5 ways to protect your reputation on Social Media

Here are five ways to protect your reputation On social media brought to you by your favorite crisis management consultant. Me. These are the five areas where I notice people get in trouble. 

  1. Know your exposure online. Know where are all the places that people can bring you down or where a reputational crisis can happen. Create an exposure map. Know all the areas where you are online, your profile photo, and what your name looks like when it appears online. You might find that someone can find your state or your location, your relationship status, your kids, your family, your employer, your likes, your dislikes, what you follow, and who you follow. Just see how much of your personal information is online and lock it down.
  2. Search yourself. Set up a google alert in your name, every iteration of your name. You can also go to sites like DuckDuckGo.com or Google incognito to find out what it looks like when others search your name. If you only go to your regular google page, google knows it’s you, and it’s only going to show you the things that google wants you to see.
  3. Watch what you say online, not just in your post with your name attached to it, but in your replies, your retweets, your likes, and dislikes. Any form of commentary that can get back to your name can create a risk for you and your reputation. You may think you’re hiding behind a pseudonym on Reddit, but people can figure out who you are pretty quickly, especially young people. 
  4. Understand how social media works. Understand if you post something, where does it go? Is it private? Is it public? If there’s a globe next to your post on Facebook, that means it’s a public post. Understand the back-end of how all these accounts work and where there might be some leaks in your reputation. 
  5. Don’t make any enemies online. Everybody knows that people love to bring people down online. And the best type of people to bring down online are the ones who deserve it. So if you’re going to be an asshole online, know that you are drawing people right in to bring you down. Neutrality is good. Use it for information, use it to glean information, and to share information to spread love and goodwill throughout the world. But if you want to blow something up, know that someone can blow you up at any moment; good luck, everyone.

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