Protect your online reputation by listening and responding

Chinese plastic ear model for acupuncture training (photo by Sheila Scarborough)
Chinese plastic ear model for acupuncture training (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Your online reputation built on many things, including the impression people get when they search for you and/or your business, organization or destination online. All of those reputation management services you read about don’t do anything mysterious; they basically churn out a ton of neutral or nice things about you to bury anything negative off of Google’s Page 1.

You could do the same thing by building an active online presence yourself; a few social media profiles (LinkedIn is the most obvious one – it will rank high in search results) plus your own website under your own domain name, even if it is only one page of basic information.

If you don’t have your own blog, get your name out there on someone else’s quality platform. For example, offer guest posts to the blogs for your favorite trade/professional organizations or alumni associations. Include a photo of yourself, which is also indexed by search engines, and you’ll have some searchable content out there created by you, not by others.

A big part of your online reputation is built on how you interact and respond to others on the social web. You can’t respond and show who you are, however, if you don’t even know that conversations are taking place.

You must listen online first, then you can respond.

How to do that was the subject of one of my presentations for a travel tech conference in India that just finished:  ICTT, the International Conference on Travel Technology – India, which was organized “by the trade, for the trade” by the ATTOI (Association  of Tourism Trade Organizations, India.)

(Speaking of reputation, I was happy to see solid media coverage after the conference in places like The Times of India and MSN India, which was well-deserved because it was an excellent event.)

Here are my slides about how to listen to the conversations that matter, with a few examples of how to respond. What do YOU think?

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