Today’s Hangout On Air (HOA) featured Andy Beal, online reputation management expert and author of a new book, “REPPED: 30 Days to a Better Online Reputation.” Host James Wirth had a great conversation with Andy about tips to help your reputation. Here’s the recap of the 12 tips I got from the HOA.
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  1. Don’t wait until you’re facing a bad review or are hearing negative comments to start working on your reputation.
  2. Detractors are also stakeholders. Stakeholders include everyone who can influence your reputation.
  3. If you are the first result that comes up when someone does an online search for you, you are a super-brand. As a super-brand, if you link to anything else, you are implicitly giving your stamp of credibility to that link.
  4. Follow the 80/10/10 principle when deciding what content receives your focus. 80% focus should go to content you own (the stuff on your servers); 10% focus to content you control (the places you have accounts like social media); and 10% focus to content you influence (the stuff you need to ask someone else to update).
  5. You are what you tweet. It is getting more and more difficult to expect that you can keep your personal posts and professional posts separate from each other, or to think that what you post personally won’t have some effect on your company.
  6. Hire people who are passionate about your company, then empower them. Let them know that the information they post online can have an effect on your company, whether positive or negative. Educating employees goes farther than social media handbooks full of rules.
  7. If your character stinks, you will have a tough time trying to keep your reputation positive.
  8. Be authentic and transparent. If you want to change the effect, change the cause first.
  9. Never let a negative review or comment foster. The faster you respond, the less it will cost you.
  10. Say, “I’m sorry.” Don’t couch it as, “We apologize for any inconvenience,” but say, “I’m sorry this happened. Here’s what we’re going to do to make it better.” If you can reach out to customers before they start coming to you (such as outages), even better.
  11. Before composing a reputation management plan, be sure you understand your business and understand your goals. It’s fine if that goal is to increase sales. Just be sure your goals are clear, and let the goals feed your reputation management plan.
  12. Engage with people who want to engage with you – and know how to tell the difference. You can tell they want to engage with you when they call you out (not just a mention in a comment, but tagging you in a comment or a tweet, etc.).
  13. Proactively seek for and listen to feedback (hello, surveys!).

To learn more about these tips, you can watch the HOA.