Social media

How Social Media Can Help or Hurt Your Reputation

social-media-channelsWhether you’re promoting your brand or yourself, the way you behave on social media will affect you. The results are positive or negative, depending on the way you act and the choices you make. Even if you make a mistake in your business or day-to-day life, a solid online reputation might save you from taking it on the chin.

The Way You Interact with Others

Your interaction with others will either make or break your online reputation. Interacting with other people is essential, especially when you’re building your social networks. Interaction is helpful when you reply to the people who follow you; acknowledging positive messages, sharing their posts and questions, and replying even to those who vent about negative experiences. Doing this proves that you care about your fans and customers, even when they’re having problems.

Still, interaction is a double-edged sword, and it can cut you at a moment’s notice. For example, some people are just angry. There are Internet trolls and troublemakers who complain about anything if given the chance. You should ignore these people, or flat-out block them. Experts at agree that engaging in petty back and forth fights with these people will damage your credibility. Anyone viewing these arguments will see you stooping down to your antagonist’s level. You’ll look immature and irresponsible.

The Content You Choose to Share

The things you choose to share will affect your reputation as well. Helpful, positive information is relevant to your brand, business, or online persona. While it is sometimes provocative, it is not hurtful or disrespectful in any way. Whether you share posts, pictures, videos, or articles, it should advance the knowledge of your followers and ideally promote your brand in a positive light, even if the information comes from someone else. Remember to share items from fans and followers as well.

Incendiary information is largely harmful. Tweaking the emotions of your followers in one thing; deliberately setting out to create conflict is quite another. Try to stay away from hot button topics such as politics and religion, unless that is the specific purpose of your page or brand. Otherwise, you run the risk of alienating the people who like you and making yourself look like a troublemaker.

The Information on Your Profile

If you want your profile to help your online reputation, it needs to be relevant. Try to keep things professional. When you’re typing up a profile that highlights your brand or yourself as a professional, exercise caution. Include details such as your educational experience, volunteer work, the charities you’re passionate about, and things of that nature. Make sure that your goals are clearly defined.

Don’t describe your degree with sarcasm or share that your college nickname was “Sassy Britches.” Steer clear of extreme affiliations, because a professional page is not the place for your personal beliefs. Share too much information and you’ll harm your reputation simply because you give people too much ammunition. They may go searching and find out more things about you.

If you keep things professional, mature, and relevant, then social media will help your reputation soar; go in the opposite direction, and the first search results under your name or brand will suffer. Have you ever accidentally shared bad information on your social media pages?

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