Managing Your Online Reputation

07.11.2011 | Monica Graham

Image Credit: Retrevo

In today’s digital world where we’re constantly connecting to one another and sharing content through the Internet, social media, and mobile devices, it’s easy to forget that the content you share can be seen by unintentional viewers. Have you ever posted a Facebook picture from a night out in college or griped about a colleague on Twitter? Do I even dare mention the recent Twitter typo that exposed Rep. Anthony Weiner and led to his resignation? Let’s be honest, a lot of us have posted something online that we wished we hadn’t.

In fact, according to a recent study from Retrevo that looked at how people should use gadgets in their lives, 35 percent of people have posted something online that they later regretted and smartphone owners were twice as likely to post something they’d regret than non-smartphone owners. While in most cases, unintentional posts or posts that you wish didn’t publish don’t lead to dire consequences, there’s a growing roster of people who’ve been fired from their jobs because of social media outbursts.

Luckily, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, all is not lost. While you might not be able to remove all the damaging content from the Internet, Mashable shares a few SEO tips and tricks to help you evaluate and improve your online reputation.
• Step 1: See Where You Stand – Google yourself. Yes, it’s that simple. Before you can manage your online reputation, you have to assess it. Type your name in search engines and set up alerts.
• Step 2: Post Positive Content – Reduce visibility of unflattering content in search results by proactively publishing useful, positive information about yourself and/or your business. Publishing relevant, positive content will help push negative search results down.
• Step 3: Create an Identity Hub – Creating a hub that links to all of your content will also push your positive online presence further up in search results. Claim your domain name, mention yourself in content, link to your content and post often.
• Step 4: Consider Automating the Process – Take advantage of companies and services that help you manage your online reputation for a small fee. There are also free tools to take advantage of such as the recently launched, “Me on the Web” tool, included in the Google dashboard to help manage search results for your name.

Whether you’ve posted something online that you regret or someone else posted harmful content about you, a damaged online reputation can easily affect your offline reputation and a single negative comment can quickly snowball into PR crisis. Online branding and reputation management are critical to the success of any brand. Keep an eye on your online presence and think before you post.


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Filed under: Branding, COMMUNIQUÉ PR, Consumer, Crisis Communications, Jobs, Media, Monitor and Measure, Reputation Management, Social media

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