5 Tips to Manage Your Online Reputation

Here’s a great “geek joke”: Where do you hide a dead body? Answer: On the third page of Google results.

I always tell young employees to be careful with what they post on social media because it may come back to bite them in the ass. Whether it’s partying at a frat house with a beer bottle in hand or romping topless at a summer share, posting these shots on your social media can lead to job declines or worse. The best protection is to not post them. Next best is to become proficient at creating your own content and optimized profiles to help push offending content down to that proverbial third page in Google search. Here are helpful PR tips to manage your online reputation:

  1. Search yourself. Do a Google search on yourself, including Google Images. Heaven forbid you see that photo of you holding that beer bottle, salve or worse. If you do, then you know you have your work cut out for you.
  2. Keep private things private. Put privacy settings on all the content you only want to share with a select group of friends and family. Remember that social networks are always changing their privacy settings and people can easily embarrassing photo without your consent.
  3. Buy your domain name. Yup, for a few bucks you too can have your own website. You don’t have to be a famous author like in order to get your own personal domain name. This is the place to start building your personal reputation; place your bio, photos, blog posts, articles from sources you respect.
  4. Join social networks. Here’s where you get the opportunity to tout yourself and your accomplishments. Post your personal information on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Google+. If you’ve got some good graphic illustrations, try posting on YouTube, Tumblr and Pinterest. Then, if you want to be more active, try joining groups on sites like LinkedIn and post new content.
  5. Optimize your social presence. Fill out your information as completely as possibly including your URL and all social network links. Most websites give you the option of linking to other social media sites. This will help make your online presence stronger.