Every thought you share via a blog post, Tweet, YouTube video or Facebook photo has the potential to reveal a secret or private part of yourself that might not help your overall game plan in life. That is sobering news, and even though you might be racking your brain to try and remember what you posted online and how it might just be misunderstood or hurt you, the good news is that you do have the power to influence your own online reputation, although not totally.
The bad news is that such online rep management takes a lot of hard work and persistence that starts with keeping a close eye on your online branding. It also takes a plethora of positive content to bury the negatives about you or your company that might come up in an ordinary Google search.
Keeping a Close Eye on Your Online Persona
Making sure your online reputation isn’t being dragged down is a simple and disciplined matter of keeping a close eye of all that being said about your or your company online. How do you do this? Well, it’s elementary Watson. You start by plugging your name, company’s name, product brand or your address in the Google search engine and see what kind and where information about you shows up. And while Google’s a good place to start. You also need to search the popular social networks, such a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn also.
Four Essential Steps to Building a Good Online Reputation
- Think before you post: Probably the most important step you can take is refraining from posting anything you wouldn’t say or show at a church get together. This will go a long way in bolstering your reputation online and will also eliminate the chances of an off-color joke or risque photo destroying your chances to land a new job or an account.
- Keep certain info private : If you are the kind of person who wants to express themselves openly and honestly on all subjects, then the next best thing you can do to protect your online reputation from those who hold more rigid believes or attitudes is to use your privacy settings. By restricting access by enabling your privacy settings on your blog, social network or any other online communication, you can make sure only those who are kindred spirits will be privy to your inner most thoughts and sensitive images.
- React Quickly and Firmly to Any Negative Information. I know an online merchant who sold a product to a customer who left an extremely negative, one-star review against the merchant because he didn’t like the way the book he purchased ended. The merchant didn’t write the book. He simply sold it. So, the merchant immediately contacted the online marketplace where he had it listed and they removed the negative review. The point is, the merchant didn’t put this off. In fact, he contests such unwarranted negative reviews several times a month — and 90% of the time gets them removed! In addition, by acting quickly the negative content disappears before too many people have a chance to see it.
- Post positive content daily: Some will argue that this is the most important factor in maintaining a positive online reputation for yourself and your business. It’s difficult to disagree. The fact is that if you post positive content in the form or a YouTube video, blog entry, helpful Tweet or LinkedIn post at least once a day, you are building a wall of protection around your online reputation. New, relevant content is often ranked higher, and the more of it you have showing up during a search, the more the negative content about you is suppressed. It’s simply a case of positive content out numbering negative content.
This is by no means a comprehensive treatment of how to protect your online reputation. But it is one of many articles we will post that are designed to make you aware of this challenge and how to overcome it.