Telling the truth about SME life today

Five ways to protect your online reputation

1. Be aware

There has become a trend for some people to turn to the internet as a way of venting their emotions. Whether that’s a happy or sad emotion doesn’t seem to make much difference. A lot of people use their social media accounts to rant about a whole host of different things, some of them related to their work. The issue with this is if the comments get back to your boss and the company you work for.

You could technically be fired if you have said offensive thingsAnd that will just make you even angrier so it can often be in your best interests to keep quiet. If you’re really wound up, try talking to your close friends about your issues, rather than putting it all online in a public forum. Remember that once something is put online, it is there forever so think carefully before you post anything.

2. Get connected

If you want to have an established reputation online, you need to make the right connections. That is going to involve interacting with people on various social media platforms and also maintaining an online relationship with them as well. If you are already in the public eye, you may have to be a bit stricter about who you talk to on the internet as you are likely to have various fans trying toget in touch.

Some celebrities don’t bother with social media at all but if you are trying to further your career, it can be hugely beneficial for you to get your name out there a bit more. Having a strong online presence can bring in further fans and get people talking about you. If you have more coverage in the media, you may find it can trickle down into your career and actually land you work.

3. Management

If you are prone to making quite controversial statements, particularly online, you may have a requirement for professional reputation management. This can help you to ensure that you don’t say anything wildly inappropriate or so controversial that you end up getting yourself in trouble.

Some people who have thousands or even millions of followers on social media sites actually enlist companies to manage their accounts for them because it is just too much to manage alone. This helps them to not say anything they shouldn’t and ensure they come across in exactly the right way to the public.

There are some people who use the internet to blog as well and they need to be careful about what they write. If you blog, you should check to make sure that you don’t write anything that isn’t true or is outwardly offensive. This could land you in hot water legally as well as make you very unpopular with your followers.

4. Cultivate your brand

When it comes to using the internet, you need to do what you can to cultivate your brand. This involves claiming the name of your brand and ensuring it is being used across all of your online platforms. Similarly, you need to ensure that nobody else is using that brand name as this could reflect badly on you.

You may be inadvertently linked to the name, even if it isn’t your brand so be very careful to check that you have covered all bases in advance. You don’t want to be wasting time trying to clear things up and repair your reputation before you’ve even really built it up.

Of course, once you’ve got your branding under control, you need to maintain it. That normally involves posting regularly on various social networks and interacting with your followers so that they know you are active and are carefully cultivating your brand.

5. Maintenance

You need to ensure that your reputation remains stellar and that there are no adverse reactions to the content that you are putting out onto the internet. If that does happen, you need to act quickly to stop the trouble from building up. Sometimes it’s easier to just ignore a negative comment or two but if it happens consistently, you should probably step in.

Try not to give your readers an excuse to be negative but also remember that it is inevitable and you cannot please everyone. Attempt to pacify rather than join in with the negativity; the moral high ground is likely to pay off for you in the long run.

Lauren Sutton isfreelance writer who enjoys tackling some of the most relevant and important topics across a variety of subjects.


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