Everyone knows the value of a good reputation, so why are people so slow to manage their reputations online? After all, whether you’re truly yourself, or if you’ve adopted an online persona, your reputation on the Internet is still an extension of your reputation. Unfortunately, with the web still being a bit of the new Wild West in addition to the ever eye-roll-inducing keyboard muscle, people tend to forget that they are accountable for their actions while surfing the web.
How can people easily manage their reputation online without having to constantly think about it? Pretty simply, actually. Pending no major reputation crisis, simply manage your life online as you do in the real world.
- Get Involved in the Community – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, whatever you choose, become a pillar of your online community. Find out where the big players in your industry are spending their time, and get involved. Interact with customers, other businesses, industry pros, and people who just want to chat – you never know where your next great relationship may start out.
- If a Conflict Should Arise, Take it Outside – Just like you don’t want to have a screaming match in front of the guests at a cocktail party, you don’t want to engage in an argument on a public forum for all of your followers to see. Treat your feeds, streams, and comments as if they were parties in your own home, and act accordingly.
- Be a Good Neighbor – Respect others in your industry, and lend a helping hand when needed. Share links, comment on posts, and help keep the good ones around. Remember, the reputation of your industry affects the reputation of your company.
- Curb Appeal is Important – Your home represents who you are as a family, your home page (and social media profile pages) represent your company. Keep it clean and up to date to ensure you’re giving the best initial impression possible.
- Don’t Forget to Take Out the Trash – Unfortunately, along with keeping things running smoothly, there will always be a bit of waste that needs to be discarded. Don’t be afraid to get rid of things that are keeping you from moving forward. Whether it is old equipment, questionable vendors, incompatible clients, or unnecessary technology – there are things that may need to be removed from your life to make it easier.
Manage your online personal and business life just like your real-life personal and business life. You’ll be on your way to a stellar reputation in no time! (If you don’t do the things mentioned above in real life, you may want to take a look at your behavior both online AND offline. 😉 )