Reputation Management is the practice of monitoring and managing the opinions and information that that are posted about your company on the Internet. It is a developing practice but vital for long-term success for online marketing. By utilizing available tools, companies have the ability to interact directly with what customers are saying about them and fix potential problems from the outset. Trendistic and Google Alerts are primary tools that can help cast a wide net for reputation management include.

Trendistic is a fantastic tool for monitoring communication on twitter. Many customer concerns and reviews are communicated on social networking sites like twitter. By utilizing Trendistic, companies can monitor everything posted about them immediately. By monitoring these posts, companies can react and respond immediately to the concerns of a disgruntled customer and generally change a potentially negative situation into a positive. This not only helps customer retention, but also assists in priceless branding that other customers and prospects will see.

Google Alerts is much more sophisticated and broader in scope. Google Alert lets you establish your search terms, frequency to receive reports and then it literally “Monitors the web for interesting new content related to your company name, products or even competitors.” This tool is invaluable for reputation management efforts. You can now monitor what is posted about a particular search term or set of terms on any website indexed by Google. Additionally, a direct link to the sites for responses is provided. By directly addressing the source, you can insure that your image or messaging is positioned properly. Google Alerts is particularly good for monitoring industries as a whole such as SIP Trunking, VoIP or IP Communications. You can track keywords like “Business VoIP”, “Hosted PBX” or “Broadvox” and receive daily updates to what is posted across the web.

By incorporating these tools to monitor what is posted about your company or products, you can then engage in communication to resolve negative hits to your online reputation. For example, if a customer has a bad experience or misunderstanding with a sales rep and posts a tweet or blog post online, you are quickly notified, and, by accessing the post, communicate directly with the disgruntled customer. Through Twitter, you can reply directly to tweets and open a dialogue to get situations resolved. You can respond and point the person who is upset in the right direction for resolution. For blogs, you can leave a comment or send an email to address any negative comments. And for larger corporate sites, you can usually contact the editor or publisher and work to influence a negative article or opinion. For the most part, publishers will not post negative information without contacting the business in question for a response, but it is still important to keep an eye on all websites to for the few surprises.

Remember, the majority of people only vocalize their opinions when they are negative. It is a lot more common for an upset customer to post comments than a satisfied one. By communicating directly with customers about their concerns, you may change a negative comment into a positive review. Broadvox has had success using these tools to correct information, address partner concerns and positively engage our customer base. Please add this effort to your SEO, SEM and GEO targeting efforts. It is through the integration of each of these efforts that you will gain the greatest benefit of Internet marketing.