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The subject of reputation management has changed somewhat with the advent of blogs and social media, but the core concept remains the same - making sure that positive press about your brand gets as much coverage as possible while negative press is buried.

The most straightforward method of measuring brand reactions is to check the Google search results. A good example is how domain registrar 123 Reg has trouble with its search results.

The negative results could be moved from the front page quite easily if 123 Reg created 5 or 6 sub domains of the main site such as the inside.123-reg.co.uk section. These sub domains, if promoted and constructed correctly, would push the negative content down to page two.

Another good tactic is to find positive articles and promote them in such a way that they move into the top 10 at the expense of the negative articles.

Reputation management extends further than simply protecting your brand from negative press - it also means making sure that people who search for your brand are finding the right results.

Take a look at the results for the search term "aa insurance". Notice how The AA is paying for a sponsored listing above the natural one. This is likely to be attracting more traffic than the natural listing and costing thousands of pounds a week. Worse still, Google is listing a competing website on the right hand side, which is likely to be stealing some of the traffic and at the very least distracting potential customers.

As long as you have a registered trademark in the UK, it is quite simple to remove Adwords ads for your trademarked terms. A ten minute email to Google would save The AA a huge amount of money and improve its brand marketing.

Reputation monitoring for large brands is extremely difficult because so much happens every day. Smaller brands have a much easier job and can use some simple tools such as Google Alerts to notify them of any mentions in blogs, news articles, groups, forums and even video. Other tools exist such as Technorati, which will notify you using an RSS feed whenever a blog links to your site.

Once you have a system in place for monitoring your reputation the next step is to manage it. If you see a blogger has written a positive post about your brand, then leave a comment thanking them and maybe submit the post to a social news website such as Digg or StumbleUpon if it is appropriate.

If the blogger has written a negative post email them in private and leave a comment asking if you can help to resolve their issue personally.

Maybe if you can help them they will be happy to edit their post to tell people how helpful you were.

Related research:
Online PR Roundtable Output

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Published 15 January, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

55 more posts from this author

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Lawrence Ladomery

Lawrence Ladomery, Founder at automatico

I've set up a page on netvibes.com listing RSS feeds (of searches using a keyword that identifies my site) of the major blog directories, searches, etc... such as Google Blog search, Tecnorati and Icerocket.

It works fine to create lists of links but ideally I would also have access to stats such as the number of new links per day, month, year for each feed... as well as aggregate stats.

Do you know of any site or software that offers this function?

almost 9 years ago

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Patrick Altoft, Director of Search at Branded3

I don't know of any software to track mentions of your site over time.

almost 9 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Hi Lawrence. Try Onalytica.com - I think it does this. Contact Flemming Madsen over there.

almost 9 years ago

Chris Byrne

Chris Byrne, CEO at Sensorpro.net

Try http://www.relevantnoise.com/ this is what they do

almost 9 years ago

Lawrence Ladomery

Lawrence Ladomery, Founder at automatico

Thanks - very useful links.

I've also come across:

http://www.marketsentinel.com
http://nielsenbuzzmetrics.com/brandpulse

almost 9 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Hey, there are a couple of others - including Magpie - in a post Ashley compiled last year:
http://www.e-consultancy.com/news-blog/362569/blog-and-user-generated-content-monitoring-services.html

c.

almost 9 years ago

Jonathan Moody

Jonathan Moody, Freelance at Language4Communications

You might also want to consider ASOMO www.asomo.net in your reputation monitoring and management.

As the article points out, there is often so much happening each day. ASOMO provides daily and weekly e-mail Alerts of references to brands, product and services. This is great for knowing if reputation enhancing or imparing currents are starting or spreading.

However, if you want to see the wood as well as they trees you need a comprehensive monitoring and analysis service where you can see what are the key issues, which are positively and negatively perceived and how this changes over time as well as where these conversations take place and the impact they have.
Contact me on jon.moody@asomo.net for more on this.

almost 9 years ago

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