10 Things You Should Know About Internet Reputation Management

Posted on by admin | in longhorn

As social networking sites and blogs become more popular, it’s become a matter of great importance for the average person to manage their online reputation. Once a worry for businesses and public figures, it’s now a concern for us all; here are ten valuable tips about managing your online reputation. 

  1. You Are Your Own Brand – Even if you never plan to start your own business, you’re still a brand. Instead of selling goods or services, there will come a time when you’re selling your brand; to potential employers, friends and even mates. Almost anyone with an interest in you will type your name into a search engine at some point or another; the returned results are your reputation.
  2. Don’t Rely On Filtering – Some social networking sites, such as Facebook, have filtering options for your updates. Specified status changes are only available to the list of your choosing, which lulls many people into a false sense of security. Even the best-managed sites have bugs or failings; relying on those filters could come back to haunt you. Instead of posting questionable content and trusting a filtering system to keep your reputation clean, make it a practice to never post something you’d be embarrassed for a stranger to find.
  3. Utilize Every Possible Security Feature – Your social networking sites should be locked as tightly as possible, especially when you’re looking for work. If you’re looking to build your personal brand rather than keep a low profile, be judicious when creating security settings and content.
  4. There Are Services That Specialize In Cleaning Up Your Rep – The online reputation management industry is booming; there are dozens of services that deal solely with cleaning up and promoting your brand.
  5. Anyone Can Disparage Your Brand – Due to the relative anonymity of the internet, it’s very easy for disgruntled former friends or lovers to damage your reputation with no repercussions. As a result, it’s important to maintain your offline reputation to the best of your abilities as well.
  6. Outdated Information is Bad Information – If the only result that a search of your name returns is a decade-old, abandoned MySpace page, it doesn’t bode well for your reputation. Most likely, information that old is now completely inaccurate, and embarrassing to boot. Do yourself a favor and lock, or even better, delete those old profiles.
  7. Prospective and Current Employers Will Check Your Online Presence – You can be absolutely certain that a prospective employer will plug your name into a search engine, probably before bothering to set up an interview. Also, it’s fairly likely that your current employer will do the same at some point.
  8. Your Friends and Family Can Hurt Your Reputation – Even if your security settings are tighter than Fort Knox and you’re vigilant about sharing only acceptable content, you should realize that your friends and family may not share your concerns. Tagging you in an embarrassing picture or making off-color comments in a wall post can damage your reputation.
  9. Your Online Reputation Can Affect College Admissions – University admissions offices are jumping on the high-tech bandwagon these days; your online reputation can now affect your acceptance to the college of your choice.
  10. Clean Up Isn’t Easy – ORM services were mentioned earlier, but there is something you should know: these services can only get some of the undesirable information removed. The rest, they’ll attempt to “wash out” with reputation boosting techniques.

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