From your web searches and your alerts, you should be able to find several pieces of content about your business. Now it’s time to evaluate this content.

The favorable content that you find gives you feedback and helps you understand how your advocates see your brand. Are they saying what you hoped they’d say? Are there any surprises? Are the comments accurate? Try to create a “big picture” and extrapolate from these results:

Natural Strengths. Judging from your results, which things do you do well? For example, you might find that people are consistently pleased with how quickly you deliver your product or service. Whether you realized this or not, this is a natural strength and you can now make it a part of your marketing.

Which Efforts are Paying Off? This feedback can help you see which of your efforts currently underway are paying off. For example, you might have created an updated product with a particular feature that you feel is beneficial to your customers. If you see them singing the praises of this feature, you know that you’ve done something right.

The negative content, however, should be the highest priority. When looking at the negative content, consider these questions:

  • Is there a misunderstanding underlying the negativity?
  • Is there truth to what people are saying?
  • Does the content warrant a response?
  • Should the content be buried or removed?

The negative content will also contribute to your “big picture” and help you create a viable online reputation management strategy.