Google Search BarReputation is everything and in today’s digital world it is important to know what people are saying about you online, both for you as a professional and your business no matter what size it is.

So what is online reputation management? Basically it is the process of controlling what shows up when someone searches for you or your business online.  Ignore it at your peril!

In today’s blog OSD’s Managing Director, Catriona Walsh gives you her Top Tips of Online Reputation Management.

It is what it is… People / companies make mistakes, remember always to take a breather before responding, break it down, and address point by point, and get some objective opinions before you post online.  When perceived the right way there is a lot to learn to make your business better.  Here are our top tips in terms of online reputation management. ”

1. Everyone/every business has an online reputation

We all have an online reputation to maintain. “Google Yourself” Even if you don’t find anything written about you, then that’s still your reputation–or lack thereof
You should make sure that what’s found in Google, Facebook, Twitter is something you’d be equally comfortable showing your mom or your boss!

2. Your/Your Business  reputation is an extension of your character

It doesn’t matter how hard you work on managing your reputation, it will only ever be as solid as your actual character.

3. Every reputation has an Achilles heel

When you recognize and acknowledge your weaknesses, before your customers, you have the opportunity to craft a response before the public outcry. Do you know your reputation’s weakness?

4. Two Ears one mouth for a reason

Listen more than you speak when it comes to listening to your customers. I tell our customers at OSD that they should spend twice as much effort on listening as they do responding. It’s too easy to simply jump in and reply to that tweet or Facebook post–without fixing the primary problem. Instead, you should spend time actively listening to the feedback you’re collecting about your reputation. Listen for trends. Listen for opportunities. Listen, listen, and then listen…

Here are two free tools for monitoring to help you start listening:

Google Alerts – For web

Google Alerts is a content change detection and notification service, offered by the search engine company Google, that automatically notifies users when new content from news, web, blogs, video and/or discussion groups matches a set of search terms selected by the user and stored by the Google.

Social Mention – for social

Social Mention is a social media search platform that aggregates user generated content from across the web into a single stream of information.  Social Mention monitors 80+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.