XL Web Services Blog

Social Media and Your Online Reputation




Do you really know how you appear to prospects?  Gone are the days when eye contact and a firm handshake made your first impression on a potential client.  In this brave new world of the digital age, the first encounter prospects will likely have with you will be through search engines.  It’s an important concept to keep in mind as you create and build your online reputation.


Reality Check

Run a Google search using your name and industry.  This is likely to be the first thing people see regarding you.  Remember that old MySpace account that you haven’t touched since 2008?  The one with the pictures from that trip to Mexico with your old college chums?  It may not be the best first impression.  It’s time to delete dormant account profiles and restrict privacy settings on current accounts.  Keep your business and personal accounts separate.

Establish Presence

Social media is a great way to build your online reputation.  Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, blogs and other social media outlets score high in Google’s search algorithm.  Be sure to keep your reputation in mind when building your profile.  Include search words in your bio and descriptions.  Remember that by engaging in conversations, you keep your name and your reputation relevant.  Keep in mind that the adage for the digital age may well be:  Content. Content.  Content.  Create a photo album. Upload videos.  Create podcasts.  Maintain a blog.  Blogs are also especially helpful in establishing you as a thought leader in your industry but all of the above demonstrate desire, commitment and creativity. 

Maintenance

Once you’ve established yourself online, you’ll still want to know what’s being said about you.  Google Alerts is a free service that notifies you by email of any mentions of you.  This allows you to have a good feel for where you reputation stands and make you aware of any potential problems.  You don’t need to delete negative feedback but you do need to respond to it.  This demonstrates both maturity and your seriousness about customer satisfaction.

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