Tagged: Reputation Management

Online Reputation Management

Navigating BrandYourself’s New Software Update 0

The new version of BrandYourself provides much more comprehensive technology to help you clean up and improve your online presence. This quick guide explains your new features and how to find all the information you had in your old account (if you already had one).

What this guide covers:

  • What’s new in this version?
  • How is my new Reputation Score different from my old Search Score?
  • Where is the info that was on my old Report Card?
  • Where can I find all my submitted links?
  • Where can I submit new links?
  • Where can I find my profile visitors?
  • How can I edit my BrandYourself profile?

Your Reputation Score replaces your old Search Score

Your new Reputation Score gauges how your entire online presence helps or hurts your career – think of it like a credit score for your online presence. It identifies factors that are putting your career at risk, including potentially damaging search results, risky social media posts, and inappropriate social media images. It also looks at positive information about you on the web that benefits your career, like well-optimized and up-to-date properties. Your new Reputation Score is a numeric value, with the highest possible score being 800. We also provide a range of “very poor” to “excellent” as a guide to show how you stack up.

What to expect: Your new Reputation Score may be lower than your previous Search Score

You may notice that your new Reputation Score is comparatively lower than your previous Search Score that gave you a letter grade – that’s ok! Your Search Score only rated the first page of search results. Your new Reputation Score looks at your entire online presence, including search results, social media posts, and images. As online screening becomes more and more prominent, employers are now looking beyond just search results.

Your Reputation Report replaces your old Report Card

When you first log in, you’re brought to your Reputation Report – this is your dashboard. In the previous version, the information housed here was known as your “Report Card”. The Reputation Report provides an overview of your online presence, including:

  • Your Reputation Score
  • A summary of your risk factors (search results, social posts, and images)
  • A summary of your personal brand (how many high-quality properties you’ve created and kept updated)
  • A summary of your Google results
  • Your BrandYourself profile visitors
  • Your new Earnability Calculator, which quantifies how your online presence could be impacting your earning potential

Your Reputation Builder replaces your old My Links page – and adds powerful new features to improve your score

Your Reputation Builder section is where you can action to improve your Reputation Score. That includes building your personal brand and cleaning up risk factors.

Your new Reputation Builder includes:

  • Action Plan. This lists the steps you can take to improve your Reputation Score.
  • Risk Factors:
    • Search Results. This lists any Google results that could be flagged by employers during an online screening and damage your reputation. It also shows you how to suppress them by building positive content.
    • Social Posts. This scans your social media profiles for any posts that could be flagged by employers as unprofessional during an online screening, and helps you delete them.
    • Images.  This scans your social media profiles for any images that could be flagged by employers as unprofessional during an online screening, and helps you delete them.
  • Personal Brand:
    • Properties. This is where you’ll find all your links (it replaces your old My Links page). It walks you through the process of building a positive personal brand to improve your Reputation Score. Your customized personal brand plan takes into account your industry and your current Reputation Score to provide a list of recommended properties that you should build. It then shows you how to optimize them and keep them updated over time.
    • Profile. This is where you can edit and view your BrandYourself profile.

FAQs

Where is the info from my old “Report Card”?

Most info from your old Report Card can now be found on your Reputation Report, including an overview of your Reputation Score, a summary of your visibility in Google, and your profile visitors. It also includes new information including a summary of your risk factors and a summary of your personal brand.

Where is the “My Links” page? Where are all my submitted links, and where do I submit new ones?

Your Properties page completely replaces your old My Links page. It lists all the links you’ve submitted, how well optimized they are, and how updated they are. You can also add additional links by scrolling down to the “Other Properties” section and submitting them in the input box, just like in the old version.

Where are my BrandYourself profile visitors?

Your Reputation Report shows your profile visitors. Just scroll down to the “Online Audience” section to see who’s viewed your profile recently. We changed the name because this section will show more info about your online audience in the future. But for now, it just shows your BrandYourself profile visitors.

How can I edit my BrandYourself profile?

Edit and view your profile on your Profile page here. Click the “Reputation Builder” tab in the main navigation, then look for “Profile” undern the “Personal Brand” subheading.

Where can I find my Google results?

Your Google Visibility page shows the top 10 pages of Google results for your name. Here you can mark each result as “Positive”, “Damaging”, or “Not Me.” We’ll also notify you of any potentially damaging search results our technology flags in your Flagged Search Results section.

Why is my Reputation Score lower than my Search Score?

You may notice that your new Reputation Score is comparatively lower than your previous Search Score that gave you a letter grade – that’s ok! Your Search Score only rated the first page of search results. Your new Reputation Score looks at your entire online presence, including search results, social media posts, and images. As online screening becomes more and more prominent, employers are now looking beyond just search results.

 

The post Navigating BrandYourself’s New Software Update appeared first on BrandYourself Blog | ORM And Personal Branding.


Source: Brandyourself

2018: The Year of New, Sparkly Content 0

Content ideas to keep your social media pages fresh for the new year

By: Sam Koontz, Content Editor

Now that the holidays and New Year’s have come and gone, what we’re left with, aside from stubborn confetti that refuses to stay in 2017, is the shiny promise of a clean slate in the months ahead. January is the time of year that we all vow to improve ourselves in one way or another — that same optimism can be applied to your small business’ social media content.

2017 was a huge year for social media activity, rounding out at 2 billion users on Facebook, 700 million on Instagram, and 328 million on Twitter. These numbers will grow even more in the new year as mobile device usage continues to gain traction. For that reason, it’s increasingly important to have some fun, new content ideas in your toolbox for the next month.

Check out these 4 strategies you can utilize to make your social media pages stand out in 2018:

1. Seasonal Spirit

Every year, 40% of the population commits to making a New Year’s resolution. Among the top five most popular resolutions for last year were self-improvement and trying something new and exciting. Keep your pages topical by using this hopeful spirit to drive your content! Your customers will appreciate that your content is relating to their goals.

Gyms or studios like this one lend themselves perfectly to New Year’s-related content:


“Meet your New Year’s resolution accountability team.”

Here’s an example of a seasonal direction to take if your small business involves outdoor activities:


“Resolve to be adventurous this year.”

2. Ongoing Specials

Let your customer base know that your ongoing specials are sticking around in the new year! Whether you offer an afternoon happy hour every Sunday, host trivia on Wednesdays, or offer student discounts year-round, now’s as good a time as ever to remind your fans that they can count on you when they want to fall back on their favorite routines.

If you own a bar or a brewing company, you might advertise your ongoing specials like this:


“New year, same Wednesday night plans.”

3. Product Highlight

Your products and services are the backbone of your small business, and they’re a huge part of what keeps your loyal followers coming back. This year, make it a point to pepper in content that shows off your product. Amidst your other posts, this will ensure that your audience never forgets what you’re all about.

Here’s an example of a great post from a local boutique:


“Every journey begins with a single step. Start 2018 on the right foot — with the right shoes.”

4. Upcoming Events

If your small business plays host to different events throughout the year, now would be a great opportunity to foster a more meaningful relationship with your customers. Posting content about your event in the weeks prior increases awareness and will drum up support from the fans who are eager to be a part of what you do.

If you have an upcoming event, a graphic is a quick and easy way to share information with your audience! Here’s an example:


“The future is bright this year.”

2018 offers endless possibilities for your social media pages. Take advantage of some of these tips, and this could be your best year of content yet!

Sam Koontz is one of Main Street Hub’s Content Editors. On our Content Team, Sam helps our Community Managers develop and improve their writing skills to provide the best possible content for our local business customers all over the country.

Looking for someone to take social media off your plate this year? Main Street Hub can do it for you. Click here to get started with us today.

Don’t miss a thing — follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!



2018: The Year of New, Sparkly Content was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: Main Street Hub

Reputation Management for Entrepreneurs – 20 Essential Tips for 2018 0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2017, over 50 million people worked as entrepreneurial freelancers across the United States, and 71% of them reported an increase in work obtained online over the past twelve months. By 2027, the majority of the US workforce will be freelancers according to Upwork’s “Freelancing in America.” 

Whether you’re a weekend Upworker, supplementing your full time income to finance those skydiving lessons, or making million dollar investment deals for breakfast, the competition will be close and whether people do business with you or not will likely be decided from what people find out about you online.

With freelancers contributing $1.4 trillion annually to the American economy, the Gig Economy seems to be in full swing, which would strongly signal more entrepreneurs paving their own financial path than any other time in history. While this is great news for the self-motivated, it also increases the need to maintain a well-groomed online reputation.

Potential clients, investors, and business partners (just to name a few) can and will scrutinize your current online reputation (at least as far as the first page of Google.)

From an embarrassing weekend photo on Facebook that made its rounds across the office, or that prickly customer that left your pristine restaurant a nasty review, your reputation is galvanized by what can be found about you online.

Ask yourself, would you trust a new company or individual if a Google search coughed up your most embarrassing moment? What about when you see a business with a steady string of few one-star ratings or reviews? Or a full blown news article of negative press.

If you’re like 88% of consumers who trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, the answer is easily, “No thanks, I’ll take my business elsewhere.”

So, how do you fix or build your online reputation to increase the success of your business? 

1. Google Yourself, Google Your Business 

Search for your name or business on Google to get a clear picture of what your current online reputation looks like to everybody else. Absorb the first three pages completely and open every piece of information you find about yourself – just one negative result could lose you as much as 22% of business. Two negative results could cost you up to 44% of business, and three negative results increases that number to an eye-popping 59%.

“Hey there’s nothing about me online…so that’s a good thing…uh right?”

Not in your field. Especially when it comes to investing in an individual or making a significant purchase. You always want to leave positive online footprints that reflect a history of good character and honest business.

You want people talking about your business the same way they would talk about you as a person: positively.

No results = Bad results.

 

2. Speak to an Online Reputation Management Company

If you’re serious about maximizing your online reputation, your next step after a thorough online audit should be to research online reputation management (ORM) companies and learn as much as you can about the subject. Objectively assess how serious you are about what appears and what doesn’t about you on the first page of Google. It’s a lot to take in and that’s ok! 

Starting a conversation with an ORM specialist is a great exercise in beginning to learn about and managing your online reputation. 

 

3. Audit and Claim Your Social Media Accounts

Log into every personal and professional social media account tied to your name and your business. If you haven’t registered for the big ones, like Twitter and Facebook, claim and register these sites with your actual name. Even if you do not plan on using them. You want to control the online real estate of your business.

Already registered? Even better.

For personal accounts, set your accounts to private to prevent wandering eyes from snooping through your social accounts. In any case, delete compromising photos of yourself, hide potentially embarrassing social media updates, and remove any material which may be considered offensive. 

There should be no images or posts that would make someone question the integrity of you or your business whether they are confined to your circle of friends or not. If the main asset of your business is yourself – which as an entrepreneur, it is – leave no social media post left dangling for others to judge. 

For professional accounts such as LinkedIn, remove anything that does not relate to your business as an entrepreneur. Create a professional and friendly biography to use across all accounts in order achieve brand continuity.

If you find anything that you cannot remove or hide, save it in a new folder to discuss with an Online Reputation Specialist. Remember: It’s not the end of the world if there is something bad about you online, even if it seems like it is there forever for everyone to see. Like any other challenge, the steps needed to improve an online reputation need to be measured and focused. It takes time but the results are worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Define Your Brand

Personal branding is a top priority for successful entrepreneurs heading into 2018. Modern customers and clients want to put their money into personable brands that they connect with. Follow a branding guide to walk you through choices about everything from your logo and color scheme to your tagline and message. You’ll likely want a minimum of a memorable business name (if you don’t use your own), a support team, necessary legalities and brand guidelines to follow.

If you presently work under multiple brands, consider refining a personal brand to apply to every iron in your fire. This aligns your endeavors to a common message and tone, making you appear genuine, transparent, trustworthy and likeable.

 

5. Claim Your Name and Your Business

Before you can build your online platform, you’ll need to claim your name (or that of your business) in every form possible. Buy the .com with your name and/or that of your business, or secure a similar one if your preferred domain name isn’t available. For example, if you can’t purchase www.JaneDoe.com, consider www.JaneDoeConsulting.com, or better yet, secure both.

Think of your name and business as two squares on a monopoly board that are the same color. You want to possess as much online real estate about yourself as possible, but your name and business are Boardwalk and Park Place.

Claim your name on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest, as well as on popular industry-specific business networks. Grab everything you can. 

When your clients or customers search for you, your website, social media accounts and business accounts will appear high in the results. This creates a wall that lowers the likelihood of any negative or irrelevant information appearing on the first couple pages.

The more online real estate about yourself you control, the easier it will be to manicure your reputation.

 

6. Schedule Online Activity

Owning your online real estate is a great start but next you don’t want to leave your internet presence idle. Your social media accounts, website and professional profiles should be updated regularly if you’d like them to rank high in search engine results. This means scheduling updates and following a regular posting schedule. As you create your content, keep it aligned with your brand.

Today’s entrepreneurs must be authentic with a unique voice, a memorable design, a succinct slogan and a strong connection to customers or clients. Be yourself and steer clear of odd fits. Think about your past successes, when both you and your client have felt positive about a deal, and try to recreate that genuine feeling in your content and posts.

For those “busy bees” whose hands are tied, or the idea of creating your own content doesn’t align exactly with your business strengths, outsourcing this work may be your best option to drive traffic to your page.

An ORM specialist will generally cover content creation and marketing in their services.

 

7. Monitor New Content

Recent content will appear earlier in search engine results. Monitor your name or that of your business with a service like Google Alerts or Mention to receive updates whenever anything new about you or your brand appears online.

You want to stay on top of this – just as you would doing your laundry or mowing the yard. Set a calendar reminder to dedicate some time to your online reputation maintenance. The sooner you make checking your online status a routine, the easier the road ahead will be.

Many entrepreneurs face fierce competition and an overcrowded market. If someone posts something slanderous about you, knowing the moment it happens allows you the best opportunity to launch crisis control. Furthermore, reputation monitoring will help alert you to new places that your clients could be posting reviews about you.

 

8. Never Communicate Unprofessionally

Everything you say or do online can and will come back to you if it is negative. Do not engage in arguments with trolls, post negative comments about other local businesses, argue with clients who leave bad reviews or otherwise communicate unprofessionally online.

If anything that you’re writing will be visible to the public, it should be something that you would say in front of your clients, without them fully understanding your situation. Using this guideline, you’ll be able to better identify and eliminate communication that will present you or your brand in a negative light.

While your first and natural instinct will be to defend your position against online attacks, take a step back, breathe, leave the review and come back to it later, when you aren’t as heated. Don’t ever respond to any negative review when you are upset. Approach them objectively, sympathetically, and positively. 

 

9. Become an Expert

The most successful entrepreneurs in the last several years have been by nature pioneers and thought leaders. These are the people who have something original to say, a unique approach to their industry and an unyielding dedication to progressing their craft to the greatest possible extent.

Brainstorm ways that you can set yourself apart and make waves as an entrepreneur.

Establishing yourself as an expert isn’t just to help you branch out your endeavors – becoming a leader creates an additional protective barrier surrounding your digital name.

 

10. Study Communication Skills

Learn about active listening, public speaking skills and other aspects of communication to improve the image you are projecting. Study written communication, watch your spelling, improve your grammar and otherwise polish how you write.

Improving upon your communication skills will make you better prepared to deliver presentations, attend interviews, appear in videos, write blog posts and talk to your clients. Your written communication is especially important, as it can by pasted into any online forum, opening you up to ridicule for even the smallest errors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

11. New Avenues of Exposure

The more positive exposure you and your brand can achieve, the better. Generate new avenues of press in a manner appropriate for your area of specialization and watch as your reputation grows.

One example of how to approach this is to write guest posts on popular blogs. This will help cultivate you as an expert, gain readers for your blog and increase your potential clients. You might also attend community events, work with local journalists and otherwise gain media exposure within your city. 

Other ways to generate new exposure might include speaking at seminars, volunteering or donating to aid local nonprofits, or offering classes on your area of expertise. If you are unsure of how to get your news out and online, speak with a PR specialist for their insights and assistance in generating exposure.

 

12. Be Consistent

If you’re new to online reputation management, it’s easy to jump in full force at first and then taper off your efforts as time passes. This is a critical mistake that can sabotage your efforts to improve your name online. Don’t stop communicating with clients, increasing your network, posting on your social media accounts and otherwise adhering to your entrepreneurial brand. Consistency is key.

 

13. Handle Negative Feedback Positively

A negative review of your business or services could be a strictly-bad thing, but only if you let it. In fact, 30% of consumers assume that online reviews are fake if they do not find any negative reviews, and 26% feel that it is important for a local business to respond to reviews.

With these numbers in mind, take negative feedback in stride, do not respond from a place of emotion. Offer to speak with the customer privately to resolve the matter. This helps keep the negativity out of the spotlight while showcasing your dedication to customer satisfaction and your willingness to work with each person objectively.

Also, as you handle negative feedback, know that 95% of unhappy customers are willing to return to a business if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently.

 

14. Embrace Transparency

Entrepreneurs have not always needed to be transparent, but today’s age of information demands it. If your transactions and interactions with clients aren’t honest, this will only hurt you in the future. Provide full disclosure about everything you do professionally and don’t get involved with clients or partners who don’t embrace transparency.

If you’re building a business, a lack of transparency gives your competition or any disgruntled parties ammunition to attack you and damage your brand. Transparency takes away much of your competition’s ammunition.

 

15. Take Responsibility

You will make mistakes and that’s ok. That’s part of the process. The key, along the same line as making opportunities out of negative reviews, is to take responsibility for your mistakes. Own your problems, admit that you dropped the ball and then do everything possible to rectify the issue.

If, for example, you forget to complete part of a project, address your error with your client as soon as you notice. Apologize professionally, offer a discount or partial refund and complete the missing work as soon as possible. 

 

16. Protect Your Online Reputation

Any professional needs to make money to succeed, and as an entrepreneur, your online reputation plays a huge role in how much you’ll earn. Protect your online reputation with your life, because it impacts the quality of life you can live.

Waiting until something negative happens to your reputation will come back to haunt you. Even if you’re working with a clean slate, the sooner you begin building your layers of protection, the harder it will be for someone or something to ruin your name. Proactive reputation management builds a secure and positive digital foundation that in many cases can act as a shield for a negative event.

 

17. Ask for Testimonials

An entrepreneur’s website isn’t complete without a few highlighted testimonials. Instead of repurposing reviews online for your personal website and other professional use, ask clients for specific testimonials that you can feature. Consider including a short survey with this request to get a better feel for what your clients do and don’t like.

After reading positive reviews elsewhere, 48% of customers will visit a company’s website. When they find additional positive reviews there, they’ll be more likely to give you their business.

 

18. Build Brand Awareness

As you improve your reputation, spreading brand awareness will make your job much easier. Tactics like creating a referral program, posting unique infographics, partnering with local brands, holding giveaways, offering freemium services, running contests on social media and appearing on popular entrepreneurial podcasts can do wonders for your brand.

Remember, everything you offer should provide value, represent your brand in a positive light and increase consumer awareness of your entrepreneurial endeavors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. Respect All Customers, Clients, Partners and Employees

Any customer, client, business partner and past or present employee is a potential reviewer. If you’re building a business, you must respect every person you interact with on a professional level with the full knowledge that they can post about your interactions.

In approaching people with this mindset, you don’t just avoid negative reviews, you generate positive feedback that will polish your image as a successful entrepreneur.

 

20. Set a Reasonable Timetable

When you’re repairing your online reputation, you must be patient and think long-term. Fixing your Google results isn’t something that happens overnight. Though an expert ORM team can dramatically speed up the process, it can still take months and, in some cases, years to restore a damaged online reputation.

What matters is that you begin working on reputation repair today and that you continue working on it for as long as you’re pursuing your entrepreneurial endeavors.

 

So… What Now?

Ask yourself this: if the front page of Google is your business card (which it effectively is), how do you want to design it? Now that you have a better understanding of what your online reputation is and how to manage it, you’re ready to begin.

Every entrepreneur is different, and you’ll likely need a unique approach based on your industry, experience and current online reputation. That’s what makes you, YOU after all.  As you mend and defend your online reputation, you’ll likely gain more business than ever, enjoy more exposure and begin achieving your goals much more quickly.

Status Labs is the premier digital reputation management firm, with offices in Austin, New York, Los Angeles, London and São Paulo. For more information visit StatusLabs.com or sign up for a Free Consultation.


Source: Status Labs

4 Tips & Tools for Small Business Owners 0

Get ahead online before the new year begins

Main Street Hub manages the online presence of over 10,000 small businesses like yours nationwide. Since 2010, we’ve written over 10 million messages for our customers.

We know how time-consuming creating social media content, responding to customer reviews, and building online relationships can be — which is why we strive to make it as easy for small business owners as possible.

Want to see how Main Street Hub can do it for you? Get started with us here.

Here are our favorite tips and tools to help you get ahead online:

Admin and Scheduling

Hootsuite

Coming up with great content is the first step to getting your small business’ online presence in perfect shape, and the next step? Sharing that great content on your social media pages.

Hootsuite is a social media scheduling tool that allows you to schedule posts ahead of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more! This allows you to take the time to create a few pieces of content and schedule them out over the course of the week.

Google Alerts

Sorting through all of the information on the internet can be incredibly time-consuming, which is why it’s convenient to have the things you need to know come straight to your inbox.

You can set up Google Alerts for information that’s relevant to your business. For example — if you’re a restaurant owner, you might want to set up alerts for “restaurants,” “restaurants (city name),” and “social media for restaurants.”

Learn how to set up Google Alerts here!

Content Creation and Planning

Canva

Need to make a quick graphic for your social media accounts? Look no further than Canva. It’s an incredibly intuitive way to add a visual component to your posts and that extra punch that your audiences are looking for.

Business 2 Community

This website shares helpful tips on social media, reputation management, email marketing, website building, and more. If there’s a question you might have about your small business’ presence, this website can answer it for you. Check out some of Main Street Hub’s B2C posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Small Business Organizations

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration has a great deal of resources for small businesses. Along with information on business plans, business licenses, loans, and taxes, it also has a helpful blog and curates news that small business owners need to know.

SCORE

SCORE is located in cities across the country and offers free business mentoring and education — it’s a part of the SBA. You can also find our Regional Development Team giving presentations with our local SCORE partners and educating small business owners through free, live, digital webinars. Learn more here.

MarketingBitz

One of our partners, MarketingBitz provides educational blog posts, workshops, and webinars for small businesses to succeed both online and offline. It is powered by the Local Search Association — a not-for-profit industry association of media companies, agencies and technology providers that help businesses market to consumers in their local markets. Our team members often partner with MarketingBitz to provide small business owners with actionable tips and insights to drive results through social media, check out our most recent webinar with MarketingBitz on The Recipe for Social Media Success.

Main Street Hub’s Blog

We’ve learned a lot of dos and don’ts from working on behalf of our thousands of small business customers, and here is where we share our favorite tips, content ideas, and the latest industry trends to keep small business owners in the know and help them elevate their online presence.

Keep up with our blog by following us on Facebook and Twitter — we share all of our new posts there!

Main Street Hub’s Social Media Guides

If you’re learning a lot on our blog, you can take an even deeper dive into what your business should be doing right now on social media and review sites by downloading our guides. We have everything from handling your online reviews, to our Instagram Cheat Sheet, to our guide that shows how to build loyalty on Facebook to the best way to measure ROI from social media.

You can download them all here, or click here to check out our other resources.

Want more resources and helpful tips for small businesses? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!



4 Tips & Tools for Small Business Owners was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: Main Street Hub

How Online Reputation Management Can Help Your Career Opportunities 0

Before the age of Google, recruiters would rely primarily on phone calls to references to vet job applicants. Today, this process is almost obsolete, thanks to the fact that the Internet now offers easy access to a wealth of information about most people. To that end, Google has effectively replaced the résumé by delivering immediate […]

The post How Online Reputation Management Can Help Your Career Opportunities appeared first on Reputation Resolutions.


Source: Reputation Resolutions