St. Louis TV channel Fox2 recently a news report on online reputation management for small business owners and individuals who are concerned about their digital fingerprint. According to the report, social networks have completely changed the way we relate with one another. Unfortunately, search engines make no warranty about the truthfulness of what is posted or published online. As one expert, Brand.com executive Michael Zammuto, puts it, Google and other search engines are just “conduits” for locating information.
One hotel manager interviewed said that the problem is that people are more likely to believe negative comments online rather than a business’s own press, so it’s extremely important to act when negative comments appear online in order to minimize the damage. However, Zammuto argued that this is of limited help since once something is online, it’s there for good. A better approach is to be proactive and produce your own positive content to control your online image.
Although there are companies that can produce online content for this purpose, the report suggests that anyone can take steps in this direction by sorting through their social media profiles and eliminating anything embarrassing or problematic. Zammuto argues that by getting your social media in check while you’re still in control of the situation, you’ll save money and time since you’re effectively preventing future reputation issues.
The major takeaway from this broadcast is to get ahead of the problem by carefully monitoring what is in your social media profiles and taking action before a problem comes up. People who are in the midst of a job search or applying to a degree program should also consider creating content in order to boost their online reputation.