Reputation Management: Google Alerts

Reputation management is often overlooked by small businesses.  So much time is spent in the day-to-day of running a business that it can be difficult to keep track of your company's overall presence and reputation online.  Certain online venues where clients might mention your business by name are obvious.  Popular customer review sites like Yelp! are probably the best examples.  But, you never know where your customers, or even your competitors might be mentioning your business by name online. 
Google Alerts provies a simple, yet powerful way for you to keep track of your business name online, and even notifies you when it comes up!  Being able to identify your name in the ever-growing sea of information on the internet is daunting, but it's also crucial.  Being a great business doesn't always mean perfect reviews.  Being a great business does mean being as responsive as possible when customers or potential customers express concerns or complaints, whenever and wherever that might be, and you need to be a part of those conversations.  You need the ability to respond to any potentially negative mentions as quickly as possible.  This will help you put your best foot forward, and you'll always be seen providing great customer service. 
How it works:  Simply create a Google Alert for your business name by visiting the link provided.  Type your business name in quotes to be alerted whenever the exact phrase is indexed by Google's search engine online.  You can even let the system know how often you want to have the results delivered to you.
Since you can enter any phrase into the alerts system, you can use it for more than your business name.  You can type in certain topics, words, and phrases to keep up with specific industry news, for example.
Google Alerts, while not the total solution for reputation management online, is a great way to start, and best of all, it is easy and free!