The Importance of Personal Online Reputation Management

Lindsey Lohan DrunkSometimes, you think, you have more common sense than your friends. Like, when they posted those unflattering photos on facebook, from that frat party where they made some questionable drink choices. What you really don’t understand, though, is why photos of you are included in that album.

Online Reputation Management is key in a world where our reputation is based on more than the information we choose to share. Or–when we change our minds about what we want to share between ages 18 and 28.

So, now that you’ve googled your self, and found (to your dismay/horror) that the vapid article your wrote for your college paper on the effects of Mountain Dew on the football team’s morale still makes the first page, we’re not even going to mention what was found in Image Search–it’s time to do a little damage control. It’s not a science, but it does require a few steps and some planning.

Monitor

First, monitor what people are saying about you. You can try using an enterprise tool like Sprout Social or something free like Tweetdeck You can’t correct, or at least circumvent, comments you don’t know people are making. Also, in terms of SEO marketing, knowing what sites are driving your front page info can be invaluable.

Evaluate

Second, evaluate the risk the content poses–or benefits! If this content is a major threat to your brand jump to step three. Also, if this content is exactly the kind of glowing praise or proof of an awesome accomplishment that you need.

Act

Third, and finally, act. Acting, by the way, may mean doing nothing. After you’ve evaluated the situation, make a plan of attack–how are you going to respond? Will your action necessitate some serious PR to do damage control, or a thank you note?

A lot of this can be done for free, but if you’re at a loss for where to start there are plenty of companies who specialize in Online Reputation Management and would be happy to help.

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