Super Simple Personal Online Reputation Management
Online Reputation Management….what the heck is that? It sounds kinda scary, official and very time-consuming. If you work in digital marketing, you’re addressing it every day. According to the less-than-loved Wikipedia, online reputation management implies you may have something to hide. Believe me, there are plenty of companies who want to quash bad online PR.
Why not take control of your own destiny? In fact, one of the most interesting results of the continued proliferation of social media is its ability to allow people to craft their own personas. Take, for example, NFL Football player Chad Johnson (or as you know him Chad Ochocinco). He officially changed his name in 2008. Chad has been a social media pioneer for professional athletes. He’s actively creating his own personal brand via Twitter, UStream channel, xBox Live, Google+, Facebook and more. And there are lots of celebrities, athletes, musicians and regular Joe’s following his lead.
For those of you not in digital marketing (or a celebrity with oodles of time on your hands) or anyone who is frightened by what they might find online, let me take you through some super simple steps to begin to take control your online identity. One basic rule: Create positive, relevant content for your name.
- Man Up & Google Yourself: It’s better that you know what you’re dealing with. Potential clients are already doing it. Potential employers are doing it. Be brave and take a firsthand look at your own identity. Trust me, it’s not that bad.
- Own Your Profiles: At a minimum, have a Facebook account (set those privacy settings!) and a LinkedIn profile. For more advanced users, get a Twitter account, a Google+ profile, a Flickr account or Picasa account for your photos and your own URL if you’re feeling adventurous.
- Comment on Blogs: Do you read the paper in the morning with a nice cup of coffee? Do you read online news? As you stumble across interesting content, make a comment. An intelligent commentary or observation using your new shiny new Google+ profile credentials will help those search engine result pages (SERPs)
- Create A Blog: Try to post at least once a week. Anything over 250 words will be picked up by the search engines so if you have something positive to say, get a blog!
- Educate Your Friends: You might have your profile on lock down, but what about your less tech savvy friends and family? They could be a potential wormhole into what you consider your personal life. What are they posting about you?