4 Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation

A friend of mine recently confessed that she had been Googling and searching Facebook, Twitter and Linked In for information on a potential employee.  She also did some blog checking on the prospect’s current employer to check them out, too.  Based on the information she received, she decided against making him an offer.  Ouch. 

Manage your online reputation. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Manage your online reputation. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Social media, along with its many opportunities to reach your customers and prospects directly, exposes us as individuals and businesses to a level of transparency that we have never before encountered.  If you choose to play in the social media game, you will have to put on your best protective wear.  Controlling the brand and the message is now only an illusion, but you can monitor and influence the conversation. 

Consider these 4 tips for helping to manage your online reputation:

1) If you haven’t already done it, set up a Google alert for your company’s name, your name, your tag line, and other key words.

You may also want to consider an alert for your main competitors.  You can’t influence anything unless you know it’s being said. 

2) Create robust profiles on the major social networking sites for yourself and for your organization.

I would include Linked In (where the two are intertwined), Facebook (individual profile and separate business page), and Twitter (since the entries are now indexed).  There are many others, but when someone search you or your company and there is vacuum of information…they fill in the blanks themselves.  Make sure you have something out there.

3) Follow a policy of what I post on the Internet will stay on the Internet – forever.

  Prospects, potential employers, potential donors, and customers are researching you. Keep your personal stuff personal and locked down only for your friends. Don’t post anything to a public, business-centric profile that you don’t want published on the front page of the evening news.

4) Don’t forget your name.

If you haven’t already spent the few bucks to purchase your personal domains, do it.  I would suggest purchasing domains with the .com/.net/.org/.me for your name or any variation of it. For less than $50 per year, you can park those domains – www.yourpersonalname.com – and know that others can’t use them.

Remember, in today’s transparent world where misinformation is transmitted at the speed of light, keeping tabs on your and your business’s online chatter is paramount.

For more information on building a quality social media plan and managing your online reputation, visit ProfessionalMojo.com and subscribe to our newsletter.

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