How Scary Is Your On-Line Reputation?

Posted by Alexander Irving under Blogging, Building Authority, General, How-To, New Media, Ramblings, Strategy, The PR Mindset

Care for Your Personal and Professional Brands

Freedom of Speech?  Sure! It’s a free country.  Post whatever you want. But, there are consequences.

Google, Bing, Yahoo, and MSN are voracious eaters. They digest and spit out whatever they find associated with your name. What you say (and do) online comes home to roost where you probably don’t want it.

When you (or a friend) post ‘uncomplimentary’ photos, political and religious zeal, use foul language, etc., it lives on-line for a very long time. Prospective clients, employers, co-workers, and friends you never intended to see those posts may not share your thoughts, beliefs, and personal passions.

Having opinions and religious beliefs is our constitutional right, but how (and where) we share them can have unintended consequences.

”You Only Get One Chance To Make a First Impression.”

Over a billion people use Facebook.  Friends of friends can be a large audience for your comments and shared posts.

Add Google, Bing, Yahoo, and MSN searches to the mix and unless you’ve locked down your security settings on Facebook  and elsewhere, The words you write, and the photos you post are not only visible on Facebook … They’re plastered all over the search engines and discovered with a simple name search.

Take Your On-line Reputation ‘Pulse’

  • Review your ‘wall’ and check your posts and the posts of others.
  • Check your profile picture.  Is that how you want ‘friends of friends’ and those searching for you on the web to see you?
  • Google, Bing, Yahoo, and MSN your name. What are your first and second page listings? What photos of yours do you find?
  • What Facebook or other social media listings do you see? Are you surprised? Happy?
  • Check who is posting about your salon or spa on Google Local Business Listings, Yelp, Yahoo! Local Listings, Citysearch, MerchantCircle, and Insider Pages.

Online reputation management is every bit as important as the money you spend on advertising, promotion, and PR.

Want to dig deeper?  Read Online Reputation Management Guide.  It’s an excellent resource.

Other Resources:

What Do You Do to Keep Yourself Safe?


5 responses to “How Scary Is Your On-Line Reputation?”

  1. Becci says:

    Ha! Did my profile pic stimulate this article of thought for you? I’m learning to do Special Effect Monster Make-up so the zombie look is accepted by the people who know me. I understand what you’re writing here because I see photos from people that I think will affect them later, some in a good way but most are not good at all! If I were an employer I would make a decision as to what kind of person an applicant is by there on line profiles! You bet I would!

  2. Steve G. says:

    This is excellent stuff, Alex. I looked back on my wall to find (in my view) really excellent and entertaining posts, then it started sliding into political stuff with, unfortunately, some name-calling, rather than just making arguments. With the 2012 elections well behind us, there’s a lot more space for one of my fb passions, dog rescue.

    This is such a tough one, as I want to get my political points out there, while not alienating anyone who may be able to help me in the future. I guess, as with all things, moderation is key.

    Great piece, Alex. I look forward to many more!

    • Hi, Steve. Really glad you are here. Thanks for the props.

      Whether politics, religion, or any topic we are passionate about, it’s really easy to slide into ‘flaming’ when dealing with someone closed-minded who prefers to argue rather than discuss. Point to remember about Facebook … research is clear that people don’t come here to be serious … they come to play, have fun, tell jokes, or promote (We all hate flat-out self-promotional posts, too, Go buy some ad space I say).

      You said you want to get your political points out there. FB is a poor place for that. I’ve unfriended quite a few ‘friends’ who waste my time and newsfeed space with their talking points and political posters. And, we never know what friend of a friend is eavesdropping on the conversation.

      The important piece for everyone to remember is that no matter where you post it (anywhere on the net), it’s lives on quite out of your control.

      Here’s another post that was also on topic:

      Thanks for sharing.

  3. Mary Brooks says:

    Excellent words of advice … My mother always told me that … “First impressions last” … :::))) xxx Mary :::)))