Before GO MOM!® was defined by a daily video blog called Outsmart the Chaos, we were a small but mighty company, a trademarked brand with the goal of selling planners nationwide. It was easy to think like a corporation and as we entered brand partnerships for licensing, spokesperson work, and more, we learned volumes about how the big boys play. As our journey has evolved and we find ourselves rooted in content creation and all kinds of social media, its more important than ever to be mindful of our online reputation. While most Moms can identify with this when teaching their children about online safety and more, just like so many things, we too often put ourselves, and our own companies, last.
Recently I was asked to do a book review of Online Reputation Management for Dummies by Lori Randall Stradtman, published in October 2012 as one of the many books in the For Dummies Series by Wiley Publishing. Its goal? Quite simply to help you create the best possible online reputation you can using strategies and tips to get you there. What does online reputation management really mean? Here is how Lori describes it at the start:
Online reputation management is the process of ensuring that the right information appears when people look you (or the name of your brand) up in search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo!, or on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. The idea is to minimize negative content and to promote flattering content.
To achieve this goal, you must monitor search engines and social network and do what you can to mitigate negative comments. When you find negative content, you decrease its visibility by creating enough positive content so that the negative content appears to go away. Or sometimes you can get the relevant webmaster to remove offensive content.
But the best way to eliminate negative content is to make sure it never appears in the first place. In fact, in this book I present a system of online reputation management that focuses on building a positive and proactive fan base before a crisis ever happens.
Effective online reputation management means getting involved with social networks, monitoring those networks closely (rather than just depending on automated monitoring systems like Google Alerts), and responding as quickly as possible in the event of great breaking news or a crisis.
So how does that translate to GO MOM!® ? Because we work mightily to stay business focused at GO MOM!®, offering you targeted information about home organization, family time management, organized travel (yes that often means Disney!), and more, you rarely see personal information about me or my family. That’s because when it comes to getting you organized, that’s not relevant information for what you need. We choose business with equal parts friendly and familiar but we keep the personal side of things just that, personal. This is one guiding principal in how we manage our online reputation. This is also a great example of the kinds of questions you’ll find yourself answering through the book as you learn more about how to manage your brand’s online reputation.
Here are five things I loved about the book:
1. That even though its lens is business focused, the lessons are universal about choosing wisely how you present yours brand online with consistent and careful messaging and swift damage control.
2. That you can read it in part, out of order, or entirety, taking just what you need at any one time and skipping forward or back to the parts that matter most. I’m a read with a highlighter kind of gal, taking notes of what I want to take action on and this book makes that easy organized first in 6 parts that are home to 20 chapters. Only 350 pages long, its a swift reason that you can easily navigate in chunks.
3. That it does not presume that you are a large company with extensive resources, but rather makes great suggestions for nimble entrepreneurs to succeed too. The greatest mistake a company can make no matter what its size is to forget how critical it is to have a positive and consistent opinion about how you interact with customers and more. Particularly in social media, bloggers happen into business and have no idea how important professionalism is.
4. That at its root, its designed to save you time as you learn how to wrap your arms around the numerous social networks that are calling your name and how to navigate the ones that are best for your brand most efficiently. Creating community is rewarding yet hard work. I love that this book recognizing the temptation to let it take over your world and why that simply doesn’t have to be the case.
5. That it its format is a kind of cliff notes to get you started. While some sections might completely answer your questions, others will open the door for you to learn more elsewhere. I appreciate that I don’t have to get buried too deep in any one topic before I decide I’m in it for the long haul.
I have teenage sons and as they grow in social media, first jobs, college, and then real jobs, Online Reputation Management for Dummies is a must read to offer them a sound foundation as they take on their world. For me, it couldn’t be better timing as we turn our eyes on 2013 with wonderful goals to build our community and work with brands who are doing the same. Social Media is always changing and its imperative to seize the opportunity to continue to learn about best practices, especially those that save you time and money while protecting your most precious commodity, your reputation.
To grab your copy and discover more books in the Dummies series, visit the Dummies Store to learn more. Tell me…
How do you manage your online reputation at home and at work?
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!
Disclosure: Special thanks to Global Influence for including me as a Dummies Ambassador. I was provided a copy of Online Reputation Management for Dummies for review. My opinions are entirely my own.