You can’t control your online image.
You can only participate in (and monitor) it.
So, the big question is: How do you know who’s talking about you?
HERE’S THE FIRST ANSWER: Get Google Alerts.
Google Alerts uses its unique Web Intelligence technology to track the entire web for your personalized topics and send you new results by daily email.
You can use Google Alert to keep track of anything, including information regarding yourself, your work, or your interests. (According their FAQ page)
I’ve been using them for a few years now, and have experienced three key benefits:
1. Google Alerts give you a WINDOW into what people honestly think about you and your business. Thus clarifying how your customers, fans and prospects perceive you.
2. Google Alerts give you an OPPORTUNITY to clarify misconceptions, stereotypes and false accusations. Thus protecting your online reputation.
3. Google Alerts give you METRICS to quantify the effectiveness of your marketing, sales, branding and service efforts. Thus validating the success of your hard work.
HERE’S THE SECOND ANSWER: they’re not just for your name.
Consider getting Google Alerts for:
1. Your company name
2. Your biggest competitor’s name
3. Your tagline, slogan, credo or positioning statement
4. The name of your blog
5. Key phrases, one-liners and original quotations you often repeat
6. The names of your products
7. Your job title, moniker or personal brand, i.e., “The Horticultural Guru”
8. Your URL’s
9. Titles for your books, programs, events and company/organization initiatives
IN SHORT: get an alert for everything you are and everything you do.
HERE’S THE THIRD ANSWER: thank people when they talk about you.
When a Google Alert informs you that some random blogger in Tulsa is talking about how much she loves your lawn mower, leave a comment thanking her for the link love. You could also email her personally to introduce yourself. (Bloggers LOVE when you do this!)
NOTE: if someone is talking trash about you or your company, thank him for his feedback as well. If possible, clarify any misconceptions he might have made. Often times this will cause a “One-Hatey,” in which you turn a saboteur into an enthusiast.
Either way, by giving thanks every time someone talks about you, the universe will recognize your appreciation.
“Oh, did you enjoy that?” The Universe will ask. “Well then, here’s some more!”
HERE’S THE FOURTH ANSWER: keep an Online WOM Journal.
Every time you receive a Google Alert, copy the URL of each “Wommie,” then paste it onto a blank document. Over time, keep weekly and monthly records. Look for trends. Notice spikes during critical days, seasons and events throughout the year. Once you’ve been keeping your WOM Journal for a few months, you’ll be able to develop a Critical Number.
For example, let’s say you’ve been consistently receiving twenty Wommies a month. That’s great! Now, use that number as an accountability tool to measure the success of future marketing efforts.
HERE’S THE FINAL ANSWER: you need a system.
It doesn’t matter HOW you do it; it only matters THAT you do it. Customize your own system that enables you to monitor, record and evaluate every time someone talks (online) about you or your company.
Because, as Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.”
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What makes you That Guy?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Tell us why!
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Are you the luckiest person you know?
Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!