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.
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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