Tips on Managing Your Social Media Reputationby Courtney Myers Professional Writer and Editor
Since the advent of Facebook, people have taken to posting almost anything online. In generations past, major life moments such as your wedding day or the birth of your child were captured on physical film (remember that?) and stored in an old-fashioned photo album, where only close friends and family members were privy to them. Today, it takes mere seconds to share a memory with hundreds if not thousands of online followers, taking something that was once personal and making it as public as possible.
In many ways, our increased connectedness is benefitting society. We have a more global economy, business opportunities are ripe and marketing campaigns are as effective as ever. Still, for every advantage that social media provides, it can also wreak havoc if we’re not careful with it. Anyone who’s ever been called into the boss’ office after being tagged in a series of embarrassing and incriminating photos on Facebook can attest to this fact. To that end, let’s explore how social media and your offline reputation are connected, and how you can make sure both paint you in as great of light as possible.
1. Monitor who is talking about you.
Managing your social media reputation is more than controlling what comes out of your own keyboard. Rather, you’ll also need to be concerned about who’s talking about you, mentioning your handle name, or tagging you in their posts. Why? While you might have been diligent to not include any pictures from your bachelorette party, your best friend might not have been so savvy. Depending on how your privacy settings are configured, someone who isn’t even your friend on Facebook could see and share those pictures of you instantly.
While it might sound incredibly time-consuming to check every social media platform to make sure your name is clear, it’s not as challenging as it seems. Now, there are myriad software tools you can download to quickly do the job for you. Most commonly used for professional brand management purposes, these can also be applied to a personal account in many cases. Want to perform a quick check before investing in such digital tools? Simply Google your name. Those search results alone can be incredibly eye-opening and can often help you pinpoint any spots where your name and reputation are on the line. To stay up-to-date, you can even set up a Google alert on your name, so you’re quickly notified any time a new mention occurs.
2. Adjust privacy settings per platform.
It’s helpful to consider the social media platforms you’re currently on, then ask yourself whether they’ll be accessible to work, strictly personal, or a combination of both. For instance, you may want to designate Facebook as strictly for your family and non-work friends to follow you on. To that end, you can set your profile as private and only accept requests from people you don’t mind sharing your wild weekend in Bali with. On the other hand, you might use LinkedIn or Twitter for networking purposes and as such, you’ll want to allow new connections to be able to easily find and add you. So, your privacy settings might be a little more lax on these platforms, where you’ll be more inclined to only post work-related content. Perform a “dummy test” on each platform by signing out of every social media account. See how much information an outsider can gather from your profile and adjust your privacy settings accordingly.
3. Think before you post.
It’s not only your work that could become compromised if you post something you shouldn’t have on social media. Did you know that online exchanges, including Facebook posts, could be used against you in the court of law for something such as a child custody battle during a divorce? Remember that part of putting kids first includes reigning yourself back from posting a slew of negative sentiments about your ex online. Yet, it’s also unwise to just go through and start deleting every comment, conversation, post or “like” that you’re now questioning. Before you make any changes to your social media presence, it’s important to talk to your lawyer first. Doing so could even be considered destroying key evidence.
To prevent yourself from becoming embroiled in this situation in the first place, simply think twice before you press that “post” button. You might think it’s funny or that it will get a huge reaction, but if you wouldn’t want your boss, grandma or child reading it, it’s likely not appropriate in context. The same applies for any ill feelings you might have about your workplace. You might not have enjoyed the two-hour conference call on a Friday afternoon, but you shouldn’t voice that on Facebook, where it could easily be copied, pasted and shared with your C-suite.
Ultimately, maintaining a solid online reputation is achievable so long as you stay abreast on what people are saying about you, what they can see, and what they read on your profile. Staying cognizant and keeping others front-of-mind can help you succeed both on and off the screen.
Created on Jun 5th 2018 23:13. Viewed 192 times.