3 ways to manage your social mediaEverybody wants to be liked, but in the world of social media, it’s difficult to stay on top of who’s saying what about your brand or business. And if someone has an axe to grind, a few isolated issues can quickly damage your online reputation. Here are three simple tips to prevent the spread of negative chatter.

Search yourself. Don’t worry; you’re not being a narcissist. Just Google your name to see what’s being said about you. You can also set up a Google alert for ongoing notifications. Social media monitoring tools, such as Social Mention, allow you to target blogs, microblogs, images, events, news, videos, audio and more. You can also monitor Twitter using Tweetbeep.

Set up your own social media accounts. When you hone in on a negative comment about your company, you need to be in a position to respond quickly. If you haven’t done so already, create accounts on the major social media platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. It’s also a good idea to join industry and consumer-based forums where people are likely to talk about your company.

Engage. Once you’re set up in the social media universe, be proactive; act quickly, act nicely, and engage with people in your audience who’ve written negative reviews. Bad press can linger in search engine results, so it’s important that your side of the story enters into the mix early on.

So don’t be afraid of the naysayers. Social media can be your digital customer service department; you get respect just by showing that you’re listening, and once you’ve successfully resolved an issue you’re more likely to get support and goodwill from the converted customer and their followers.