Chapter 15, of Engage! by Brian Solis, focuses on how one’s actions online are the building blocks of the reputation they have; everything they do “follows” them. To get a better understanding of how a reputation is made from your digital “footprint”, Solis recommends to go “…google yourself” (Solis, 121). There is more to those results then you might think! Solis said, “Pay attention to how these results portray who you are and what you represent today and also discern how these pieces of the puzzle establish your potential for accomplishing your short-and long-term goals” (Solis, 122). What kind of message do you give out with your Facebook statuses? How about your tweets? Do the messages you’re sending agree with your brand and its image? Remember that “Your actions and words online are indeed extensions to how people interpret, perceive, and react to the brand you represent” (Solis, 122).
So, how do you go about defining your “online” self? Solis recommends engaging in the social side of social media. How else will your public know you’re there if you’re not interacting with them? Solis said, “…our interactions and contributions earn keys that unlock the doors to future opportunities” (Solis, 123). Interact often and make connections! You never know who you might develop a realtionship with! Speaking of which, pay attention to what you are posting on your social media accounts! “This is your digital identity and your real reputation and it’s yours to define and nurture” (Solis, 123). If you want to make connections, you must show your followers that it’s worth the time to get to know you!
Branding is critical in both the “real” and “online” worlds. Everything we do has an effect on the type of reputation we are creating for ourselves. Solis discussed how companies use a monitoring and online reputation management (ORM) program to manage their online brand(Solis, 124). Having an ORM program is great because it allows companies to easily see what users are saying about them online(thanks to tools such as Google Alerts) and then they can compare that to what is being said offline (Solis, 124-125). The ability to monitor their brand “live” is a useful option as any prodromes that are spotted can be diffused and possible crises can be avoided.
So, the next time you’re posting something on Facebook, think twice about how that information can affect your reputation! Is your next Tweet productive for your followers or is it a waste of their time? Don’t let it be a waste of their time!