In the film industry when a character direction addresses the audience, it is said that he or she has broken the "Fourth Wall". In the world of marketing, it can be said that the "Fourth Wall" is the conversations about your business that occur without your involvement or control.
The emergence of the Internet and social media has created the opportunity for you to listen, learn and engage in these conversations. Online Reputation Management should be a major focus of your business in 2011. A brand strictly communicating your message is no longer enough.
Whether it is a review, blog or conversation on Facebook about your product or service -- you need to be able to monitor, evaluate and react to these ongoing conversations. They have a more profound and long lasting affect on your brand well beyond whatever your current marketing strategies are today.
Here are some tips on how to ensure you keep your online reputation positive:
1.) Monitor Your Reputation: You should periodically search your company's name on Google, Yahoo and Bing. You can also sign up for Google Alerts, which will send you an email whenever your company or products show up on websites, blogs, forums or new sites.
2.) Positive Websites: In order to fill up the top ten search engine rankings with positive sites, you need to identify or create websites that reflect positively on your brand. The following websites tend to rank well:
-Independent Distributor Sites
3.) SEO Basics- Search Engine Optimization, is the process of organizing a website so that it will rank high in search engine results. It involves structuring the website content so that the search engine spiders can easily index the content. You need to develop a large number of keyword specific inbound links to the website. Relevancy is determined by the content of the site and the number of separate relevant inbound links pointing the site from other websites.
4.) Building a Positive Online Reputation- You need to determine which are the most popular search terms related to your company. They will likely include your company name. You can also determine actual searches by using the Google Keyword Tool. If you haven't already set up a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn corporate page and web pages from the "Positive Websites" listing above. YouTube videos always rank well so be sure to tag your company name and any keywords that are associated with your business and the video.
No matter what your industry is, it is vital to make Reputation Management a strategic pillar of your business plan, not just your marketing plan.