"It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it’, this quote by Benjamin Franklin aptly defines the irony of reputation, especially in the age of social media networking. Be it the reputation of a social group, organization, a sect, person, or a business, it just takes a few minutes or shall I say a few posts, tweets and comments to malign a long held repute over web. In this day and age, social media plays the central role in offering perspectives and generalizing thoughts, which in reality are nothing but mere reactions given in the heat of moment.
Saving your personal reputation can sweat your blood if you are not a celebrity, sport person, politician or a sect leader. They have a lineup of PRs, fans, and certain advantages that entrepreneurs don’t have. For them, even the negative publicity may work sometime but that’s unimaginable in case of an entrepreneur or senior level executive associated with a brand. Your personal reputation has direct impact on the product/service, you are associated with and vice versa.
To remain safe from the negative reviews of Glassdoor, Yelp, and social media trolls, corporate people must follow a stringent practice to manage their personal online reputation. Following is the list of MUST-Dos, meant for entrepreneurs and managers at higher levels to keep a good reputation in business world:
1. Use Social Media Monitoring Tools
Make use of monitoring tools to keep an eye on all ongoing activities related to your name on social media sites. The business tycoons, technology bloggers, business speakers who remain active on Twitter, Facebook and other channels day and night must beware of all of their references that occur online. Since manual monitoring isn’t possible, tools like Rankur, Trackur, SocialMention and Google Alerts can be greatly helpful.
2. Keep The Complete Control In Your Hands
It’s a common practice among senior level executives like CEO, CFO and COO to share credentials of their personal profile with personal assistant or a hired social media manager to keep the accounts active in their absence. You must take control of each activity on your personal profiles as things posted on social media spread like fire and anything said, promoted or reacted by your profile can be risky for your personal reputation as well as of brand associated with you.
3. Weigh Your Words Before Posting a New Update
Things once said cannot be retracted on social media networks. Being in a position where your remarks matter to thousands of people including your own subordinates, competing brands and clients, you cannot ignore the words you pick to post a new update. Refrain from posting negative things about people, products, brands directly or indirectly connected with you. Also double check your replies to others’ comments/updates to avoid instances of personal attacks, especially in the case of interacting with strangers (newly added connections).
4. Cherry-pick Your Social Media Platform
For business people, the best thing is to choose communities, forums and social networking websites that have users of similar position and industry. You can be more carefree on business focused platforms like LinkedIn, Xing while following people and sharing updates. Moreover, joining your interest/occupation focused platform gives you a well-defined area to talk about i.e. business. If you are not comfortable using Twitter, Facebook and similar platforms, due to the volatile nature of their posts, stick to professional networking websites
If you ever want to be a part of a network or site that pose a risk to your business reputation, use a pseudonym as users do on Reddit or Twitter to keep anonymity. The Ashley Madison Data Hack is a clear example why a sagacious selection is important to deal with the vulnerability of social media channels.
5. Analyze & Update Your Social Profile From Time to Time
Keep tabs on few facts like who follows you, who visits your profiles and replies the most. Also, make it reasonable while following, liking, or connecting with a new user. Set criteria to add people to your profile and keep updating your profile from time to time. Remove old facts of your work experience and other details that can be misleading and add the latest facts. It makes your profile look more credible and likeable.
Usually, business heads and senior representatives shy away from social networks to keep a distance from trolls and cacophony of interactions. Ignoring the value of your personal profiles to not face the wrath of social media channels is not a good decision in this day and age. Just go and play safe instead of cutting down on the possibilities of reaching new business associates, clients and followers.