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.