One thing that social media allows you to do is see how others perceive you, therefore you can understand what image you project to the world. On twitter people who do not know you may decide to follow you based on the words in your status or your message. What does this mean? Although comments you make may appeal to your current circle, you have to question if the comments you make keep people you want following you from doing so.
As it pertains to Facebook, it seems that people are more likely to friend you because of who you know and your relevance to their interest. In todays global society, barriers are few. Even people whom you think are close to you and therefore allow them to see your page or your tweets, are potential business partners, customers, and referral sources. It is up to you to manage your reputation.
I say all of this to point out that it’s not so much about what you ARE saying but what you ARE NOT….
Do you feel that your social media reputation represents ALL of who you are. Some people may feel that by protecting their tweets or blocking people from their page they are managing their image. I think that by hiding your image, you not only miss possible connections and a chance to show another side of yourself, but you make people wonder exactly what you have to hide.
Suggestions to start managing how you are perceived:
1. Gain self-control. Although you may be tempted to tell the world everything going on in your life, stick to more general feelings than specifics.
2. Alternate account. Create a second account that allows you to have more freedom or that aligns with your varying interest. There are pros and cons to this but if you prefer not to follow suggestion 1 this might be your best bet.
3. Be positive. Your message to the world should not be one of negativity. Even your closest friends can get sick of that especially because social media is not the proper place for friends to respond and encourage. Constant negativity and incomplete stories will lead people to make assumptions about you and your life- no good.
4. Be intentional. Think about your age and your fields of interest. Around the age of 17 you become wholly accountable for what you do and say on social media. Unless you are in the entertainment industry AND known, people are making decisions about your potential when they see your online profile. For example, if you want to work with children you have to always show that you practice suggestion number 1.
5. Diversity. You can be naughty AND nice on social media. I think as a rule of thumb, nice should prevail (85-90 %), but it is okay to show that you have personality, a sense of humor, and emotions.
6. Embrace it. Accept that social media is an asset that you should want to use for your professional benefits. Consulting, entrepreneurship, and networking are the new way of the world. Most companies WANT to see you with an active social media profile- credibility.
Social media is and should be your friend. If you are hesitating on the post or tweet, maybe you should text a friend instead….
What are some suggestions or comments you have about managing your online reputation?
Below is a link to SMR, a popularity index to rank brands’ popularity in social spaces. It’s also a monitoring and insight service provided by Yomego to help brands track opinion, highlight influencers and identify threats. The Yomego team works with clients to analyse and validate the raw data and suggest a prioritised list of recommendations to help the client to achieve its objectives.