The Internet is a huge collection of information. Everything you do and say online leaves a footprint and affects people’s perception of you as a person and a professional. In fact, 48% of Human Resources professionals and recruiters prefer to browse through personal websites when making a decision about whether or not to hire a person. Consumers basically do the same thing when shopping online.
Search engines catalog everything you do online, from your social media participation to press releases and blog posts. Unfortunately, the internet has far greater reach than gossip in a small town. So, even if you don’t care what people think about in your real life, your online activities must be managed well in order to protect your business.
What contributes to a bad online reputation?
- People may post unflattering comments about your personal and professional life. Even if untrue, it’s hard to un-ring a bell.
- People can use your photo, logo or other information to post pretending to be you.
- Incriminating details may be published against you to effect a legal process.
- The most likely way to tarnish your reputation online is by getting a lot of negative reviews from customers of your business.
What can you do to manage your online reputation?
- Create your own digital strategy that you do on a regular basis to monitor and preserve your reputation.
- Establish a positive presence on social media sites.
- Check your name in search engines and social networking websites frequently and keep an eye on every detail associated with you.
- Use search engine optimization to rank the good things about your business higher than the negative ones.
- Above all else, treat your customers well and handle complaints swiftly to avoid damaging your own reputation online.