There is a lot of talk buzzing around the Internet of online reputation management, as well as brand management. In most of the articles or blog posts I have read, I have noticed that people are confusing the two – almost blending them. The two should not be blended, and each should have their own seperate marketing strategies. I am hoping to give you a better idea of what the two are, so lets define them.
- By definition online reputation management – The act of monitoring, addressing or mitigating undesirable search engine results or mentions in online media for a company or product – http://www.anvilmediainc.com/search-engine-marketing-glossary.html
- By definition brand management – is the application of marketing techniques to a specific product, product line, or brand. It seeks to increase the product’s perceived value to the customer and thereby increase brand franchise and brand equity. (just doing it online) Wikipedia
Monitoring is the most important step that needs to take place with online reputation management. If you are going to have a successful, and clean online reputation – you MUST be montioring it. I know it sounds funny, but if you are not taking time every day to “Google” yourself and checking out what people are saying about you, then you have failed already.
Tools for Monitoring:
There are many free online reputation management tools out there that will help you keep an eye on what people are saying, but here are some of my favorites that I have used, or use everyday –
- Google Alerts
- Twitter Alerts
- SERPH – (track in real time before pages are even indexed on Google)
- Search Engines
If you want to get even more serious about monitoring, and have a little cash to spend to the tools, you have other options. I have never used the tool myself, but I have heard from many people, and read many amazing testimonials about Trackur, an online reputation management monitoring tool created by Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim.
Brand management would include more specific marketing tactics of creating content, getting the word out and creating the preceived online brand value. You could use social networks, blogs and press to get such word out, then use SEO to get the newly created content to take over the top SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Positions) – thus helping in creating the brand and awareness online.
It is important to understand the difference in the two because each have specific tasks associated with them, and if you are going to have success with either you must be working on both. SO HERE IT GOES – Monitor to make sure you are clean (online reputation mangement) and then – make sure you take over the SERPs by implementing a HUGE online brand management campaign (brand management). If you need help with cleaning up negative results, you can also use brand management techniques in getting the correct word out, and making sure no one ever is able to take a top spot again for your brand.
I always recommend to any new business to do everything they can to get their brand out there online first, and start to dominate the SERPs, because its much easier to maintain a clean reputation, then clean up a dirty one up (much less costly too). Take my word for it!