Entrepreneur magazine has written another useful story about social media and how it can ruin your reputation. It also provides tips to avoid such an outcome. We’re doing the same but adding our own tips to help ensure your good online reputation.
Post YOUR Goods
The first point made is about avoiding boring posts. True, this should go without saying but, often it can be difficult to find topics to consistently post about in a manner that remains appealing each time. The first advice is to stay on topic related to your expertise. After all, it’s your expertise in an area that would draw attention your way. If you’re a chef and owner of your own restaurant, posting about a new smartphone and its features is probably not going to draw desired attention. However, if your post is about how that smartphone is the ultimate for a chef, now that’s more in line with your expertise. But, you’d better be capable of drawing a clear argument for your case.
Staying memorable is directly in line with staying on topic – the topic related to your expertise. It’s important that you ensure your profile clearly explains your expertise on a topic too.
It’s not a good idea to disrespect or argue with someone via a social channel and the Entrepreneur article points out at least one way to handle this. Good comments start with good social media guidelines for you and your organization. And, any good social media policy should include clear methods for how to deal with argumentative or distasteful posts directed at you. While one answer may be not to respond at all, it can be difficult not to address some negative posts too. For example, if you own a beauty salon and someone posts that you turned their hair green, well, this kind of post – true or not – can spiral into many negative posts about you. You might imagine, say on Twitter, a string of negative comments popping up about this supposed incident. Gone unchecked, it can ruin your reputation – sometimes a response is necessary. In this case, if you did indeed turn their hair green hopefully you would have resolved the problem before they left your shop. But, if you didn’t you better act now. In such scenarios it may be best to admit it and offer to fix it at all costs. Make sure to follow-up with tweets on how you resolved the problem and encourage the unfortunate customer to chime in with their new satisfaction.
If the post is untrue, a different and careful approach is needed. You’ll need to first apologize this person feels the way they do about your service and make clear that you’ve concluded an internal review (after you’ve actually done so) – that no one here recalls such an incident. Offer that person a direct and private line of communication to resolve the rumor. Once done, ensure you tell your followers of the positive outcome. It’s tough to stay on top of such sentimental posts being made on Twitter. If you are invested in your followers, it may be a good idea to use a social media monitoring tool that tracks sentiment about your profile so you can be responsive to good or bad sentiment trends.
The next point that is made is to ensure you properly recognize the contributions of others, just as we’ve done here by properly attributing our idea for this post to the good article in Entrepreneur. But, it goes beyond just someone giving you good advice and recognizing this. If you provide a product or service, engaging with your followers to reward them for their business is a good way to spread positive word of mouth and more good posts about you. Here too a social media monitoring tool that lets you track loyal followers is a good idea. You might then be able to track your most engaged Facebook users and reward them in a way that keeps them positively engaged.
Social media does require more of your time. But, this investment in time is beneficial to enhancing your online and offline reputation. Part of this time requires that you be responsive to blog comments, etc. True, many are SPAM-like comments but, it’s your job to weed through them and be responsive to the ones that are not. Make a practice to be responsive – and positive in your response too.
It’s still amazing how many times some celebrities or politician show up in the news with an unfavorable photo floating around social media sites. It’s not just celebrities. It can happen to you. Be mindful of any picture you take or being taken of you. This means being mindful in general of the things you do. It can easily end up on the Interwebs and spread like wildfire. Do you really need to be concerned with everything you do in public? If you’re concerned about your reputation you need to be. Today, every person around you is a walking photo journalist – with smartphones and their cameras so easily available. One bad move on your part and you can almost bet someone will snap a picture or video and ponder posting it to Facebook or YouTube. That’s just the way it is now.
Managing your online reputation need not be too difficult. It’s important because it also impacts your offline reputation. There are social media tools of all sorts to help you out, from apps that help you post content, to monitoring tools to track it all. The important thing is to stay active, be responsive and stay positive. You should also use good judgment about what you do online and in public. This requirement grows in need the more your reputation grows. The more popular you are, the more of a target you might become. Be careful out there and stay on top of it.
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