Poor choices that you may have made in the past can have an adverse effect on your business reputation today, as many people who were teenagers when the Internet was first around, will verify. Poor choices in the past can affect the image of anyone, and teachers, politicians and lawyers are especially prone to this. If you are a small business owner, it is important to use social media effectively to safeguard and enhance your online reputation.
1. Keep Your Business And Personal Life Separate
Most of us now have a Facebook or Google account, and keeping your business life separate from your personal life is increasingly difficult, especially as many online discussions require you to sign in via either site. However, it is advisable to try to keep these two aspects of your life separate, if you use the Internet to market or promote your business or product. One strategy is to allow only a limited group of people to have access to your personal life and what you are doing outside work.
2. Too Much Sharing On Social Media
Unfortunately, having social media sites hacked is becoming commonplace, and you should be careful what information you share; after all, not everyone needs or wants to know what you had for breakfast or see pictures of you being silly. As a general rule, just don’t over share your information, it is not really attractive and your business clients do not really need to know every small detail of your personal life, just as you don’t want to know theirs.
Keeping your brand and image consistent on all your accounts is one way to manage your online reputation, and this means using the same photos, logos and typeface wherever possible. A potential customer may perceive you as being less than entirely honest if you leave some information out or post conflicting information. Everything you post online should support and reinforce who you are and the image you are trying to get across to your clients.
4. Researching Yourself
Google Alerts and NetVibes are just three of the tools that allow you to easily and effectively monitor your online presence and with these tools you can maintain a solid online reputation by being in control and deciding what others will see and read. You can stay ahead of the completion by knowing what is being said about you, your brand and your company, as well as getting the scoop on similar services or products.
5. Update Your Privacy Settings
Privacy options are offered by most social media platforms, and it is essential to understand these and use them to your advantage rather than being controlled by them. Creating a private and closed group on Facebook just for close friends and family is a recommended strategy, and this ensures that nothing too personal or embarrassing can be found out about you or your company. You can also approve any image in which you are tagged on Facebook. Make sure you protect yourself and your company from any misunderstanding or misunderstood information by taking advantage of the privacy settings that are available to you.
Don’t be one of the statistics or names which have been negatively impacted by something being misunderstood, posted all over a social media site or taken out of context. Creating and maintaining a positive online reputation is essential these days when just about everyone you know can find out anything at all about you. Use social media sensibly, be careful what you say and who you say it to and always use the privacy settings so that they work for you.