Do you Google yourself?
For many of you (hopefully), the answer is of course.
If the answer is no – do it right now. What comes up? Does your LinkedIn? does your website? Does a negative review on Yelp come up?
In a previous entry, I talked about reputation and Yelp. However, Yelp is not the only place we show up. You need to be on top of everything that’s being said about you online. You need to know what photos are out there. You need to know if after Googling your name, someone is going to want to work with you.
I’m 26 years old. I grew up surrounded by the internet – so for me I Google everything:
- In college, I Google’d my professors before signing up for classes.
- I Google new restaurants before I eat anywhere (and if I can’t find a menu online, I’m disappointed).
- I Google festivals and events before I decide if I want to go to them.
- I Google’d TV’s before I chose one.
- I Google’d dentists before choosing one.
This is normal. It is the new normal – and you better believe that your clients are Googling you. If they Google all these silly things before deciding what park to go to or what camera to purchase, when it comes to buying a home – an incredibly important event in life – they will be Googling their potential Realtors® before deciding on one.
Google provides an awesome tool that searches your name FOR you and helps you manage your online reputation. It’s called Google Alerts. You can set them up here: http://www.google.com/alerts.
What Google Alerts allows you to do is set up search words that Google will then search for you and email you the new results. You can choose what type of content you want it to search, how often to search, how many results you’d like to know about and what email you’d like the results to be sent to.
Name show up in the paper? You get an email alert. New review on Yelp? You get an email alert.
I use it everyday – I have multiple Google Alerts set up: for my name, for Alain Pinel Realtors, for my old employer, for my old boss, for my siblings, and more. This way, I’m always on top of the latest stuff that’s hitting the internet about me, my professional connections, and my family. It is the easiest way to begin proactively monitoring your online reputation.
Every PERSON, not just Realtors®, should have a Google Alert set up for their name or their business name.
If you don’t have it set up already GO NOW and do it. It takes seconds.
It isn’t fool-proof – you should still actively be Google yourself to see how different content about you is ranking in search results. Also, some site (personal profiles on Facebook, for example), block search engines from accessing them. However, setting up Google Alerts is the first step in beginning to have more control and awareness of your online reputation.
Andrew Violante is the Social Media and Communications Coordinator at Alain Pinel Realtors where he oversees social media strategy and implementation for the brokerage.