How to Protect Your Reputation with Social Media
How often have you heard about someone who doesn’t have a Facebook account? There are still people like that, but not many. There are even fewer who avoid the Internet entirely: people who never make a purchase on Amazon, never look something up on Wikipedia, never seek opinions about a local business from Yelp, or never make any Facebook friends.
But in today’s ultra-connected world, such people are rare. Most of us use the Internet, and more than three-quarters of all Internet users also use social media, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. It has reached the point where social media is virtually synonymous with “Internet.” This is especially true of younger users.
These younger users helped Instagram become one of the Internet’s most popular social media sites, while LinkedIn is firmly established as the most important among professionals. But that same social media that we use to interact with friends and build professional networks has a downside. The pressure to share on social media is strong, and it doesn’t take much digging to find personal and business information on just about anyone. And the personal information we provide to one site can quickly spread to other sites, often without our knowledge.
Page One Hits
Which brings us to page one: not of the daily newspaper, but of those coveted Google search engine results. For most Google searches there is room for about ten page one results, or hits, not counting the ads that show up. The competition among businesses to get on page one is intense. The reason is simple: studies show that ninety-one percent of Google users don’t go beyond the first page of the results they get.
How does that figure in to protecting your personal information on social media sites? Well, you may not want to land on the first page of search engine results. But like it or not your personal information is out there. If you happen to have a unique name, then reaching the first page can actually be rather easy. What you need to do is make sure that the content that shows up when your name is searched puts you in a positive light, or at least a neutral one.
Put Your Best (Digital) Foot Forward
The first step toward creating a positive online image is to never post sensitive or potentially damaging information online. For a lot of us, it’s too late for that, so go through your main profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Carefully review all of the pictures, friend relationships and posts you see. That will give you an idea of what a search of your name could turn up. This is your opportunity to delete the data that could prove embarrassing or harmful at some point in the future.
Do what you can to manage your online reputation. You can hire a professional company like InternetReputation.com, or can do it yourself. Google’s Advanced Search is the most comprehensive search you can do. Tools like Boardtracker, Omgili and Boardreader are useful, too. Social Mention can help you root out potential trouble from social media sites.
Consider your online identity as you would your public persona, the one that you want everyone to see. Remember that your online reputation is not necessarily the same as your real self. A good rule of thumb is that if there is anything that could embarrass you, you should not put it online.
Segment Your Life
A good strategy is to keep your personal life separate from your work life. Make a list of the most obvious combinations of your name, and set up social media and email accounts in each one. Use one for friends and family, another for financial matters, and another for your work and business contacts. You can use a fourth variant for responding to anyone who isn’t in one of those first three categories. Make sure each one of these accounts has its own passwords and security questions. In this way, if you ever experience an online attack, they are much easier to trace.
This strategy can be used for social media accounts and email accounts.
Online Reputation Damage Control
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to be honest with yourself. What are the worst things that you’ve ever done, that could be used against you if made public? There might be damaging information in, say, divorce documents that have made it online. Think long and hard about this. Then develop a reputation damage control plan – a worst-case scenario strategy, so that if the worst does come to pass, you’ll be ready to respond immediately.
When the reputation of your medical practice is under attack online, you need the help of an experienced internet reputation management company, like InternetReputation.com. One disgruntled patient with a grudge and a little spare time can write reviews that could siphon away hundreds of patients, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Thankfully, the team of reputation repair experts at InternetReputation.com has worked with doctors to develop proven solutions that will amend the damage and get the online reputation of your medical practice back on track.
The InternetReputation.com Top 5 Tips for Doctors
While every reputation attack on a medical professional is different, these 5 tips from the team of internet reputation management experts at InternetReputation.com will come in handy for most physicians looking to improve or repair their presence online:
- Keep your cool. An attack often feels personal, and in many ways, it is. Patients who share terrible stories on social sites can be hateful and hurtful. But, reputation management for doctors is easier when the doctors don’t make the problem worse. That means you absolutely, positively must stay calm when a patient attacks you. Don’t stoop to the level of counterattack.
- Assess the damage. Is the attack on Facebook, or has it spread to Twitter, too? Are there secondary attacks on Yelp? How about Angie’s List? The more you know about where the problems are coming from, the better doctor reputation management plan you can pull together.
- Rally the troops. How many people have access to your social accounts? Can you trust these people not to attack your attackers? If you have plenty of helpers and not a lot of calm, lock down your passwords and take control.
- Plan your response. Great doctor reputation management begins with great communication. Some complainers just want to feel as though doctors are listening and that they care. Sometimes, a simple request for a private conversation can give patients what they want, so they won’t attack.
- Get the help of InternetReputation.com. There’s a lot that doctors can do alone, but reputation management experts can really fix the problem at the base level with proven internet reputation management services like monitoring, content generation, removal of negative remarks and bad reviews, and search engine suppression. Contacting InternetReputation.com could be the best thing you’ve ever done.
Work to Maintain Your Good Reputation Both On and Offline
Reputation Management is both an Internet buzzword and a burgeoning online industry. Within the last few years or so, online reputation management has become an extremely popular topic for bloggers, as well as a growing necessity for industry professionals, celebrities, politicians and anyone else with a strong online presence. Maintaining a good online reputation, though often times difficult and time-consuming, is undeniably important to anyone with information on the web, which is, quite literally, nearly everyone with an Internet connection.
Protecting your online reputation requires a comprehensive approach; one that includes not just the culmination of your online activity, but the things you say, do and accomplish in your everyday life. In a world inundated with review sites, forums, social media postings, comment sections and blogs, the things you in an offline setting can have just as much, if not more, impact and influence on your online reputation. There are steps you can take, both online and “offline”, that will help to protect your online reputation, improve your brand and allow you to effectively maintain a positive image.
Online Reputation Management
Online reputation management, of course, involves the management of your online behavior, ranging from the content you post on your social media profile to the way your company deals with comments on a popular review site. Several online behaviors that promote a positive reputation include:
Comprehensive Social Media Management. It’s long been established how important and entrenched social media profiles, posts and pages have become as a part of a person’s online image. Managing what you say and do through your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts is a great way to protect yourself from unnecessary online negativity. Before posting that questionable picture or expressing an online opinion that may be contrary to your clients’ interests, stop and consider the possible impact of your activity. As Nathan Chandler of Howstuffworks.com states, the ability to harness your social media presence has the potential to “turn…a disastrous online revelation into a positive professional development,” serving to demonstrate “your ability to maintain a positive attitude, overcome adversity and succeed in spite of obstacles.”
Review Site Management. Consumers and clients place more trust than ever in online review sites, and many will make a purchasing or business decision based the quality of a particular review. While there may be an urge to try to remove a negative review from a site or post fake positive reviews, resist it. Provide outlets for consumers and clients to express their concerns and dissatisfaction, and address negative reviews in a personal and positive way. This is a powerful method for neutralizing someone’s online anger, and can often help to turn a potential negative into a positive. “Negative postings can appear in different online forums,” says Mary Gately of Insidecounsel.com. “Companies have to monitor these comments in real-time and respond when appropriate. For the most part, companies can turn negative comments into more positive comments for the consumer.”
Maintain an active blog, one that constantly updates your customers, clients or friends on you or your company’s positive activity. Blogs are a powerful and effective way to exhibit your expertise on a given subject, and consistent updates provide search engines like Google with more to track and index. This is a good way increase the existence of positive online content, and to push that content to the top of a search engine ranking page. More positive content equals a better chance for high brand visibility. “There are literally thousands of things you can write about and post online,” states Imforza.com. “(Blog) content can and should be videos, photos, podcasts, eBooks, and newsletters as well.”
Professional Reputation Management Services
There are numerous professional online reputation management companies on the web. A person struggling to suppress or mitigate the impact of a negative item may find it useful to look into powerful, professional and image-enhancing reputation management services to clean up your internet reputation
‘Offline’ Reputation Management
These are just a few ways that everyday people can more effectively maintain a good online reputation. The stuff you do offline, however, can have the same enduring and effective impact on your internet presence as your online behavior. A few powerful methods to secure and protect your online image, in an offline or real-life setting, include:
Philanthropy. Being a charitable and giving person not only helps to improve your community and create a strong sense of inner satisfaction, it also provides you with an excellent opportunity to create an additional positive credential to your online resume. Not only can you add charitable involvement to your social media and website profiles, but you can use your experience to create and develop blogs, as well as to promote your business. A recent study done by the Reputation Institute, for example, shows that “positive perceptions of philanthropy and corporate citizenship initiatives is directly correlated with overall business value. A ten percent improvement in perceived corporate citizenship…can translate to an 11 percent improvement in overall reputation.” Philanthropy also provides you with the possibility to earn positive media exposure.
Customer Service. Business professionals understand how important a good customer service experience is to their company’s success. Continually stressing the need for positive and attentive in-store or in-office customer and client service to your employees, as well as the need for swift customer and employee conflict resolution, can help you nip problems in the bud, and can effectively serve to reduce the possibility of a highly visible negative review or comment in the future.
Career Advancement and Educational Achievement. Work promotions and participation in continuing education programs provide you yet another opportunity to enhance your online resume. Participation in an educational program establishes a personal interest in your industry, as well as an ambition and drive for self and career improvement. Career advancement allows you to make updates to your online profiles, which provide you the opportunity to achieve better visibility on search engine ranking pages.
There are many steps a person can take, both online and in real-life, to establish a more positive and enduring online reputation. Take the time to review your real-life activities and online behaviors. It could help you take control of your online reputation back today.
EU’s “right to be forgotten” decision has shocked legal experts and tech titans around the world. But what will the landmark ruling mean for the future of the internet (in Europe vs the U. S.)?
Europe’s highest court this week ruled that a Spanish man can force Google(s goog) to remove a search result that contained financial information he thought was embarrassing. The surprise ruling, which has alarmed free speech advocates, has big implications for tech companies like Google and Facebook, and could fundamentally change how people use the internet in Europe.
Here’s an explanation of what the ruling actually does, what the press is saying and where to learn more.
Who is this Spanish man and what can he remove from Google?
Mario Costeja is a 59-year-old lawyer who sought to remove a Google link to a 1998 news article about an auction, which mentioned that Costeja had to sell his house to pay outstanding debts. The European Court of Justice’s decision means that the news article will remain online but that it will no longer turn up in some Google searches.
Where does the ruling apply and when will it…
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Though unfortunate, a person’s online reputation is nearly always at risk. Regardless of who you are, what you do or the size of your company, your brand name can be attacked in numerous online ways, as well as by a variety of people. Competitors, adversaries, dissatisfied customers, unhappy patients, disgruntled former employees and more now have access to the most advanced information distribution system in the world: The Internet. There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of online venues available to people looking for way to vent their frustrations, hurt their competitors or inflict harm on their enemies. The need to track your online reputation is an undeniably more important than ever before.
Benefits of Online Reputation Tracking
The benefits of online reputation tracking are numerous, perhaps even endless. Here are several key advantages of online reputation monitoring:
Negative comments or blog posts, if left untended, have the potential to become damaging threads and receive prominent positions in Google ranking pages. By tracking your online reputation, you can effectively stay aware of any new negative online items and address them before they become real public problems. Consistent monitoring can help to keep both you and your company above the fold.
Reputation tracking is a key component of online crisis control, says Bizzuka.com. “You will be made aware of a crisis long before it has an opportunity to escalate to a point where overcoming negative sentiment becomes a costly, lengthy affair.”
Online reputation monitoring allows you to know who is talking about you, as well as how your image or brand is being discussed in online forums. Keeping apprised of discussion boards, threads and comments within social media forums, blogging sites and others can help you to tailor your online presence in a way that steers the conversation in your favor. According to a 2013 report by Technorati Media, “Consumers said keeping up with a company’s activities and learning about their products and services were the top reasons for following brands on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.”
By understanding how you’re being mentioned and the people most commonly talking about you, particularly on social media, you have the ability to design an effective and positive content campaign that best meets their communications needs.
By keeping you informed of your place in online discussion, online reputation tracking can also provide you a valuable opportunity to build an effective marketing strategy; one with the potential to improve your brand’s awareness, outshine your competition’s online presence and create a broader and more profitable customer base. Reputation tracking has the ability to keep you’re company informed about consumer trends, discussions and competitor successes, which can, in turn, provide you with tools to build a better-tailored and more successful online marketing approach.
Better Customer Service
Consistent monitoring of your reputation allows you to immediately address customer and employee problems, providing more attentive customer service through swifter issue resolution. Tracking consumer review sites, discussion boards and social media allows you to more efficiently correct a customer’s recent problem with your product, service or experience, which can lead to higher rates of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Online reputation monitoring allows you to stay on top of your reputation, though it generally requires a commitment of manpower, time, technology and expertise to be performed effectively. “Between monitoring social media mentions, ad campaigns, blog comments and mentions across the Web at large,” says Content Marketing Strategist Angela Stringfellow, “you can easily find yourself thoroughly tied up trying to keep tabs on your brand online.”
Often times the best way to is through a professional online reputation management service; a company equipped to handle the numerous threats and potential harm to your online reputation.
People seeking quality healthcare professionals for treatment now have a variety of options on the web. Top doctor review websites, such as Vitals.com, Healthgrades.com and Wellness.com put millions of patients in contact with a variety of diverse healthcare specialists, allowing them to not only browse through potential care givers, but also to examine a professional’s history and training background. Unfortunately for healthcare professionals, however, many patients use these sites to leave negative comments about medical caregivers, which can have disastrous effects on a professional’s reputation and career. Negative online doctor reviews can mean trouble for a healthcare business, and sometimes even lead to career devastation. It’s important for healthcare professionals to maintain careful monitoring of their listing on these potentially harmful doctor review sites. Medical professionals should be aware of the measures they can take to successfully manage doctor reviews and ratings, and regain control over their online reputations.
Can Physicians remove negative online reviews and bad ratings that they don’t want people to see?
In most cases there are no options to remove reviews from the major doctor review sites. However, there are a few ways that medical professionals can get their bad reviews removed, but only when one of the circumstances specified below apply. Top doctor reviews and ratings websites like Vitals.com, RateMDs, and Healthgrades.com provide options for medical professionals to remove unnecessary and potentially harmful reviews, thus allowing doctors to better manage their professional reputation. Online doctor reviews can generally be removed from these sites if they fall under one of the three different criteria headings below.
- Grossly Unfair. Doctor review websites like Healthgrades.com or RateMds allow doctors to request removal of any review that is considered ridiculous, is not intended for that professional’s practice, or if the review is mere hearsay.
- Racist/Sexist/Vulgar. Removal of online doctor reviews that use foul language, are discriminatory or that make unfounded accusations is a common practice. Requesting the removal of a review that meets the above criteria can help doctors quickly weed out inflammatory and unfounded reviews.
- Website Policy Violations. If a doctor review is posted multiple times, is an obvious commercial solicitation or was written by an impersonator, than that review can be flagged and requested for removal. Top Doctor Review sites provide for easy removal options for reviews that abuse or violate site policy.
Doctor review sites like Healthgrades.com, Wellness.com, Vitals.com and others provide doctors with ample opportunity to manage doctor reviews. Each site provides step by step procedures on how to approach and carry out the review dispute process. Though often the review dispute process make sometimes take between 2-3 weeks, it is most assuredly a powerful tool for effective doctor review management. Another way to combat the effects of negative doctor reviews is to encourage patients to post positive reviews. Reminding patients that they have the option to post a review allows them to be more interactive about their treatment and can help medical professionals better suppress bad doctor reviews and help to protect the online reputation of their medical practice.
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