How many times have you done something in life that you regret doing? Probably more often then you think. Whether it was saying something you shouldn’t have, embarrassing yourself in public or even committing a felony, we all have things that we are ashamed of but most of them are only known to ourselves or just a few people around us.
However, the internet has changed everything…
In today’s world of everyone have a mobile device with a camera and social media instantly sharing content with millions of people around the world, no brand or individual is safe. What you may have been able to sneak away with in the past, is simply a reputation and PR disaster waiting to happen.
So now let’s pose a question… what if everything you’ve done in the past was recorded or documented on the internet for everyone to see? What would you do?
Unlike Las Vegas, where what happens there stays there, when something is posted to the internet it’s usually available for everyone to see. Not only is it available for everyone to see, it can also quickly be replicated and spread through social media to millions of people in just a few minutes time. For this reason and many more, reputation management is now a huge priority for individuals, brands, businesses and well-known individuals.
To back up these statements, let’s take a look at how individuals and organizations of all sizes are preparing for how to deal with what appears online and how it may affect their customer buying decisions, branding and reputation online. (source: Digital Fly Marketing)
The key takeaway here is that what people find when they are searching for information online greatly influences their buying decisions, first impressions of someone and how they quickly build an assumption for a brand or individual.
Without a reputation management plan in place you are essentially giving the internet free reign to provide everyone with a first impression of yourself or your business no matter how authentic or false it might be. In short, you have no control.
Yes, what happens on the internet stays on the internet, but that doesn’t mean your reputation online has to stay the way it currently is. With a solid reputation management plan in place there is a way to control what appears at the top of the search results and what is found when someone searches for your name/brand online.
To get started with protecting your personal name and brand online, focus on your exact personal name or brand first, then work backwards to cover all relevant terms and phrases. Treat your main website as your hub and link all social profiles back to your site. This is one of the most effective ways to quickly start pushing your content higher in the search results and securing your place in the #1 location.
To learn more about this method, be sure to read our article on how to build a protective wall around your brand.