Your online personal brand is not a static thing. It's not a thing at all.
Perhaps, a brand is best described as a process. Think of a candle. At first, the candle produces no flame. Then you strike a match, and light the wick. Then, the candle will burn just as long as there is something to burn, oxygen, wick and wax.
Remove any of these conditions and the light goes out.
Keep the Fire of Your Brand Burning
If you've invested in building your brand, you will want to monitor it weekly to make sure it keeps burning.
Of course, you will be guest posting, writing articles and doing other things to feed the fire.
But what if someone slanders you? How will you know about it?
What if someone uses your name and you want to comment?
What if someone else, with your name, has a drunken Facebook photo posted?
Google is one way to find out, but I want to show you a new tool, one that is focused on the social web.
Social Mention, the New Google Alert
SocialMention.com surpasses Google Alerts by a long shot. The tool reaches deep into the catacombs of the social web, blogs, tweets, comments, questions, images, events, newsreels and profiles, for your name.
Enter your name in quotation marks.
Choose All and then search.
And the robust tool searches the universe for any little tiny bit of mention about you.
How Do YOU Rank
Social Mention gives you four grades, Strength, Sentiment, Passion and Reach.
Strength - The likelihood that your name is being mentioned right now.
Sentiment - Ratio of mentions that are positive over the ones that are negative.
Passion - How likely is it that people will be repeatedly talking about you.
Reach - The number of people talking about you over the total number of mentions.
Give this tool a try if you are serious about building a strong online reputation. Over time, you will begin to see your scores improve, which feels great.
Joshua Waldman is the founder of Career Enlightenment and specializes in helping job seekers leverage social media to find work quickly.