Your online brand reputation is made up of what people can find about you when they tap your name into a search. In today’s interconnected world your online brand is just as important as your offline brand. Your online brand must correlate with the brand you project in person.
Do you know that:
• 48% of recruiters and HR professionals refer to personal websites when deciding whether to
• 63% of recruiters check social media sites to find out more about potential employees
• 8% of companies have fired someone for abusing social media
Here are 5 tips to help you manage your online brand:
1. Search for yourself
When was the last time you Googled yourself? Google your name frequently to make sure you know what is being said about you. Try these free services that can notify you when your name appears online-Google Alerts (Google.com/alerts) and for Twitter, Topsy.com.
Do you know people now do business through “word of MOUSE?” Search Google images to make sure there are no inappropriate photos of you…e.g. posing in provocative gestures, guzzling down beer at a beer contest, etc…If you do find anything offensive –remove the photos or ask friends to do so if they have posted it.
2. Make your profiles work for you, not against you
Make sure your brand is consistent across all your social media accounts. Include a professional looking photograph and well-written biography. On Facebook go to your Account Settings to manage how you want to be tagged in a post.
3. Think before you post
Familiarise yourself with your company’s social media policy and guidelines. Gossiping about your colleagues or your company on social media is an absolute no-no and could result in you losing your job. If you have a complaint about someone keep it offline and speak to HR. You represent your company’s brand at all times whether you are at work or not, so be aware of your actions in the online space.
4. Give yourself the newspaper test
Don’t email, text, post a Tweet, or comment on an online post if you have any doubts that what you say will be taken out of context. Before you post or hit the send button, think about your post being on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper. How would you feel – embarrassed? If the answer is yes, don’t post it.
5. Make sure your accounts are secure
Make sure your accounts are secure and change your passwords regularly. Set your Facebook and Twitter accounts to private if you don’t want everyone to see your accounts.
“Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto.” – Tim Ferriss, Author of the 4-Hour Work Week
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