Let me state the obvious. Your social media reputation is IMPORTANT . Now, what are you doing to manage it. Before you decide what steps you can do to manage it you need to determine what persona do you want the world to know.
Do you want to be viewed as a professional, or a socialite, politically savvy, an expert, a free spirit, a goof-ball, a party animal, etc.? What image are you giving off on your social media profiles.
Regardless of how you want to express yourself you need to keep in mind that your online history is like a tattoo. It’s permanent baby! And if you want to later in life remove the “what was I thinking” image off your body, know that it is very painful, time consuming and possibly expensive and there will always be a hint/scar left. Check out Juan Enriquez’s TED talk on “Your online life, permanent as a tattoo.”
One thing that most people say several times throughout their life is “If I only a knew” or “If I could go back in time”. Don’t be that person saying “If online I knew that this would come back to haunt me” (I am talking about you Alicia Lynch who posted a picture of herself as a Boston Marathon Bombing victim shortly after the actual bombing). Don’t be that person who gets fired from work for what they post on their social media profile. Read a few recent instances of people getting fired because of facebook.
Convinced yet? Great. So how do you manage your social media reputation? Its really simple ladies and gentlemen. Consider looking it your online presence this week and evaluate the following:
- Would I want my parents, siblings, or child to see this photo/post?
- Would I want my boss, potential employers, coworkers, subordinates or client to see this photo/post?
- Am I allowing or writing posts that may be offensive to other people or reflect badly on my character (guilty by association)?
- Are my Facebook friends using discretion when posting pictures of me?
Along with your evaluation Google, Bing and Firefox yourself. Go past the first few pages of search results and check all videos, images and web content. If you end up finding something your don’t like reach out to a social media reputation management agency for getting it off if you can’t do so yourself.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not telling you to suppress who you are and your freedom of expression. I am simply telling you to use digression when posting because it may bite you in the ass one day. I am all for freedom of expression so, if you want to post personally content that you don’t want certain people to see then take a few minutes to go to your security settings and change your privacy settings to a stricter setting (its very simple). Be more selective of who you accept into your networks (separating family, friends and coworkers). Don’t be so content of growing your following numbers unless you are prepared to let everyone know your business. Remember six degrees of separation. You are closer to people than you think.
Your social presence and online reputation is a reflection of you for the rest of your life. Don’t mess it up with one post.