As you begin to get into the flow of online business, you will find that the process is just beginning. Now that you have established your business, you have to begin to establish your brand. Your brand needs to stay intact and it needs to be seen in a positive fashion over the entire duration of your business. It’s up to you to take the steps necessary to promote your brand.

Letting your brand management lapse can result in some really bad things circulating about your brand. Before you know it, you may be dealing with a destroyed online reputation. If this happens. You’re not going to recover from it.

1. Promote the Positive

Always promote any positive goings-on with your business. Be the person who is sending out press releases. Update your Timeline with certain milestones. Update your site with great updates that illustrate just how well your brand is doing and how satisfied your customers are. Be 100% positive and promote a happy image.

2. Ignore the Negative

There are a lot of people who are going to say a lot of bad things about your brand, and we will touch on that in more detail below. The last thing you should do is engage them directly in debate. Never do that. People are always going to say stupid, nasty and untruthful things about you and your business. Even Santa Claus serves as a whipping post! No one is beyond it. You have to let it roll off your back.

3. Monitor Regularly

One of the most important aspects of brand management is actually monitoring your brand. You don’t know how things are going unless you’re checking things out on a consistent basis. Say, for example, someone didn’t like your product. Well, they might begin an entire campaign against it. The next thing you know, the top Google results of your business are from ripoff report or some other trashy nonsense. If you monitor what’s going on, you can fix the errors by promoting the positive.

4. Encourage Dialogue

A lot of people want to completely shut the conversation down. They won’t allow comments on their blog or site. They won’t personally address emails or support ticket concerns beyond preprogrammed responses. This is bad for your brand. You should be encouraging and participating in dialogue with the customers. Don’t be afraid of the negative; see what the people want to say to you.

5. Be Social

The last tip should realistically be the first tip, but it is important that you learn how to handle your reputation the previous four ways before you build a social media presence. If not, you may be too tempted to participate in flame wars with trolls – socialese for getting into arguments with ignorant spammers. When you develop a social presence, you’re not only encouraging dialogue but are engaging in it. You’re not only monitoring your content and reputation but you’re helping to shape it instantly. You’re promoting the positive and you’re keeping an open channel with your customers and fans.

Managing what’s out there is your duty as a business owner. It’s your brand on the line, and thus it is your livelihood on the line. Be diligent in the ways in which you work to promote the positive aspects of your business.