Thursday, 7 February 2013

Reputation Management - Not Just for Suits and Ties!

When you hear the phrase “reputation management” you probably think of some cut-throat, nail biting, teeth gnashing endeavour that major fortune 500 companies go through on their journey to promote, market and synergize their brands.

What you’d probably be surprised to discover is that reputation management is even more important for individuals than it is for corporations. In fact so important that Syracuse University has purchased six-month subscriptions to's online reputation management platform for all 4,100 of its graduating seniors. They saw it was time for their students to do some google reputation management.

Recent studies by Cross-Tab marketing discovered that 75% of all human resource and hiring departments worldwide use the internet to screen job candidate.  Including but not limited to their professional listings, social media accounts [facebook, twitter, Google and LinkedIn], their publications, their ebay profiles and much more.

The study went on to suggest that at least 60% of all the hiring decisions that year were “highly influenced” by information that was obtained when searching for the user online, and in 45% of the cases was related to information found on their Facebook page.

In this day and age it is crucial to take positive steps in order to identify how you present yourself online, even if you aren’t searching for a job you never know who is searching for you.

Here are some helpful tips to help you survive in the fray:

1. Review all facebook security settings each month, not only is it very easy to make a mistake and post something publically but with the continued revisions not only to facebook security policy but also the fundamental changes to their control panel data can quickly change.

2. Do a quick analysis of profiles of your Facebook friends who have pictures of you – check if their profiles are set to private, if not then ask them to remove the picture, set it to private or at the very least untag yourself so that it can’t be search for by name.

3. Set up  Google’s “Me on The Web” to actively search for your name across the pages that Google indexes, this will help to give you active and up to the minute alerts for your name allowing you to quickly respond to anything negative before it has a chance to do any damage.

4. Set up a personal blog on what ever topic you are passionate about, conduct it in a positive and professional manner, this will not only act as a great hobby but allow you to build solid content associated with your name so that when people search for your name this blog is the first thing to come up instead of any negative content that may arise in the future (this is often referred to as reputation protection)

The Author: Maggie Smith is an associate reputation advisor at a leader in Online Reputation Management

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