Social media has forever revolutionized the way we use the Internet. Not only have the channels of communication greatly decreased, it’s never been faster to spread content from one individual to another. However, social media can also be a double edged sword. Given the permanence and viral nature of the Internet, reputations build around individuals and businesses, for better or for worse. When news becomes viral and gets out of hand, it can be difficult to get a word in edgewise. However, you’re not completely defenseless in a bad situation; in fact, combining social media usage and online reputation management can help protect against what others are saying about you. The following are several tips on how to maintain and improve your reputation through the use of social media:
Dominate Your Profiles
Every single social media platform allows users to own their profiles and claim their business pages. However, don’t let others represent you or claim your name first. Depending on which social media sites are most relevant, you’ll want to own all available profiles that are connected to your name and brand. It’s vital that you do this as soon as possible, as it will provide a credible platform for your business.
Clean Them Up
If you already possess social media profiles to your name, then the next step is to make sure they accurately represent you and your business. Your profiles serve as the digital representations of you, your business and your brand; therefore, you’ll want to make sure that they’re as positive and clean as possible. Try to delete any photos and status updates that reflect poorly on you, and schedule content that bring value to your brand. In addition, if others have posted embarrassing or negative images and posts attributed with your name, then you’ll want to take the steps to remove the content.
Build Your Community
If you’re in need of online image reputation help, then don’t try to take it all on your own. Your audience and devoted followers can be the greatest proponents in boosting your reputation. But in order to achieve this, you’ll need to build and nurture your community, giving them a reason to patronize your brand. Make sure that you are consistently using social media, engaging with readers and followers. Social media is a two-way channel: when others reach out to you, make sure that you respond in kind.
News on the Internet spreads like lightning; it’s possible to wake up one morning and find social media channels burning up with news about your site. Therefore, it’s important that you stay aware of the continuing dialogue as much as possible. Doing so will allow you to keep track of what others are saying, and how to counter with your own content and viewpoint. There are a variety of tools that can help you track the social media activity around your name, such as Google Alerts, Social Mention and Twitter’s search function. Don’t be embarrassed to Google yourself; in order to protect your reputation through social media, you’ll need to stay vigilant and alert.
Sara Fletcher is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from SEO, social media and business. She loves to learn all she can about online marketing, and is always looking for the next writing opportunity.