Protect Your Online Reputation When Using Social Media

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Most of us don’t think we need to worry about our online reputation. It’s only pop stars and political figures that need to worry right? Wrong. Any lawyer that works with the public (almost everyone) and especially those that use social media personally and professionally need to think about how to protect their e-reputation. Taking measures now can save you embarrassment and even your career in the future.

Larry Bodine recently wrote about 4 Things You Need to Know to Protect Your Online Reputation. His article is based on an infographic published in Mashable and you should definitely take the time to check it out here.

Your e-reputation is how you are perceived on the Internet. What do you do when you want to find out more about someone? You check them out on Facebook, LinkedIn, perhaps Twitter and so-on. Up to 48% of recruiters refer to personal websites when deciding whether or not to hire you.

It’s important to monitor social media sites, blogs and websites for what’s being said about your and your firm. A good presence can lead to increased business, promotions and respect. A bad presence, or no presence, can damage your in person reputation – especially when your competition has a carefully cultivated presence.

Your online reputation can be influenced by a number of factors. These include public images, comments about your character or work, articles, and/or your criminal history (if you have one).

Having no presence at all online can also be incredibly damaging as I mentioned before. When websites first came out most of us never thought we’d actually create one for our business – now it’s a given. Not using social media for marketing and business development is becoming a thing of the past.

Here’s how Mashable suggest you protect your e-reputation:

  • Create an online presence using a website and/or blog. Join social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Create a Google Alert for your name and your law firm’s name. You’ll be alerted each time your name is mentioned on the web.
  • Regularly post content that you want to be known for.
  • Learn about SEO and how it can be used to raise the ranking of positive content.
  • Don’t give anyone your passwords to online accounts and don’t give out your personal information such as your birth date, address, etc.
  • Ask your friends to delete negative pictures that don’t portray your professional reputation.

Samantha Collier

Samantha Collier supports lawyers, law firms and legal industry consultants in their social media marketing efforts. Her blog, Social Media for Law Firms, won the 2011 Canadian Law Blog Awards in the Best Practice Management Category and she was recently recognized as part of “The 24: Canada’s Top Legal Social Media Influencers” from The Counsel Network.

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