In this chapter, you’ll learn how to audit your social profiles, clean them up and set up new ones if necessary.
Your Tasks For This Week:
Enter your name into the reputation management tool on Social Searcher or Brand Yourself or Mention.com and check what results turn up. These free business reputation monitoring tools allow you to monitor all public social mentions in social networks and web.
Monitoring Your Online Reputation
You can measure and track what people are saying about you, your brand, company, product, or service, and streamline your online presence tracking and reputation management efforts.
Or you can just delete your old social media profiles and start fresh. At any rate, you will need to create social media profiles on the networks below, under your own personal name.
For instance, you can check how I’ve used my personal name in all my social profiles below:
If you use other social media networks, you’ll need to optimize them as well.
You can also design them yourself using free tools like Canva, but they will not have the professional look and feel that a professional graphic can give you.
Cleaning Up Your Online Reputation
When building a personal brand, one of the most important aspects of success is the reputation you’ve built for yourself online.
As a matter of fact, it could be the most important factor in the success or failure of your branding efforts.
What makes a person's reputation so important?
Well, it goes without saying that people are highly unlikely to purchase anything from someone they do not like or trust unless it is their last option (and even then, some people won't go for it).
Having a bad reputation may not necessarily be your fault, in the sense that you did not do it on purpose; a lot of people post videos or comments on social media that they come to regret later.
If you want an example of how badly a personal brand gaffe can affect your business brand, just take the example of how GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons’ video that shows him shooting an elephant caused a public outrage that made them lose numerous customers.
PETA, the animal rights group, closed its account with GoDaddy and asked others to follow suit.
On the other hand, if you have a good reputation then the opposite will pretty much happen. Instead of seeing you as a last resort, potential customers are actually going to make you one of their first choices, if not the top one.
People are generally more comfortable doing business with trusted sources who have proven themselves to be honest and reliable, even if their prices are higher than the competition.
In short, having a bad online reputation will drive your business straight into the ground while having a good reputation will open up a whole world of possibilities for you.
If you truly want to be successful in this business for a long time, you will have to clean up your reputation online to create a good personal brand.
While it may be too late for Bob Parsons to clean up his reputation with animal lovers, you still have a chance to mitigate any damage that you may have caused by inappropriate comments, photographs or videos.
The first thing to do when cleaning up your reputation is to assess the damage done.
This is easily achieved by Googling your name to see what types of results come back in the first six to seven pages (you can go deeper depending on how thoroughly you want to clean everything).
Chances are that if there is anything disturbing, you will find it in the first few pages because, after all, people find scandals, humiliation and failure far more entertaining than success.
In any case, once you’ve spotted all the damaging information on you, it would be wise to set up online reputation management (ORM) so you can be alerted if your reputation ever suffers any negative publicity.
The first course of action you have to clean up your reputation is to simply try and bury it deep in the past.
Except for untagging or removing embarrassing Facebook photos and deleting inappropriate comments or forum posts, many things posted about you will not really be possible to remove.
If you’re the type of person who prefers to solve things as quietly and peacefully as possible, you could get in touch with the owner of the website on which the damaging materials were posted and ask for them to be removed.
However, if you do not have any legal grounds to demand the materials to be eliminated, then you can expect them to not only refuse, but also to post pictures of the email conversation, so this may end up causing even more damage to you.
Another course of action involves getting in touch with the Internet Archive, which is basically a directory that archives practically everything that happened on the internet.
If you have a strong enough case, you could request the permanent removal of some materials.
You could also write to Google about the information that is defamatory or libellous in nature and have it removed from their search index.
Finally, ORM companies are dedicated to cleaning up a person's digital footprint on the internet.
In addition to cleaning your slate and burying the bad, these companies also work to bring more exposure to the good stuff about you in order to improve your reputation.
What you CAN do to make a new start for yourself is to commit to only posting comments, posts and media that are consistent with the brand you want to create.
Keep in mind that the good you did will be buried alongside the bad. Depending on how much damage your reputation suffered, this actually may be the best way out of a bad situation.
Priya Florence Shah
P. S. Check out these 25+ completely FREE marketing courses for bloggers and entrepreneurs