Why You Need To Manage Your Personal Reputation Online
Your online personal reputation is the perception people have of you when they find you online. According to Internet Live Stats, on average, online users conduct 40,000 searches on Google every second. Think about it. Someone, somewhere out there could be looking for your profile to offer you a job, or even an exciting business opportunity. That’s why you need to ensure that the search engine displays your profile, and not that of your namesake alias who’s potentially been sent to prison.
And here’s another thing, of the 75% of Americans that have searched for their profiles online, at least half said that they weren’t impressed with what they found. If this is you, you’d be wise to consider managing your personal online reputation online. That way, your image as seen by others will be the way you really want it to be.
People Judge Based on Reputation
Your profile online is given merit based on your reputation according to key authority sites that you use. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google – these are all authority sites many people use, that provide strangers (or potential employers) with information about you and your history. To make sure these authority sites serve you well, it important to practice the following when managing your personal reputation within them:
- Eliminate Bad Information: You may need to undertake negative publicity removal steps to deal with any unpleasant posts and images of you that are circulating on the internet. Your old boss who fired you for no reason, a close friend you had a fallout with, or even a disgruntled customer – it’s entirely possible that your online reputation has contributed. Given the freedom of speech the internet now allows, it’s entirely possible for people to talk out about you in a negative way too, so diligence needs to be given to your online reputation if you’re looking to build a name for yourself – for the right reasons.
- Keeping Your Content Relevant: As a competitive business person, you’ll want your online persona to reflect your professional one. Any pictures and posts that take away from that “professional” persona are a definite no-no. A prospective business partner looking to collaborate with you will unlikely approve of pictures of your recent vacation in Vegas, so perhaps think twice before sharing these with a global audience on your social media. If you’re serious about your online reputation, and you should be, it’s best if you delete all such photos, and ask your friends and family members to do the same. If you’re tagged in pictures, remove them also. There’s a fine line between having an online personality and becoming an online personality. Make sure you draw a line in the sand.
As an example, almost 15 years ago, Robert Downey Jr. was the target of many a punchline for late night TV show hosts. At that point, his career had nearly disintegrated, and his personal life had spiraled out of control with substance abuse. So how did he build a new reputation for himself? He started making really good movies and giving top-notch performances. He flooded the world with all his good qualities, and as a result, very few care about his past. The quality of this new content overshadows everything else.
If It’s On The Web, It’s There For All to See
If you weren’t already aware, the internet is a sea of free-for-all resources that, with the right skills, anyone can gain access to. Infamous hackers have been exploiting security loop-holes in online content since the internet was created, and it’s going to continue. Despite strong security measures being taken by authority sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and the like, be wary of the potential for your information to reach the public realm. Practice diligence.
Take care that the blogs and pictures you post don’t reveal intimate details that can make you the target of cyberbullying and blackmail (yes, that happens too!). Statistics published by the Pew Research’s “Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era” say that 81% of Americans are wary of posting personal information on social media sites even when they want to share it with some person or organization that they are familiar with. Take a page out of their book. Be wary.
How to Improve Your Personal Reputation
So with all the potential for negative publicity that we’ve discussed, what about the good stuff? How can you increase your personal reputation profile online? What you really need is a Which Social Media Sites Are Best For Your Business?
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