I winced permanently when I heard it has become standard practice for a potential employer to look you up on FACEBOOK during the interview process. Are you kidding me?? That means that an employer would find out I was blacklisted 15 years ago from the Church of Scientology when I took a tour of their facility and asked for my money back.
According to Starmark, a PR firm based in Fort Lauderdale, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of this social media audit.
A recent Pew Research Center Study reported 44% of online users search for professional information about others online. While what you don’t want may be obvious (misinformation or compromising photos), what you DO want requires some planning and work. Doing a Google “Audit” is also a good way to test the privacy settings on your social and sharing networks.
The first step is conducting the search. Type in your name in quotes and include the city you’re from. For example: “Your Name Hood River” Oregon.
For some, having search results reveal dozens of strangers with the same name but none on themselves may be a good thing. For others whose business/reputation would benefit from an online presence, a strategy is needed. Make a website, post blogs, issue press releases, comment on online forums – those are just a few ways to get your name out there and coming up in Google searches. But again, we suggest a strategy so that the image of yourself that you are building is cohesive and communicates what you intend.
Now for those whose online audit digs up negative content, there are ways to push the information further down in the results. Of course, an option is to ask the person who made the post or tagged you in the photo to remove it. You may also untag yourself. Change privacy settings if the damage is coming from your own Facebook page or Flicker account, for example. As stated above, another way is to setup new aggregated content to push negative content down.
Keep in mind, the search is the easy part. Developing and managing content to achieve a set goal is the challenge. Evaluating, creating and managing online reputations require thought, time, and sometimes it’s easiest to ask for help.
Learn more in this article from Mashable: Protecting Your Online Reputation.
Did you find this article useful? What other tips do you know of to improve your Google results? Comment below.