Have you ever wondered what is being said about you or your business on the web space? Have you ever imagined what results would pop up if your or your business name is Googled? The importance of online presence for individuals and organizations in this age can’t be overstressed. Also important is the fact that the presence needs to be positive. It takes only a few negative blogposts or comments to ruin the reputation that you’ve garnered over the years.
Online reputation affects every sphere of our lives, from employment opportunities to getting lucrative business deals, down to your personal life. This is why regular monitoring and protection of your online reputation is an absolute necessity.
A lot of players keep springing up in the field of online reputation management; reputation.com, Big Blue Robot, Metal Rabbit Media, to mention a few. These can be useful for big name companies and individuals, but they are definitely not the first choice for small business owners and regular people.
Creating a Positive Reputation
This aspect starts with you. The very first step is creating content. There is need to define what you want to be known for and make that available to potential searchers. Your social media platforms should define you and what you stand for. You might create a blog where you post articles and make commentaries on the articles. Answering questions on sites such as Quora also help show expertise and create positive content.
It’s important to know what others would see when they search your name. So why not do it yourself? Do a Google search of your name and also see what Google Images bring. You should also set up a Google alert on your name to monitor any new content. While it may be impossible to remove negative content associated with your name, creating positive content would help push it down in the search results.
Protecting Your E-Reputation
The various ways through which you can protect your e-reputation include:
Buy your domain name
Opinions are divided on how much money and effort should be put into this. Some recommend purchasing a lot of domain names- yourname.com, yourname.blogspot.com, yournameonline.com. It may, however, be better to purchase a single domain name and invest a lot of effort in creating sustainable content on the site.
Join social networks
Even if you are not going to be an active participant on social media platforms, it is important to take time out to register on the important ones at least (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.). Carefully fill out the profile sections for these platforms with what you want to represent. Ensure consistency throughout and take a timeout to update important changes. As much as you may be inactive, ensure you’re not completely dormant either. Adding new content may be as simple as attaching an article and posting a comment on why you’re interested in the article.
Maintain your privacy
While realizing that so little is private in this age, it’s still pretty important to be highly selective of the personal stuff you post online. Even teens know now that there’s no point posting a picture of you half naked, holding on to a bottle of beer.
However, sites are regularly changing privacy settings and there’s not much you can do about your friends posting an embarrassing picture of you. Realize that you shouldn’t post pictures you don’t want the whole world to see and remove the ‘tag’ when your friends post such pictures and don’t hesitate to talk to them about removing the picture altogether.