Don’t let social media kill your career: 4 things to do by my contact – Alita Harvey-Rodriguez
Do you remember Justine Sacco? If you do it’s probably not for her outstanding talent in the world of PR, right?
A few years ago, in less than one minute and via just one tweet, Justine’s reputation and job were tarnished forever.
The PR executive was fired for a tweet. She deleted the tweet before she took a flight to Africa but it was too late. When she landed in Africa, she turned on her phone to see that this one tweet had ruined her entire career. There are now dozens of twitter accounts mocking this PR disaster.
Closer to home, I was at a BBQ with the CEO of a major property group recently. I said: “I read an article about how you started driving taxi’s. The story was really interesting.” He was shocked. “How did you find that? ” he said. My reply was my usual… “Haven’t you ever Googled yourself and read what comes up about yourself or your company?”
Googling yourself or business can reveal a lot about what people are saying about you or your company.
A business needs to do more than just tell the world its brand is good. It also needs to consider reputation management. It needs to produce and distribute positive content focusing on the reasons why its consumers choose its brand in order to outweigh the less favourable reviews that may appear online. This, coupled with great customer relationships, is the only way forward.
Your personal digital profile is a little different. But not by much.
I’ve been working in the digital business development industry for over a decade and my career has taken me all over the planet via diverse industries from retail to sporting associations.
I’ve also hired plenty of team members and can tell you the first place I go after receiving a resume is to Google for some background. Something I know all too well is the damage a poor digital profile reputation can do for your business or career and it’s something that gets ignored all too often.
I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of online profiles. In fact, a survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that the main reason employers reject candidates is for posting inappropriate photographs on their social media accounts.
So how do you make sure you’re putting your best foot forward on all your online profiles? Here are my top 4 tips for managing your digital reputation.
- Audit your digital footprint. A poor first impression online could completely undermine your professional credibility. To understand more about your digital footprint – Google yourself. Look in the main page and make sure you go into images. Identify the profiles that appear and either clean them up or shut them down. Remember, if it’s online then it’s no longer yours to control.
- Consider your audience and perceptions. The lines between personal and professional are blurred now more than ever. Justine Sacco thought she was being ‘funny’, but there is no sarcasm font on a computer to determine perceptions. Always consider your audience when publishing online content. Even if you have reviewed your privacy settings, there is always the chance a connection may have shared it to their network. If your audience is mixing personal and professional you want to avoid encouraging misunderstandings.
- Explore your passion. If you’re serious about your career and personal brand you should consider that we’re now all marketers. Even if it’s ‘just’ your private Facebook account you’re sharing content for people to ‘like’. Produce content on what you’re passionate about. Maybe it’s fashion, business, digital marketing, photography sales, travel, sharing incredible learning’s or helping others.
- Be Consistent. David Chen, CEO and co-founder of Stinkingly.com once said: “If your social networking connections are a mix of the personal and professional, you need to make sure you’re not perceived as ‘partying’ more than working”. When you’re clear about who you aspire to be and how you want to be perceived, you need to be consistent in presenting that picture of yourself in every facet of your digital profile. Your goal is to drive high quality traffic to your profile. So make sure your audience knows what you’re passionate about.