Social media can be a wonderful way for businesses to connect with individuals, individuals to connect with businesses and individuals to connect with one another, but it does come with some risks and dangers. Specifically, a single social media post can damage your reputation, and not just at the time you post it, but also long into the future.
Online reputation monitoring is critical for any business that wishes to succeed in today’s highly technical environment. It is the way that businesses control what is being said about them, and by who, so that consumers only come across the information about the business that the business wishes them to come across. However, this means that the business must be very careful about what they say–and about what they have said in the past. After all, what has been posted casually to social media can linger forever, potentially damaging a business’ reputation. Obviously this means that a business needs to be exceptionally careful about what they post on social media, but what can they do about posts they’ve made in the past?
Today, many individuals and businesses recognize the danger in openly stating bold opinions, sharing personal photos and supporting controversial topics. Unfortunately, this is often a newer realization, and both individuals and businesses can be surprised when someone manages to find old social media posts that clearly contradict their current image or opinion. Politicians are particularly susceptible to this, where even as they build a platform based on a particular view their critics willingly dig up and share old social media posts that clearly state an opposing view. Businesses that seek to convey an image of utmost professionalism can be haunted by old social media posts where top executives have made crude or crass statements. But does this mean that there is nothing one can do? Fortunately, there are ways to safeguard one’s reputation from past social media posts.
In order to protect one’s reputation from past social media posts, one should first scroll through their social feeds and delete any posts that they feel have the potential to be misunderstood or to reflect poorly upon themselves or their business. This does mean that one may not be able to broadcast their personal opinions and have private conversations in the way they would wish to, but this move is necessary in order to better protect one’s online reputation. If there is ever any doubt about a particular post and whether it’s appropriate or risky, it’s best to be safe and simply delete it.
Another important step to take in safeguarding your reputation from past social media posts is to build and maintain as strong a reputation as possible. This can help to prove to consumers that despite whatever may have occurred in the past, your current image is who you are now, and one they can feel safe trusting. This means ensuring that there is plenty of positive content about your business available online, through your own website, blog and social media accounts as well as through other sources.
In the case that past social media posts are used in an attempt to damage your current reputation, the best approach is a head-on, honest and professional approach. This may include acknowledging the post and its original publication date, while also drawing attention to current, positive information about the business, including news articles, customer reviews and more.
Reputation management services can help an individual or business determine what actions they must take in order to effectively protect their reputation–both from things that may have occurred in the past as well as from things that occur in the present.