Simple but Powerful: Online Reputation Management

The old adage of politicians shaking hands and kissing babies to win an election is still true, but with the digital age it is no longer enough. In addition to face-to-face meetings where you get personal with perspective voters, fans and customers, those in the public eye must also pay attention to your online reputation as well. Failure to do so could damage all of the work you have done on building a solid and positive reputation.

Build Trust Through Authenticity

To protect your reputation, you must be authentic and build trust in everything you do online. To do this, Inc.com recommends using your real name whenever possible. Your website, email address and social media accounts should be connected to your real name. Then, be responsive when people contact you. Assign someone to respond to your social media pages, phone calls and emails. Be genuine in what you share. If you can reveal interesting details to your followers, they will be more inclined to trust you. Make yourself accessible and available at all times to those who may need to reach out, recommends the blog onPixsym.com, and you will foster trust with your target audience.

Your social media outlets can help you build trust with your fans or customers, but how can you build your following on those sites? One way is to meet people in person. The more hands you shake, the greater your ability to gain followers on social media sites. As you have face-to-face meetings, know your audience, and tailor your message to their needs, recommends Net-Results.com.

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Use Google to Bury Negativity

If you are in the public eye, there are going to be negative things posted online about you. Arguing with your critics is a strong temptation. Forbes warns that arguing online does nothing but draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself, making you look foolish. If someone lashes out against you, respond kindly and honestly, but avoid the temptation to enter into an actual argument.

You can also use Google as a defense against negativity. Think about the CEO who receives a huge bonus right after announcing that his company had record-breaking losses that quarter. The news outlets are going to go crazy with this story, and news stories rank high in Google.

To counter this, the company can focus their marketing efforts on highlighting positive aspects of the CEO’s work, such as his charity contributions or worker improvements made in the company. If those start to outrank the negativity, CIO indicates the problem will be taken care of, without a direct response from the company. Sites such as BrandYourself.com can help with this type of strategy.

Avoid Common Mistakes

Reputation management can be full of potential land mines that will blow up in your face. Avoiding these mistakes can protect your reputation. One common mistake, according to the web presence platformReachCast, is failing to monitor all of your accounts. Do not create a social media page or blog unless someone has the time to monitor it. Reputation management companies offer services to help busy professionals monitor these types of online accounts.

Do not ignore negative comments, but respond to them without anger. A simple apology or a correction can go a long way in smoothing over the bumps a negative review can leave on your reputation. Finally, avoid sharing personal views on politics or religion, unless they are pertinent to your goals. Unless you are a politician, leave politics alone.

With the advent of the World Wide Web, one disgruntled customer or unhappy voter can tarnish your reputation in a matter of minutes. You must take the time to get to know the various web-based outlets where this damage can occur, and do what you can to foster trust and avoid problems through these sites.

Guest post provided by: Tony Wilkins

Tony is a New York paralegal who shares his legal and investment advice with readers on various blogs and business websites.

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