Whether you are trying to promote yourself online or simply defend your online reputation, the quickest and cheapest way to get started is through social media. Applications such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ are great outlets for individuals to share their personas with the world in an interactive fashion.
The way you present yourself on social media will surely have an effect on your online image, which will ultimately impact the first impression a global audience has of you.
Define Yourself Online
When you meet a total stranger, whether it be for a job interview, a blind date or other acquaintance, what do you tell them about yourself? Do you talk about your profession, or are you more passionate about the things you do outside of the office? How personal and detailed are you in describing your interests? Do you talk about your family, or even carry photos of your loved ones to show others?
Well, the interactions you have with strangers on the Internet carry similar circumstances and results as the ones you have in the real world. In essence, you present yourself and share memories with other people on a whim and hope to get a “like”, a response or even a swipe right.
Social Media: Defending Your Reputation
The rallying call that brings social media to your reputation’s defense is search engine optimization (SEO). Even for novice Internet users, the basic concept behind SEO is easy to understand: master the rankings of keyword searches in Google and other major search engines.
For example, if your name is Sarah Jackson, then when someone types “Sarah Jackson” into a Google search bar, you want to control the results that show up at the top of the page. You want to push any negative content to at least the second page of Google, which hardly ever gets any attention. Meanwhile, you want to promote the positive content that makes Sarah Jackson look her best at the top of her Google results.
The convenient part about social media is its natural SEO-boosting power. But don’t just take your humble author’s word for this, after all, he is far from alone. As one fellow blogger notes:
“While social shares may or may not affect a webpage’s position in search listings, your social profiles definitely influence the content of your search results. In fact, social media profiles are often amongst the top results in search listings.”
“Links on social media are often considered higher-quality links, because social sites have a high web authority from the get-go. Even if your Facebook page is new, it’s likely to rank highly (and maybe even surpass your website) thanks to Facebook’s overall high authority.
Case Study: How Twitter Rules SEO
For a more specific example of social media influencing SEO, Hootsuite, a successful social media management outfit, published a blog to weigh in on the topic of Twitter’s impact on Google results:
“With the help of Twitter, content that has generated a lot of traction on Twitter can cut the time it takes Google to find your content. Factors such as how many retweets, how many people tweeted the content, and the time frame of when the content was shared are all taken into consideration when indexing the content. Content indexation is important for SEO because the faster you can get your content indexed, the faster you’ll get rewarded through organic traffic to your site.”
So you want to promote and protect your online image? Start with an active Twitter, Facebook and Google+ presence, and then make your way over to other major social media platforms.
There is a Time to Defend, And A Time to Define, Your Reputation Online
But in some situations, doing both of these can become a full-time job. Information spreads quickly these days; and if you don’t have the spare time to promote and protect your online reputation, then it is time to invest in Online Reputation Management services from InternetReputation.com.