Eight reasons your online reputation matters

Social media columnist

Social media columnist

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Your online reputation is the same thing as your offline reputation but, thankfully, you can discover what your online reputation is and work toward making it better. In contrast, it can be a lot more difficult to discover what your offline reputation is.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have these days – it can be online or offline, large or small – there will still be information about you online. Therefore, you should be aware you’re your online reputation is and manage it. Here are eight reasons why.

Most people will ‘Google you’ before buying

You know you do it so, of course, most others do it too. If you want information on a business or product, you search on Google to see if you can find it. You don’t care if it’s a local business or not – you go to Google, type in the name, and then you read the reviews and other information about that business. When you do Google an individual the first listings you usually find about them are their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

People buy from those they trust

Finding good information during the search process helps build a feeling of trust with your potential customer. If, instead, they find bad information, poor ratings, or other things about you or your business that is negative, they may choose a competitor.

Reputation builds brand awareness

By building an online reputation through the use of social media, websites, blogs, YouTube videos and more, you will build brand awareness. If you do it right, it will build positive brand awareness about yourself and your business. But, if you do it wrong you might inadvertently make yourself look bad. Focus on always being positive and not negative unless, of course, that is your personal brand.

Good reputation gives a competitive advantage

The aim is to build such a good reputation that when someone searches for your name, a search term, or your product or industry, you appear in the searches in a healthy way without controversy. In this way, you’ll have an advantage over your competitors who either don’t exist online or have a bad reputation.

Nothing is a secret anymore

One thing you have to accept about our new technological world is that nothing is secret any more. You cannot be anonymous online if you expect to make an impact with your business. Instead you need to be yourself, taking control of your reputation by making an appearance on discussion boards, blogs, podcasts or YouTube video. Even if you have one negative event, you can ensure that the positive outweighs the negative if you make the right effort.

Customers care about your values

In the old days, everyone cared more about the bottom line than their reputations as employers or corporations. Today, people want to know about the individuals they will deal with. If you support charities or local causes, you should talk about it as the publicity will benefit both the cause and yourself. Many consumers want to buy from people who care about the local area, the environment or causes they are interested in.

Competitors may try to trash You

By keeping an eye on and working to improve your online reputation, when and if a competitor tries to trash you, you’ll be ready. These days it is very easy for someone to quickly put a negative comment online rather than deal directly with you on whatever the issue might be. Unscrupulous competitors might even hire people to do poor product reviews, or do one themselves, and call you out on things that aren’t true just to make you look bad. How you respond makes all the difference and you should respond.

Every action you take for better or worse affects your reputation

One thing you have to accept about running a business now is that everything you has the potential to be analysed and scrutinised by everyone. It’s imperative that before you post anything you consider how it will impact your future. Before you spout off to a rude customer on social media, consider how you can turn it around in a way that is positive because, even if you’re ultimately right, how you respond matters.

Building and maintaining your online reputation is an important way to build your brand, improve your business, and make a difference. So, go on and Google yourself now and see what you can find – you might be surprised.

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Facebook Adds National Flags to Profile Frames: TechCrunch reports that “Facebook has added nearly 200 flags to its Profile Frames feature, which lets you overlay imagery filters atop your profile photo.” With this update, Facebook users now have a subtle and simple way to show support or demonstrate pride for an individual country.

Facebook Announces Autoplay Sound, Picture-in-picture View, and Other Updates to Video: Facebook rolled out four major updates “that make watching video on Facebook richer, more engaging and more flexible.”

Facebook Rolls Out New Job Posting and Application Features for Desktop and Mobile: Facebook announced that page admins can now “create a job post, track applications and communicate directly with applicants” on their business pages or through a new Jobs on Facebook section on the site. As with other Facebook posts, admins also have the option to “boost job posts to reach a larger or more relevant audience.”

Twitter Releases Periscope Producer to All Users: After four months of testing, Twitter announced that its Periscope Producer service is now available to all users across mobile and the web. This tool allows “broadcasters to incorporate high-quality live video from sources other than their mobile device… into the normal Periscope live video experience.”

Twitter Features Periscope Video in Top Trends Section of Explore: Twitter announced that users will “now see Periscopes surfaced in top trends” section of the Explore tab.

Twitter Removes Blocked or Muted Accounts From Notifications: Twitter announced that users will no longer see any replies or conversations started from accounts they’ve blocked or muted in their notifications.

LLinkedIn Adds New Features to Premium Memberships: Two LinkedIn consumer subscription options, Premium Career and Premium Business, now offer “a multitude of exclusive data insights, as well as unlimited access to newly launched LinkedIn products like LinkedIn Learning and LinkedIn Salary.”

LinkedIn Rolls Out Three New Products for Job Searches and Hiring: LinkedIn released three new product updates that allow hiring managers and recruiters to “focus on the right candidates and improve [their] response rates by 2-4x” on LinkedIn job listings.

Instagram Rolls Out Ability to Add Multiple Photos and Videos to One Post: Instagram announced that users can now “combine up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to see them all.” A new icon on the Instagram app allows users to select multiple photos and videos, which can then be reorganized, edited, or layered with a filter one by one or all at once.

Pinterest Expands Promoted Pins to More Markets: Pinterest announced its “continued international expansion of Promoted Pins into three new countries: Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.”

WhatsApp Updates Status Feature: Facebook-owned WhatsApp rolled out a “new and improved Status feature” that allows users “to share photos and videos with your friends and contacts on WhatsApp in an easy and secure way.” Like with any other WhatsApp messages, the status updates are “end-to-end encrypted.”

YouTube Now Boasts One Billion Automatically Captioned Videos: YouTube announced that “the number of [YouTube] videos with automatic captions now exceeds a staggering 1 billion.”