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How to Protect your Online Reputation

Protect your Online Reputation

Caring for your online reputation pays dividends. Prevention is always better than cure - so here are some tips for protecting your online reputation.

Set Up Google Alerts For Your Name/Business/Industry 

Count on notifications to be your early warning system for anything that could suddenly pop up on the cyber frontier. This way you will be able to prepare a swift and decisive response which is important in addressing the concerns of your valued clients. Rather than fretting and searching like crazy, allow Google to do all the heavy lifting so that you never miss out on any of the important information that affects your personal online reputation and requires personal reputation management.

Retain Privacy 

There are privacy settings that can and should be applied to all the content you want to share. This way you can choose what content is made available to the general public and what will only be shown to your friends and family. But don’t assume that this will be enough to protect your online reputation though. Facebook and other social media channels are in a constant rush to adjust their rules about sharing content and it may happen that your friend shares a rather embarrassing picture of you without your knowledge.

As a rule of thumb, you should never post a picture of yourself that you would not show to everyone and anyone you meet. So, what about that friend who is constantly posting pictures of their adorable kids running around in the buff as kids do? According to the experts, this is not a good idea because you never know where or when those pictures will resurface. This may sound hard to believe but it is an important thing to consider.

One good way to avoid this small problem would be to open and manage two different Facebook profiles. One is for outsiders, this will be a showcase of your educational and professional history and apply all the privacy features you can think of. I admit that trying to manage two facebook profiles can be a tough gig, but there is certainly wisdom in the idea if you are trying to protect your privacy.

If you have been tagged in a picture that you find somewhat embarrassing and you would rather not share it with the world simply remove your tag. Furthermore, if you see that there are some unflattering pictures of you circulating, consider asking the other people to take the picture offline.

Never Argue Online 

If you have taken a very active role online because you own a business or are simply an active participant in a social media circle, you will have plenty of opportunities to begin a tough debate. You should always try and resist the urge to respond to an emotionally charged dispute. Make sure that all of your online communications are positive, professional, and polite. No good has ever come from an argument with someone online.

Taking the high road is the only way to go when faced with a confrontation. Of course, it is only natural to want to defend yourself and your views from hostile detractors. But you will accomplish nothing by trying to win an argument or get involved in a petty back and forth.

Remember that the minefield of online arguing is no place for the economically-minded entrepreneur or business person. Especially one looking to make headway in the online market. Most of what will be said online would never be said to a person's face. What this means is that there are trolls aplenty looking to provoke you into doing something you will seriously regret. Avoid all this and take the high road to protect your online reputation.

Create a Blog

Taking the time to write out some engaging content in a professional writing style and applying all the expertise you have gathered in your field is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader and an authority in your niche. Never forget your primary directive of occupying that first place in the Google SERPs. If you are providing your audience with top-quality information from a reliable source your SEO value will skyrocket and take your name to keyword heaven.

As your audience grows, you may even begin thinking about guest writing on other blogs. Choose ones that are connected to your niche. This is even more excellent publicity and can allow you to reach a much larger audience. But it all begins with the important secret of creating content that is relevant to your field. Ensure it is also engaging for your target audience.

Google Yourself 

Every so often you should run a Google search on yourself. Check what you find on the first three pages.  What kind of things are you seeing here? Is this kind of publicity doing you and your brand good? Something that may seem harmless could be alienating a significant portion of your online market and audience. All of your search results should appear as professional as they possibly can. However, if you have absolutely no relevant research results on the first three pages this is even worse. You may want to get the ball rolling on your SEO work.

Consider Your Personal Brand and Goals 

Now you have a better understanding of what your audience will see when they search your name and brand online. It is now time to start thinking about using this information to your advantage. Ask yourself who is googling you and what will they see? This will lead you to make the best decisions about your personal online image. One great idea is to make a profile of the most successful players in your field. How do these talented individuals engage their audiences? How can you emulate this success?

Claim and Create Social Media Profiles 

Then take some time to clean up your entire social media outlook. Sort out your accounts and profiles to have the online reputation you want. Make sure that your personal accounts are kept separate from your older accounts. Make a choice about the platform that works best for you. Different social media platforms will provide you with a better connection to your captive audience. Even if you don’t use all of the accounts you create it is important that you have them. You may find a growing number of interested individuals on other platforms in the near future. In the meantime focus your efforts where they will do the most good.

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