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Reputation Management Monitoring - The New Community Rules

by Tamar Weinberg

It’s obvious that you must monitor your reputation online, but what exactly should you be looking for? What other reputations should you watch out for? According to online reputation management expert Andy Beal,[32] your company needs to track the 12 reputations that follow.

The New Community Rules book cover

This excerpt is from The New Community Rules. The social web provides businesses with a largely untapped marketing channel for products and services -- the trick is knowing how to take advantage of it. With this book, you'll understand how social web technologies work, and learn the most practical and effective ways to reach the people who frequent these websites. You'll get intelligent advice and strategies -- including what works and what doesn't.

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Naturally, the course of action for any reputation management missteps will vary based on the circumstances, but by actively observing these reputations, you may be able to prevent issues that could be very damaging. In other instances, the information you discover via monitoring can be very rewarding.

Your name

It doesn’t matter if you’re a big player in the space or a small one; you should always be aware of what people are saying about you in the media. Plus, you can always link to the positive media mentions on your website to let your visitors observe your accomplishments.

Your company name

Of course, you know this is a given if you’re even considering reputation management at all. Listening to what people are saying about you and your company is crucial. Also, consider legacy company names or well-known abbreviations of your company name.

Your brand names

If you’re part of a huge company that maintains hundreds of brand names, this may be quite difficult to monitor, but you should follow the more important brands for your business survival.

Your company’s executives

Always be aware of what people are saying about your company leadership.

Your company’s media spokespeople

Anyone who speaks publicly on behalf of the company should also be monitored.

Your slogan or marketing message

What are people saying about your slogan? Is it being well received? On the other hand, is it being infringed upon?

The competition

What are people saying about your competition? Can you use that information to better your company? Remember, Justin Levy at Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse monitors his local competition to get ideas for his menu and to hear what other people say about other restaurants in the area. Reputation management can still assist with competitive research and analysis.

Your industry

Most specifically, you should observe industry trends and use this information for your own benefit. Perhaps executives are upset that the highly anticipated desk they just bought has a design flaw and a wobbly drawer. Perhaps the mobile PDA many businesspeople received last week has issues with reading external memory modules. Can you learn from this feedback and correct these mistakes to make a better product? Can you use these learning experiences to your advantage? You can also monitor your industry to see new innovations as they’re announced. Getting this information early is a great way to stay ahead of the curve.

Your weaknesses

Face it—your product isn’t perfect and there’s always room for improvement. If you’ve read the first three chapters, you know that people are talking about you and they’ll point out flaws with your brand or products. You can use this feedback to grow.

Your business partners

Do you actively work with a company that is in the news? Perhaps it’s for a good thing; perhaps not so much. Would Ponzi scheme scammer Bernard Madoff’s investors have been better off if they actively monitored his reputation? Perhaps not, but if you have business partners doing better or worse in the business, you probably want to find out about it. If Google’s Q2 earnings do not meet expectations and you are engaging in one of Google’s paid advertising programs, you’d probably want to know that it is having a rough fiscal quarter.

Your clients

Hear something great about your clients in the news? Andy Beal postulates that if you directly approach them and wish them congratulations and much success, your retention rate will go up.

Your intellectual property

Any trademarks or copyrights should be actively monitored for infringement abuse or mistaken identity.

If you enjoyed this excerpt, buy a copy of The New Community Rules.

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