Online reputation management is a bigger and more important topic than ever. These days, colleagues and customers don’t just visit your company’s website; they’ll search through Google for information about businesses and individuals, and then do the same on their favorite social networks.

What they find could easily derail a new account, project, or business relationship. With that in mind, here are three tips for cleaning up your act online:

  1. Keep personal photos and contacts away from your business accounts. If at all possible, you should keep separate personal and professional social accounts, especially on Facebook and Twitter. That allows you to keep personal photos, communications with friends, and similar material away from customers and colleagues. Why do they need to know if you had a great night on the town or support a cause they don’t, or who your friends and family are?
  1. Keep the right company (for your company). In some cases, you might have social contacts that “overlap” between your personal and professional profiles. Make sure that these people aren’t posting things, or tagging you, in a way that is likely to damage your reputation. If you fear they might, move them to your personal profiles or unfriend them altogether. You can still get together offline, but the online risks might be too great.
  1. Manage your privacy and security settings. It’s not unusual for me to hear someone complain about all the personal information that’s available about individuals over the Internet these days, and then admit they’ve done absolutely nothing to change their social privacy and security settings. At the very least, you should ensure that people can’t see your personal info, photos, etc., without being verified in your network.

It goes without saying that you need to be careful about what you post to social accounts that could be seen by business contacts and associates. Remember, however, that you also have to be mindful of the company you keep and the access you grant. Otherwise, your entire personal life could be public, and that could damage your business or career for reasons that have little or nothing to do with you.

Want to learn more about online reputation management? Call or email Tammy Finch today to find out about speaking and consulting services.

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