monitor the buzz about you and your company. In today’s world Social Media plays a significant role in your online reputation. Not only do you want to monitor what others say about you, but you need to be cognizant of what you’re saying and doing on social media. What you say or share without much forethought can come back to haunt you!
Set up Google Alerts
A Google Alert lets you use various keywords, company names, personal names, and more to be sent information in your inbox from news, blogs and social media when that term is used. It’s a great way to monitor when something is being said about your company as well as keep up-to-date in your niche. You can be sure to comment on blogs that are about your niche, as well as comment on discussions where your product, service, or business were discussed. Becoming an active participant in the blogosphere is a great way to build your online reputation.
To learn more about how to assess, monitor and take control of your online reputation, visit www.reputationspeaks.com.
Know that the points shared are not meant to scare you but to alert you of the importance of staying aware of what’s being said about you online when you take steps to assess your online reputation. It’s also designed to increase your awareness and need for caution when you are posting on Social Media.
More and more prospective employers are checking social media to find out what’s out there about candidates as well. So, in addition to consumers, prospective employers and colleges are checking Social Media profiles to make hiring and enrollment decisions. What will they find about you? Assess your online reputation so that you know what is on the Internet and be in a position to address any negative findings.
I invite you to get your copy of “The Small Business Guide to Online Reputation Management” or schedule a time to discuss with me in a free 30-minute Breakthrough Session through my Contact Form.