You’ve heard us say it before: You are what the Internet says you are. If you are not influencing the conversation, you are a passive participant in the life of your organization.

That means that others are creating your online reputation and online portfolio for you.

Would you let others make your medical decisions? Decide where your kid goes to school?

Minimizing your online risk and taking control of your online reputation go hand in hand. Either you understand how important it is to influence your online portfolio or you just don’t care how it affects buying, donating and visiting decisions. Which is it?

What is an online reputation?

Simply put, your organization’s online reputation is what others will see when they search for you online. It often consists of the following:

  • Reviews
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Comments
  • Photos
  • Profiles
  • Place pages
  • Maps or listings
  • Wiki entries
  • Job profiles by employees
  • Professional mentions
7 Steps to Start Taking Control
  1. Do an audit and dig, dig, dig. Exactly what is out there? Remember, content can live for years and years…and years. Just because something was written in 2009 doesn’t mean it’s not still out there influencing a buying decision for one of your prospects.
  2. Make a list of everything you find.
  3. Determine what’s good, what’s neutral and what’s negative.
  4. Identify the outlets where these things exist and prioritize them according to activity. Then, decide if you will update your business profiles on these platforms, what information you’ll distribute and how often you will update.
  5. Create a monitoring dashboard using Google Alerts, SocialMention.com or other free tools.
  6. Create a process for how often you will look at the alerts, when you will analyze them and what you will do if you have a negative entry.
  7. Create a positive content generation plan to develop meaningful, authentic, positive content that makes a real contribution to the Internet about your products or services.
Your organization’s online portfolio is paramount to building good business. It takes time, analysis, great writing and consistent care and feeding. Just like anything else in life, you get out what you put in.
So, how important is your online reputation to you? Really.