I learned from my father that a man (woman too) have only two things that matter: their name and word! If you lose any one of those two you have nothing! And while character is what you’re in charge of; reputation is what everyone else creates and your reputation is everything. So, how are you managing it online?
Did you know that According to a Gizmodo article titled I Flunked My Social Media Background Check! Will You?, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) gave a company called Social Intelligence the green light to conduct online background checks? What does this mean to you? It means that you need to be attuned to what is being said about you online!
There are two scenarios: the dumb teenager who thought “online” meant “anonymous;” hence he or she could post his or her alter ego and no one will be the wiser—yeah. Then there’s the person who never did that, but made some enemies who knew how to get cyber-even. So they decided that they would post some malicious stuff about you. Either way, you don’t get the job or you lose potential clients. What do you do?
Well, one thing you DON’T do is hire one of these “online reputation companies.” Why not, you ask? Great question! Let me count the ways.
1) Online reputation companies are no more than pseudo social-media-marketing companies that understood positioning is everything, so they positioned themselves as “reputation defenders.” While there is limited benefit to their service, they do not deliver the full benefit of social media marketing.
You see, they understand that the more stuff about you that’s submitted online, the more the old stuff (whether positive or negative) will be pushed down. Since the average person doesn’t go past page 2 on a search, and the aggressive surfer may go to page 5, if they can get anything in existence pushed past page 5, you’re in the clear. Well this is only good for search engines. Social media networks are a totally different ball of wax; but that’s a topic for another article.
2) By pushing press releases (which garner little to no value) in droves, they will eventually push down any negatives. While removing some negatives is good (and by removing, I don’t mean they erase it; they just make it harder to find) you received nothing that will allow your company to generate business. What about a positive return for you?
When you consider that these companies charge about $1,000 for their service, for doing what you could have done yourself with a social media marketing campaign, and you get none of the interaction, following, traffic driven to your website for services, capturing of the reader to build an in-house marketing database for future sales—why would you waste your money?
Understand that a well-planned social media marketing campaign will push down any negatives, but it will do so while building your brand, driving traffic to your website, creating awareness, trust and credibility, and most important, it allows you to build a following which you will interact with that is marketing gold!
Moreover, it will alert you to anything being said about you or your brand, so you are able to respond. This is crucial in today’s 24-hour news cycle. If you’re a business, you no longer have the luxury of the news being broadcast only at 6:00 PM (I’m showing my age); hence giving you time to formulate a response to a possible negative. With Twitter breaking news before the traditional media does (again, social media), online news websites and cable news; you’re lucky if you get one hour to salvage any damage!
So protect and manage your online reputation, while creating a marketing infrastructure that will reap rewards now and in the future. Social media marketing is here to stay and you can’t ignore it. To do so would be to put your business at a disadvantage. I’ll see you on Facebook!