Original article published by Anton Koekemoer on memeburn: Protecting your brand’s digital footprint should be done proactively

With online reputation management, a great offense usually starts starts with a robust defence. This is so true with digital marketing because if your business or brand is waiting to be hit by negative slander or comments online before you respond, it might take quite a lot of effort from your side to clear your name.

Online reputation management is really not a nice to have anymore but a must have. Everyone online is a citizen journalist and have the means to publish anything online at anytime publicly. If you have a reputation management strategy in place or simply just a listening outpost where you can see what people are talking about you, your competitors and your industry, you can basically build a solid defence between your brand and most of the negative talk as it happens which can help you put out a potential fire which can cause serious damage to your brand.

Having an online reputation management strategy can also help you fill in the positive search results on Google about your brand which can push down all the negative results. The more positive content which are owned and earned about your brand on the search engine result pages can create a solid barrier between your brand and any negative results trying to invade that space.

Online reputation management isn’t a once off campaign that lives and breathes in it’s own silo. It uses a variety of various digital and traditional marketing methods that you should be using to build your digital footprint. Here’s a couple of tips that you can use to get the ball rolling with your online reputation.

Monitoring your reputation online

Digital PR: If you have valuable and unique news regarding your industry and brand you can write a couple of news articles and distribute them on various digital PR channels including your blog. Use your brand name prominently in the content of the article including the title and headings. There are various PR channels online and some are considered highly authoritve with good rankings on Google. Targeting these channels can be an excellent method to build authority around your brand name on Google.

Digital profiles: Create a couple of digital profiles for your brand name on trusted business profile pages which are relevant to your industry. Use local business communities and spread the word about your business. When creating these profiles, use a professional description about your brand, include your address and link back to your website. This is a must for local and mobile SEO

Social media: As you already may know, social media is an excellent medium that can be used for online reputation management. Become part of the community and start building up your profile online. An easy way to achieve this is by sharing and commenting on relevant industry related news sites, blogs and LinkedIn groups. This is a great way to build credibility in your industry.

This is also a powerful way to build credibility in your industry. Regularly search various public social media channels on what people are currently talking about your brand or anything related to your industry. This might save your bacon and can help you spot a snowball before it turns into an avalanche.

Never wait until it’s too late to start monitoring and building your reputation online. The world has gone digital and there’s no more hiding in the dark. Take control of your brand online.