We all know it takes a long time to build a good reputation when one wrongdoing can ruin everything. Your reputation is your goodwill – an asset that is also calculated when you estimate your worth or that of your business. A good reputation increases the chances of your business growing by sending more customers and banks to you. For individuals too, a good reputation indicates the possibility of better career growth, etc. Although there are companies offering online reputation management with their own tools, we will focus on individuals and small businesses in this post as they do not have large budgets.

What is Online Reputation?

Most internet users don’t think in terms of reputation and therefore don’t think they have built an online reputation by posting on different websites – comments or articles, forums, social media, etc. Say you don’t do anything on the internet other than use Facebook and Twitter, you still have a reputation online and people who want to know more about you will seek out what you’ve posted – even if it’s less and will derive their own opinion from the material posted. This derivative is your online reputation.

In other words, everything you do on the Internet creates a database that different people use to determine your interests, your thoughts on one or more topics, and your opinions. In addition, the online information you post is used to understand your mentality, your confidence and to read your character. The following infographic from Microsoft shows how your messages on the Internet can affect your life. Click on the image to enlarge.

online reputation management

Your online reputation doesn’t just depend on what you post, but also what others post about you. If you are a service provider, people who use your service will leave reviews about your service somewhere on the internet. By using appropriate keywords, it is possible to read and find out what others (your friends, customers, etc.) think of you.

Thus, the online reputation of an individual or a company is determined by what they post about themselves and their products, how they treat/behave with others on the Internet, and what others think of them. individual or company!

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How to Check Your Online Reputation

Now that you know that everyone who uses the internet has some sort of online reputation, you might want to know where you stand. There are different tools – paid and free – to help you assess your reputation. Basically, all of them will check and extract almost any information they can gather about you and present it to you so you can see if your reputation is good or bad.

How do you know if your e-reputation is good or bad? If people are saying good things about you, your online reputation is good and you need to not only maintain it, but also improve it for your career growth. And when we say “people”, that also includes your own person. What you post about yourself in the “About” and “BIO” sections of the various social networks and forums, etc. is a reflection of how you feel about yourself.

Before we talk about how to check your own online reputation, here’s a good video from Microsoft that explains why you need a good online reputation.

We’ll talk about how to know your online reputation in the next section which offers tips on how to better manage your online reputation, as this is the most basic step in reputation maintenance.

Online Reputation Management Tips

Keep a tab on information about you – Find out your reputation

You can be an individual or a small business. The best way to find out what’s being said about you and if you’ve posted anything bad or bad about you is to create Google Alerts with all possible variations of your name, company, email address. email and other data.

For example, I set Google alerts with many keywords: “Arun Kumar”, “PowercutIN”, “Arun Kumar PowercutIN”, “Powercut Media”, “Arun Kumar Powercut Media” and some others related to my different IDs email, address and telephone numbers. This way I know if something related to these keywords has been posted on the internet by others. Although the results also show you things you’ve posted yourself, you know you won’t post anything bad about yourself.

Microsoft commissioned research in Canada, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the United States and found that while 91% of people have done something to manage their online profile at some point, only 44% of adults actively think about the long-term consequences. of their online activities. You can download the executive summary (PDF).

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What do you say about yourself in the About sections

All social media sites and forums have an “about” section on their sites. Blank or insufficient information will make people think you don’t have much to say. Too much will lead people to think you’re bragging.

At this point, you also need to consider whether you are creating an account for yourself, your business, and/or both. Either way, choose words carefully and place them in a way that conveys a more positive view of your personality than a negative one. This doesn’t essentially mean that you have to hide your negatives, but your positives can always overshadow the negatives – if you need to mention any!

Deleting unwanted data from the Internet

The first time you implement tip “A” above, you’ll have to wade through pages of information if you’ve been on the Internet for a long time. Mark the pages that show you in the wrong light. It could be other people posting bad things about you – your personality or your services – or yourself posting things that show you in a bad light.

Similarly, Google Alerts will keep you informed of any material relating to you published on the Internet. Again, mark the pages that tend to lower your e-reputation. If they are ABOUT and BIO written by you, change them right away. If it is material uploaded by others, you can ask them to delete the data. If they don’t, you can contact Google and other search engines to have the content removed. All you have to do is file a complaint with Google and tell them which material at which URL projects or discloses your personal information that you do not wish to be made public.

However, for negative reviews of your services and products, you cannot ask webmasters and Google, etc. to delete them – unless they are wrong. In such cases, the best method is to ask the webmaster to add a line or two to the message saying that you are working on the weak points and will fix them soon.

Among other reputation management tips, stay away from the internet when you’re emotionally unstable. This is because you may post something that people may not like. And before we come to our senses and delete this post, many may have already read and shared it.

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