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Online Reputation: what it is and how to manage it

Development of the Internet, e-commerce and social networks gave consumers a voice that shapes reputation and influences performance of companies on the market.

83% of consumers say that online reviews influence their perceptions of companies and 80% report that negative online comments have changed their purchasing decision.

Therefore online good reputation of a business is one of the tools to win customers hearts on the Internet.

1. What is online reputation?

Online reputation is made up of all the news and information related to your name that circulate on the net.

Through this news, people create its perceptions.

For this reason, it is essential to check your online reputation to know exactly what impression you give to others and what others say about you.

The development of Internet platforms, e-commerce and social networks has brought democracy and free speech online.

It is a beautiful news! We have free access to a lot of information, we can take advantage of the comments and experience of others.

But what if we run into false and biased news about us?

The network is a very powerful amplifier, especially if used in a hand-held way by those who want to damage us.

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What if we had rebellious youth? How can we hide the traces so that the follies of our past do not influence our future?

A person who wants to damage your reputation will find few obstacles online and could easily obfuscate your good name.

The voice of the network shapes reputation and influences people’s opinion.

A good reputation is really one of the tools to win the hearts of customers on the Internet.

2. What is the right to be forgotten

The right to be forgotten is the right not to remain exposed indefinitely to the harmful consequences that may derive to one’s honor and reputation from events committed in the past or from events in which one has been involved and which have become the subject of news.

In essence, the right to be forgotten protects your privacy. Thus you can delete from the web the data and links that concern yourself and that are considered “inadequate an no longer relevant” for the purpose of the record.

Therefore you have the right to be forgotten, except in the case in which the previous event becomes current again, arousing a new public interest in information.

In the event that the public interest in the knowledge of a given fact ceases, the parties involved have the right to return to confidentiality and respect for their reputation.

Many are the laws and sentences relating to the right to be forgotten. This testifies the fact that privacy is increasingly important at a global level.

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3. Which are the tools to monitor online reputation

Do you know what the web knows and what people say on you?

In a digitized world, knowing and monitoring your own online reputation must become the common practice for each of us.

There are several ways to monitor your online reputation, let’s have a look to the main ones.

a. Google Alert

Google Alert is a free Google tool that allows us to receive notifications based on the name or keywords we enter.

In this way you will receive email notifications when someone mentions you, through the Google database.

Setting your preference you can decide the Google Alert’s frequency: as soon as it happen, at least once a day and at most once a week.

b. Mention

Mention enables people, brands and agencies to monitor the web, listen to their audience and manage social media.

In fact it easily monitor over 1 billion sources daily including social media, reviews site, forums, blogs and the rest of the web.

It offers a free plan to discover the power of mention and several other more complete plans at increasing price list.

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c. Talkwalker

Talkwalker monitors the conversations that take place on the web: on social, online, print, TV and radio.

Therefore thanks to a predictive alert system, it immediately informs us about what is said online about us or our brand.

It has two free programs:

Talkwalker Alerts to be update in real time on what it is said on your favorite topics on the web and on Twitter.

Talkwalker’s Free Social Search to monitor all the web and social network conversations where your name, brand, hashtag, competitors are discussed.

Through these tools, in a few steps it is possible to set up a notification that warns us via email when the keywords we set are detected on the web.

4. Some practical advice on how to manage your online reputation

If someone says something negative about you or something true but old and obsolete – for example that you were investigated for illegal acts or that you were fired from your old employer or that your product is not reliable – your future can be really compromised.

That’s why it is so important to monitor and to clean your past.

At the same time, the web creates big opportunities. In fact it is not only a matter of avoiding news that damages you but also creating news to your advantage.

Every life transaction now start with a search and whether you are selling a product, whether you are looking for a job or want to win the next election, all potential buyers, employers and voters will research you on the web.

With this in mind , it is not positive if there is an absolute void around your name on the net, it means that you are not exploiting the potential of digital.

For this reason, it is not only about eliminating bad news, but also about accentuating the good of your products and your personal brand.

Therefore it is important to oversee those digital places where people meet and discuss.

Register to the most famous social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and take care of your social profiles.

How?

  • Get in touch with your friends, your colleagues but also the people in your sector that you don’t know directly.
  • Start following the topics that interest you and participate directly in the discussions in order to strengthen your personal branding.
  • I there is a negative comment about you, do not avoid it but respond by trying to motivate the reason for your choices and, if needed, also admitting your mistakes.
  • Last but not least maximize your privacy setting.

5. Final Tips

We have seen how important online reputation is, how to monitor it and how to manage it by leveraging positive things and appealing to the right to be forgotten where necessary.

To monitor your online reputation you can set up one or more of the main tools such as Google Alert, Mention or Talkwater.

Following, once you know what people say about you on the net, you better manage your online reputation.

Overall, you have two main options:

  • Strengthen your image in the direction and sector in which you want to position yourself in people’s minds (e.g. architect: speaks and publishes architectural topics, participates in groups and social blogs of architects)

  • Clean the information that can damage your reputation and that can ruin your future.

If you feel to need an online reputation  cleaning up service, find out how we can help you

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