It really can be amazing how quickly one person can destroy a brand and online business reputation that took years to build. Through the power and connections of social media, one disgruntled individual can seriously affect your bottom line, which is why you need to keep an eye on what is being said online about your business.

By creating your own strong social media networks, you can continue to get a strong pulse of what is being said about you online, and you can also limit the damage by using that same media, too. The effectiveness of limiting damage to your online reputation, however, is much stronger when it is done quickly.

Discovering What Is Being Said About You

WorldCustomer complaints and the criticisms of disgruntled employees can be handled quickly only if you are aware of them when they occur. This means that you need someone to constantly check on the social media for your company’s name, your products, your CEO’s name and their variations. A strategy for dealing with complaints also needs to be developed, as well as choosing the right individual to respond when problems do occur.

Take Charge of Your Own Social Media Sites

There are now many different social media sites out there that will give people an outlet to vent about your company. The top media outlets are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.  Instead of just using them for reputation management, you should also be able to see how you can use this same media for brand building and marketing purposes.

The Advantage Monitoring Social Sites Gives You

Even though an individual may have a complaint and expresses it online – as is becoming more common with disgruntled people – you have power to try to control the situation quickly. The key, however, is that you must know about it first. Then, you need to make sure you understand exactly what the complaint is before you react. Only then can a wise course of action be taken as you attempt to converse with the individual to settle your differences. When others see how it was resolved, or at least attempted to be resolved, it can uphold your company’s reputation.

If you discover that the critical individual is correct, it may be possible that changes are needed in your company. If you do implement changes, be sure to make it known through your social media, which will make your online reputation look better than ever.

Create Profiles and Watch

StreetsignSome social media sites, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, enable you to create feeds and watch what others are saying about your business – even if you never use it for anything else. You can also use Google Alerts to watch the Internet, but be sure to have the notification emails sent to you as it occurs online.

In order to get a broader view, you can create profiles at the more powerful social media sites by registering your company’s name. Do this at each of the sites, and this will prevent someone from getting a website in your name and them using it to decimate your business reputation. You can discover in an instant which sites are open to use your name at

Mike Valles is an author who writes on a wide variety of topics, including protecting your online reputation.

Photo credit:  Digitalert, Stuart Miles