Your life is now more public than ever. Thanks to the Internet anyone can explore your past and present before they meet you. That’s why it’s crucial you maintain a respectable online reputation. Whether your friend embarrassed you with an inappropriate photo on Facebook, or you’ve irresponsibly posted an offensive tweet, your social media presence can negatively affect how you’re perceived. Here are the most important reasons why you should concern yourself with your online reputation.
1. College Admissions
College recruiters and admissions staff look beyond GPAs, essays, and test scores. They’ll dig up dirt on prospective students when making their decisions. If they’re on the fence and see a photo of underage drinking on Facebook, they’ll quickly mark that application as “declined.” A “private” profile isn’t a 100 percent safeguard either.
If you’re a teenager’s parent, consider discussing how important an online reputation is. Have your child go through their profiles and remove anything they wouldn’t want you to see. Then, sit down with them and make sure there’s nothing else a college recruiter might frown upon.
2. Relationships with Friends and Family
It’s not just teenagers who start drama online. Adults sometimes behave inappropriately, too. People tend to get carried away when they have the freedom to informally speak their minds on the Internet. Feelings get hurt and it damages your relationships. Social media users often forget to consider all the friends and family members who have access to their profile. As a result, they might post photos or statements that seriously change how these people perceive them.
3. Prospective Careers
Much like college admissions, employers always check out a candidate on the Internet. Using specialized software, huge corporations can easily find anything you’ve ever posted online. It’s really quite scary how much of your life is out there for anyone to see.
You’d hate being denied an amazing opportunity because of one tasteless photo your friend posted of you seven years ago. When looking for jobs, it’s imperative you take the necessary steps to make your online presence presentable. Start by reading through helpful presentations by Michael Fertik and then consider using some online reputation management tools.
4. Financial Success
In today’s age, consumers rely on the Internet for information on products and services. The phrase “try before you buy” now starts with consumers researching businesses through their websites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and more. You may turn away a potential customer with just one undesirable statement. Think about your target audience and consider their perspective before you post anything online.
With serious competition for almost all goods and services, it’s all in how you represent yourself. You’ll come out ahead if you’re fair, politically correct, and respectful to both your clients and your competitors. Hiring a public or social media relations agent will help you in securing a credible online presence.
When successfully managed, your online reputation is extremely valuable. Begin looking through your profiles today and evaluate how you’re perceived. You might be surprised with how many pictures and statuses you delete.
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