WHAT’S THE INTERNET SAYING ABOUT YOU?
As you traverse the internet you should be leaving a positive imprint of your personal online interactions as well as your professional plans, business roles and accomplishments. Upholding these ideals will go a long way in doing what you can do personally to keep your reputation and image intact. Sometimes, though, there are circumstances outside of your control that might lead to a negative opinion about you or your business.
Periodically checking your online reputation can help you keep a safe, balanced online presence. These are key things to look for.
Positive Online Reputation Indicators:
– Your offline information matches your online information
On paper your professionalism shines through and is impressive to potential employers and business partners, and professional organisations you are hoping to join. But is your online reputation just as impressive? Do your photos online reflect the decorum of your professional shots? Does your online language have the same propriety as your printed resume? Today, more than 70% of employers in the United States, go online to search for information on job applicants they are hoping to hire, and more and more colleges are using online platforms to glean information on college applicants to make their final acceptance decision.
It’s therefore important to ensure that your online information does not negate your offline information. Remember, even though you share information online within certain spaces (even in closed groups and chatrooms), your online information is not entirely private. The internet is not a secret that you can keep from everyone, and you especially do not want negative information known by those who you need to impress.
– Your information accurately depicts who you are
People use Google Search every day to find individuals or businesses they know or are hoping to learn about. In your online reputation search, look to ensure that when you google your name, that results come back with it being associated with the other correct elements of your profile, and not associated with another person or entity. Having your name wrongly associated with someone or something else can lead to confusion, lack or credibility or distrust.
– Positive articles, status updates, posts and reviews
Once you’re on the internet, there’s information on there that you have shared with people in your online circles. It stands to reason then that someone who is not within your online circles who is searching your name or brand, is either out to find good content or damaging information on you. A positive online standing would reveal positive content across all your online platforms and in search engine results
– You are actively participating and sharing online
To develop an online reputation you must be actively participating in your online accounts. Particularly if you are a public figure, people will be hoping to hear from you on your wealth of knowledge and experience on a range of topics or current issues. Contributing to the discourse and giving insights where possible is a great opportunity to grow as a thought leader and build credibility.
Negative Online Reputation Indicators:
– No online information generated by you
Did you know though, that to not have an online presence at all can work against you? Having no online presence in the internet age, especially as a notable figure, can be seen as you having something to hide. Worse yet, is not generating any positive information abut you or your brand, then having someone create negative content about you which you might not even know about.
– Potentially damaging information
It is very disconcerting, to say the least, to have unsavory things said about you or your business online. In many instances, these types of content have the potential to severely affect a person’s online reputation. It can come from almost anywhere and anyone – a dissatisfied customer, an ex employee, a jealous associate, a discreet situation that the media has shared, or even a mischievous stranger. Your positive online reputation can be gone in an instant.
– Inappropriate photos, statements, opinions and language
Would you say that the photos you place online are appropriate for public consumption? What do you think a potential employer or business partner might think of them? Placing an inappropriate photo that you like can be a complete turn-off to someone measuring the reputation you are bringing to their establishment.
It’s almost impossible to be online and not engage in discussion. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and chat forums are the perfect online spaces to share your opinions, beliefs and thoughts on topics of common interest. Some of these forums allow for strangers from across the world to interact with each other, and being aware of tolerance, respect and discipline could serve well when dealing with people of different backgrounds and experiences. Failure to exercise restraint in your online interactions where there are differences in opinion, can help ruin your online reputation.
– Hauntings from the past
Information on negative occurrences in a person’s past can also show up in internet searches. While someone might have reformed their life form their past behavior, or situations, the records of their past troubles could be accessible in a simple online search of their name.