Online reputation management consists of tracking your brand and reacting when necessary.

Though sometimes tedious, brand monitoring can save you from a potential disaster when someone cites your name in an article that misrepresents you. Aside from protection, it can help you proactively join conversations around your topic area, helping to get your brand name out there.

It's almost 2009... and if you aren't active online you are missing valuable opportunities to advertise your value to the world—through articles, blog entries, social-network profiles, comments, videos and more.

As both a content producer and consumer, your name is being spread throughout each of these circuits by people you might not even know. In fact, research firm IDC finds that there is more content being created about you than you create yourself.

Part of your brand is in the hands of others, so it's critical that you monitor it before a flame becomes a forest fire.

Do you know what people are saying about you?

If you want to know how to track your presence and monitor your brand, then you are in luck. Below are the top 6 tools for your online reputation management program. They can be used for product and corporate brands in addition to your personal brand. Use each to search, locate and respond when necessary.

Also, they can be leveraged as part of your marketing strategy, to discover your audience and market to them directly.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Daniel Schawbel

Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He's also the author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success and Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future. Reach him at dan.schawbel@gmail.com.

Twitter: @DanSchawbel.