When you’re running any kind of business (online or offline), managing your reputation is critical – as without a good reputation, everything automatically becomes a lot harder.
Your prospects won’t buy from you…
Your customers will go somewhere more trusted…
Other businesses won’t want to work with you…
So you always need to keep it in check.
But with the vast size of the internet, it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of everything.
The best way I’ve found is to use a free service called Google Alerts.
Essentially, it tracks the entire web for anything you tell it to, and it’ll send you an email notification every time your chosen topic or keyword is mentioned – with a link to the source.
The possibilities for this strategy are endless, but the best use is reputation management.
Think of it this way…
A customer has had a negative experience with your product or service (hopefully through no fault of your own!), and they’re so angry, they decide to rant about it on a popular forum.
Without any kind of reputation management system, thousands of people could be potentially viewing that thread with no answer from you – leaving them with an opportunity to turn the topic into an all-out “flame war” against you and your business.
Instead, with a Google Alert set up for your name, you’ll get notified instantly when the harmful thread is first created, and you can solve the customer’s problems straight away. Reputation saved!
On the other hand, if a customer mentions something really positive about you or recommends you to their friends, you can “chime in” to the conversation and provide a link where they can learn more about you.
These are just two examples of how awesome these alerts are, and how beneficial they can be for your reputation, brand and business.
Note: Amongst the good and relevant stuff, you’ll also get notifications of other weird things too, like obituaries and memorials – so it helps if you don’t have a popular name!
Here are some more great alerts use (and how I use it, too):
- Search for all your product names (set them up as separate alerts) to see what your customers and affiliates are saying about them
- Your company name
- Your competitors’ names – so you can “spy” on their upcoming projects and what they’re doing
- Your SEO keywords for SEO purposes – every time a new page is created around your keyword, see if you can get a backlink from that page
- Top experts in your niche – so when they release a new piece of content on their blog, you can comment on it and “siphon” traffic from them
… And too many more to mention.
But remember, if you have topics or keywords which get a lot of content posted about on a daily basis (e.g. if you’re using this for SEO research purposes), it’s useful to have the emails delivered “once a day” instead of “as-it-happens”, otherwise you’ll have a really full inbox!
Your creativity is the limit here, and when done right, it’s a VERY valuable asset to your business.
So set some up right away, and I can guarantee you’ll find it useful.
- James Francis.
P.S. Have you used Google Alerts before? What alerts do you have set up? Leave a comment below!