In today’s digital world, where every human is continuously leaving its digital footprint, maintaining a positive online reputation has become an urgent need of the hour. In simple words, online reputation is the available information about you on the internet, which impacts not only your personal life but also your professional life. Every prospective employer, hiring manager, or a business partner searches and gathers that information about you online before deciding to work with you.
However, what if they search your name on the internet, and it shows some negative results about you. Your first impression will instantly get stained. The reason behind these negative results can be anything from a disgruntled employee review to a negative article about you or maybe an accusation of crime. In every case, people will most likely find the information, whether it is true or not.
People today have immense faith in search engines, for accurate information, about an individual. With the increasing demand for online reputation management, entrepreneurs and business owners must closely monitor their online presence, or else, they may get stuck with negative reviews or articles. Regardless of the industry in which your business is, to succeed as an individual, it is very crucial to build a strong and polished online presence.
Here are some tips for individuals to manage their online reputation:
1. Online Presence
Why is it necessary? Today, the technology-driven world demands a positive online presence for making a great first impression. A positive online reputation not only helps in building a successful business but also helps to sustain it. People often misunderstood that no online presence will lead to a positive reputation. However, on the contrary, if your name doesn’t show up in search results, it can raise a warning signal in searchers’ minds. Online searchers would think that either you are insignificant or have some negative things to hide, which in turn can lead to a significant decline of your prospective clients.
How to check your online presence? The easiest way to check your online presence is to Google yourself. Put your name in the search box and check out the results and images. If you don’t find anything about yourself, then it’s time to start working towards building your online presence. The goal is to make your search results appear professional.
2. Start considering Your Brand and Goals
Why is it necessary? Considering your brand represented by your business in compliance with your goals is the fundamental step towards a positive online reputation. Nowadays, people go through an online search before buying a product. They thoroughly check the online reviews and other specifications about the product. The more the online information and positive reviews they get, the more are chances for them to buy the product. This automatically means that you have to feed your prospective customers with positive information regarding your brand or your business goals.
How can you do it? Shortlist the positive traits about yourself and your brand. Define them with ideal images. Take into account the critical feedback you receive. It will help you in improving your professional and personal online reputation.
3. Your Social Media Profile Matters
Why does it matter? According to a recent survey, 81% of the United States population has social media profiles on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. It is quite evident that these numbers will continue to rise in the future. From a business perspective, social media profiles hold SEO value. They help you in ranking on the first page of Google, also with protection against fraudulent identities. One major perk of social platforms is that you can promote your brand among a broad network of people at the same point in time.
How to make a good profile? The first thing you have to do is to post an optimistic photo and a bio of yourself. Your bio should feature positive elements of your brand. Never indulge in an activity on social media, which can halt the image of your brand. Always promote your brand naturally and positively by posting eye-catching content. While you have made your new social media account, never forget to clean up your old personal profiles. Also, disable tagging to avoid foul play.
4. Content is King
Why does content matter? Content posting or blogging can be miraculous for online reputation. If you want to fill the first page of Google with your optimistic content, then start posting blogs that demonstrate your expertise. This will help you in holding SEO value based on your name as a keyword. It will also help you in drawing more audience towards your brand and ultimately leading to a positive online reputation.
How to post quality content? Your content should always revolve around your brand image and business goals. Take a significant amount of time to think before preparing your content. Your content should be positive, transparent, and plagiarism-free. If you are not good at writing blog posts, then it is recommended to take the help of online reputation management companies. They can provide you with an excellent service of content writing to positive online reputation management.
5. Acquire a Domain with Your Name
Why is it necessary? Registering your name as a domain protects you from foul play and fraudulent activities. If your name is not registered as a domain, then someone else can pretend to be you or the owner of your business in the future. Or some traitors can halt your brand image by using your unregistered name. This can spoil your efforts to maintain a positive online reputation.
Is it easy to register for a domain? Yes, it is indeed very easy to buy a domain. However, there are some points you should remember before buying it. Always stick to a .com domain with your name on it. For business purposes, buy the same .com domain but this time, use the name of your company on it. Do not buy trademarked domains and avoid having numbers on them. Try to register for as many personal and business domains with your names on them.
6. Take Control of the Comments
Why should you do that? Moderating your comments is the easiest way to strictly control the conversation. It will make sure that your blog stays a safe, civilized, and respectful place for people to ask their questions and express their opinions. This will help you in making new followers and a positive brand image. In addition to this, separate your social media account from the business account, and never comment negatively on any post, because over and over again, people search old tweets or posts to determine your reputation.
How to control comments? Screen the comments on your blog and social media posts by adjusting the settings. Moderate the comments and make sure that your response to them is always positive. Do not delete every negative comment. Instead, agree with them and promise to make improvements. Always stay dignified and try to spark a conversation to judge consumer behavior.
7. Look Out For Facts
Why do facts matter? Do not post anything without checking out for facts. Outdated or posts containing fake news can ruin your credibility and damage your online reputation. It will unintentionally mislead your followers and can be destructive for your business in the long run.
What should you do? Fact checks the sources of your information. Only use verified material. Many websites give information about misleading, inaccurate, and false information. Always be cautious while retweeting a post on twitter by checking the authenticity of the twitter account. Try to identify fake accounts and stay away from them.
8. Become a Pro and Strive for Positive Publicity
Why should you do that? Becoming an expert in your field will help you to improve your online image. Producing high-quality content will assist you to take control of the first page of your Google results. Your content will rank higher on Google and will ultimately push down your existing negative content.
How can you do that? Start attending seminars and volunteer for charity work. Establish your voice in the professional community. Seek the help of an online reputation management company. They can help you with an excellent strategy regarding charity work and supporting local organizations.
Bonus Tip 1: Never Argue Online
Never argue on a matter online. Always stay polite and professional. It’s natural for everyone to defend against negative reviews and insults, but refrain if the situation is getting worse. Ignore the trolls and never post anything negative, unless it will come back to haunt you.
Bonus Tip 2: Delete Negative and Irrelevant Media
If you have any old and negative media on the internet, simply delete them. Contact the host websites which contain your media and request them to remove it as soon as possible. Negative media may not align with your brand’s image and can potentially damage your online reputation.
Bonus Tip 3: Be Cautious Before Hitting the Like Button
On social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. do not like things that you don’t want to endorse. Never hit the like button unless you have read and understood the entire post. Remember that your likes are an indirect endorsement. Take a significant amount of time to think about what you want to support online.
Bonus Tip 4: Watch Out For Your Privacy Settings
Take precautions by keeping your privacy settings high and restricted. Disable tagging and restrict your social media posts to friends only. Set strong passwords and by no means set the same password for multiple social media profiles. Disallow public comments on your posts.
Bonus Tip 5: Do Not Blend Personal and Professional Profiles
Make separate personal and professional social media accounts. An individual professional account will help you in social recruiting and career success. It will be easier for you to manage and select the posts you want to upload online. A separate professional profile will easily give an idea about your brand to your prospective customers.
Bonus Tip 6: Surveillance Your Name
Put your name under surveillance. Set up Google alerts and get notified when something appears online about you. This can help you to monitor customer reviews and comments. Also, it will keep you updated with the latest industry news and information relevant to your business.
Bonus Tip 7: Be Transparent
Transparency is highly required in today’s modern world, where every person is just one click away from finding you. It is always advised to never hide any secrets because there is no room for tolerance in today’s digital realm. Be responsible and transparent with your actions.
Bonus Tip 8: Overwhelm Your Social Media Accounts with Positive Photos
Existing negative content can be counterbalanced by flooding your social media accounts with optimistic pictures and media. Always remember that the idea is to push down your negative content on the internet and rank positively on the first page of Google. Posting enough positive images will dilute your negative media.
As an individual, you cannot retreat from online reputation management. The growing popularity of third-party review websites and social media has led to a demand for a solid online reputation, especially for individuals. Many experts consider ORM as ‘very necessary’ for an individual’s or entrepreneur’s success.
People can nowadays tweet or post about their bad experiences regarding a product or brand, which can have a huge effect on the reputation of the owner of the brand. The eyes of your customers should always perceive a positive image of your brand or your business. A positive ORM leads to better search engine ranking, increased customer credibility, and higher revenues.
However, online reputation management isn’t a small task. It can be highly intimidating as an individual to actively monitor your name, posting positive content, and creating positive social media profiles. At the same time, you cannot step back and rest on the couch, while others overtake your business by spoiling your online reputation.
For individuals who are rookies and find it hard to maintain an online reputation, it is strongly advisable for them to hire an ORM company. These ORM companies are highly professional with them and can find solutions to your problems in split seconds.