Thanks to the increased popularity of social networking sites in the past decade – sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and more – each and every user has a ‘digital brand’ or online reputation.
You reputation is not only based on what you post online, but also how you post, where you post, and ultimately how others react to your posts. But how active are you about personal reputation management?
When you search your name online on any major search engine, what information appears? Is there anything unprofessional, or perhaps even negative, under your name? Even if the results are fairly neutral, reputation management can help to ensure that nothing negative can crop up in the results in future.
So how can you begin reputation management online? Here are a few quick tips to get you started…
Keep on top on your online reputation: Do frequent searches on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc, for your name. Take note of what results are displaying, particularly those that appear on the first page. As part of your reputation management plan, you could also keep a log of the results on a regular basis, so you can see the changes in the results and act accordingly if a problem appears.
Don’t forget to search on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, check your mentions to see what’s being said about you.
Post positive information: Try to post positive content about yourself online, whether on social media or in the form of articles. Try to create positive information on a regular basis, for example, have you done volunteer work or helped the local community? Perhaps you have reached a certain goal or achievement that is worth sharing.
Protect your privacy: Ensure that all your accounts and passwords are secured, and make use of privacy settings where available. This limits the amount of information that can be shared against your permission, and keeps you safer from hackers.
Think before you post: Be careful what information you do share online. Not everyone will share your opinion or view things in the same light; make sure to be professional rather than confrontational. Always think how what you post can have a negative effect on your reputation, and if you’re unsure then just don’t post it.