In Part 1 of this two part series, we took at look at some of the most popular methods for building one’s online reputation by using social media websites, as well as the ability to run your very own site, to enhance the chance the keywords will appear on the first page of respected search engines when terms are searched. For the second part of this article, we’ll go into further detail and provide a list of the easiest methods for boosting your online reputation.
Well known worldwide as a business platform website, LinkedIn is commonly used by individuals and businesses who are just not getting into other social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Business contacts from government officials to local restaurants share the ability to link to their colleagues via a friend-like software module that allows members to view who is linked to who.
As for signing up for an account, it’s easy and free. All you have to do is provide an email address along with your name and your profile page can be activated in less than a minute. Upload your photo and information and you’ll almost be ensured of ranking high in a search engine once that account has matured for a few weeks.
There is an alphabetical directory that LinkedIn uses to enable simple searches for members and it’s a cinch to quickly find the person or business you’re looking for. This website is over 10 years old, was started by Reid Hoffman in 2002 and launched approximately a year later.
The ability to add a customized news feed is a new feature that you get as a LinkedIn member, yet it isn’t featured so prominently as on other social media websites. Nevertheless, the value of having a LinkedIn account for search engine result purposes can’t be overlooked. What’s more, LinkedIn doesn’t come with the significant time consumption requirement that maintaining profile pages and current events on similar social media hubs does.
If you take a look at the LinkedIn Coca Cola Company page shown in the screenshot above, you’ll notice that the profile page owner can easily insert links to other content on separate websites that is in line with a corporate or personal image. From a Public Relations standpoint, the end result of frequently updating a profile page on a widely used social media website can’t be overstated. If you’re currently facing a situation where there are a few undesirable search results when a term linked to you is searched on a site like Google, creating multiple profile pages (one on each website listed in this article) can quickly and effectively push those bad results down and replace them with content that you directly control. That’s the entire idea behind building your online reputation by piggy-backing on the SEO efforts of huge, well known websites.
Requiring members to compose a Tweet in 140 characters or less may have seemed like a risky venture back in March 2006 when the company was created, but the trend has more than caught on and is viewed mostly as a convenience by mobile phone and tablet computer users on the go. With approximately 2 billion search queries performed on the site daily, the mainstream appeal of Twitter can’t be denied.
Adding friends and acquaintances into your Followers feed is extremely easy and you can obtain hundreds of contacts in a few short days with minimal effort. In fact, I happen to personally know one of the first people to ever accumulate 1 million followers on the website, and it was a chore he performed putting in a couple of hours per day for a year.
Due to its mass use, Twitter may be one of the most difficult websites to get a URL to directly correspond to the name you want to incorporate into your RM efforts. If this is the case in your situation, try using the word real before your name if you’re dealing with a high profile search term or you can otherwise distinguish the account by using a word that closely relates to your business or personal image goals. For example, if you’re in the restaurant business, try placing the word chef before your name. A physician might try the word doctor, etc.
The personalized news feed that comes with Twitter is impressive to say the least. You can infinitely scroll down to view recent entries from a particular source and use the website as your own newspaper. Best of all, all entries are limited to a very short excise with the ability to include photos and links available. Twitter is a sure-fire method for getting a search term to rank highly while controlling every single aspect relating to what is published for that term.
#3 Write Your Own Wikipedia Entry
In three words, I love Wikipedia. Launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in early 2001, this website serves as a global online encyclopedia in which any reader can create and edit pages (with the exception of certain high profile pages which are protected). There are well over 4 million articles published on Wikipedia, and if you’ve ever focused on the website that most often comes up as #1 when a popular search term is entered, you’ve noticed that Wikipedia is often at the very top – even more reason to write your own Wikipedia entry.
The charm of Wikipedia is undeniable. All you have to do is sign up for an account and begin editing unprotected pages. Be sure to include relevant info and quote your sources, as this will quickly improve your reputation as an editor and make the weight of your future entries more authoritative. Wikipedia is a very fun website to become involved in – even more so than Amazon in my opinion due to its extensive database and source-heavy format that makes entries much more relevant when the original source of information is linked to. The ability to include small screenshots is available to members when they create or edit pages, and the collaborative accrual of data makes Wikipedia one of the most popular websites on the Internet bar none.
If you have never done so, check out the Featured Content section for Wikipedia to see just how effective the concept of mass collaboration can be. In fact, Wikipedia may very well have paved the way for the public at large to get accustomed to the idea of sharing updated information in real time – something that is now taken for granted with software such as Google Apps that boast real time collaborative sharing.
The online behemoth of social media sharing, Facebook has become a household name whose service is enjoyed by more than 1 billion users. Founded in the mid 2000s by Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin, it’s difficult to fathom a world without Facebook. Mobile phone and tablet computer friendly, users can easily input their ideas, current location, photos, videos and links with just a few clicks of a mouse or taps of a smart device.
Of course, Facebook is so widely used that it may in fact prove impossible to get the exact name you’re looking for as your URL, but you can use other words to distinguish your profile page rather than going for the numbers approach that Facebook attaches to profile pages by default. Updating your profile information is a breeze and inserting individual news items can literally be done in seconds. Facebook is a must-have social media network for anyone looking to build an online reputation regardless of the fact that an exact URL match may not be possible.
It’s a tough call between whether Facebook is indeed the easiest method of building your online reputation. I don’t give it the top spot due to how dominant another social network may very well become in future years.
# 1 Google+
Social media, communities, forums, hangouts, live chats, real time sharing and the world’s premier search engine. In a nutshell, Google has it all and then some. The importance of already having the most widely used search engine in place makes the Google+ service the number one social media network around the globe – at least that’s my opinion. Who knew over a decade ago that online indexing and archiving would become so profitable? The mainstream verb to google something refers to the action of looking for it online by using a search engine. After all, most of us don’t Yahoo.
So enough of glorifying the Google platform. Let’s talk about how the Google+ service can aid you in your reputation management endeavors.
For one, it goes without saying that some day in the future posts, profile pages, photos, videos and commentary published within Google Plus may receive preferential treatment when it comes to the in-house search engine. This is already taking place in some instances although with a subtle implementation.
The value of getting involved in the thousands of Google Plus communities can’t be over exaggerated. Moreover, there are so many categories (reputation management, food, photography, video games, accounting, legal, and so on) that it’s nearly impossible not to become immersed using Google+ once you get started.
Although the interface isn’t quite as user friendly as Facebook or Twitter, the massive amount of options and ways that one can build his or her online image more than makes up for the not so streamlined controls (which may very well be improved significantly soon).
In fact, I personally manage a Google+ Reputation Management Community that you are more than welcome to join and seek advice on. If you’re looking for free online resources on just about anything as well as the ability to discuss topics with like-minded people, Google+ is the place for you! Google is an all encompassing service that uses smart apps to give companies like Reputable the ability to manage projects with multiple collaborators around the globe as long as they have an Internet connection.
If not the easiest method for online reputation building, Google+ is certainly going to be the most effective in my opinion. There’s just too much going for the website and company as a whole for it to be dethroned in the near future.
All you have to do to become an active member is create a Google Mail (G-Mail) account and sign up for the service. As with similar websites, you can easily upload your own content, media, and opinions with just a tap of your smart device or click of your PC mouse.
Build Your Reputation Summary
You can build your reputation in three ways: hire an RM company to do the work for you, go it alone, or a combination of the two. It doesn’t matter which route you decide to go, the ten methods outlined in this article are key to receiving actionable results and getting your name to rank high on all search engines; with sole control of every character that is published.
If you do decide to hire a rep management business to do some of the work for you, make sure that the ten options laid out in this two part article are incorporated into the overall strategy. There are various pricing plans available and all websites are different, so be sure to shop around before entrusting something so potentially valuable to just any website. If you wish, you can contact me directly and we can discuss your reputation building needs via email, our Google+ community page or via a live chat service such as Skype.
As always, feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions or feedback on this or other articles. I look forward to hearing from you and hope that this guide will serve you well in your present and future efforts to build and manage your online reputation.
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