It’s all about research. The obvious answer to this question is to go search for your business name on major search engines like Google and Bing. This is always a great first step. Simple as it seems, the most important things being said about you are the ones that rank highest in the search results.
This means that the first few items that show up in the search results will also be the first thing all of your potential customers see when they look up your business as well.
Knowledge is power and the more you know regarding what is being said about your business online the better. Knowing where you stand is the best starting point; as in knowing if there’s anything that needs to be improved in order for your online reputation to be the best it can be.
If you’re looking specifically for people’s reviews and opinions on your company then try Googling your company name plus the word ‘reviews’ or search social media websites the same way.
Results should be obvious:
• either nothing is being said about your business and you’re not using the power of the Internet to get new customers at the expense of your competitors,
• or you have negative reviews about your business, your products or services: you might lose customers because you are not marketing your reputation,
• or reviews (how many?) are generally positive. Are you sure you can avoid a future reputation crisis?
THE STARTING POINT: GOOGLE ALERTS
If you want to stay on top of what is being written about your company online then consider setting up Google Alerts. If you haven’t heard of this service before, it’s very simple and easy to use.
You can set up updates to be sent to your email address every time a new result appears that matches your query (in this case your company name). This is all in the name of research and is the very starting point of being able to manage your online reputation effectively, but it's not enough!
MONITORING GOOGLE REVIEWS
Claiming your Google My Business listing is the best way to make sure you get alerts whenever Google collects a new review.
MONITORING SOCIAL MEDIA
While managing your online reputation on social networks is becoming increasingly difficult, social media sites also allow you as the business owner, the opportunity to interact on a personal level with customers, giving them a chance to ask questions or run ideas and suggestions by you.
The good news is that both Twitter and Facebook, the largest social networks, have decent searching capabilities.
You can do a search on Twitter not only for your Twitter handle, but for people mentioning your business name, too. A great way to monitor this is to create a Twitter search for your company, and make that search your primary Twitter feed; this will give you real-time knowledge of what is being said about you on Twitter.
On Facebook, the searching is a little more difficult. Most of the time people will leave their negative comments on your Facebook page. If they leave it somewhere else on facebook, searching for mentions can only be done through the regular Facebook search engine.
MONITORING REVIEW SITES
Monitoring reviews on all review sites can become a daunting task! No matter how you want to go about it, in order to receive new review notifications, you will first have to claim your listing on each review site. Of course, help exists, as services like Reputation Marketing include Reputation Monitoring on over 650 review sites worldwide.