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In the World of Online Reputation, Nobody Wants to Be Roadkill

By Communications Strategy Group

Back in June, one of our team members attended the inaugural Digital Summit Denver, which is a digital strategies forum aimed at educating and promoting forward thinking and thought leadership in Internet business and marketing. It was a beneficial event chock full of the leading digital professionals and an excellent opportunity for professional development.

This two-day summit closed its first day with a keynote titled “Reputation Roadkill”  from Andy Beal, chief executive officer of Trackur. In today’s social media world, much of our reputation lives online. And the online world moves fast, which can create the perfect storm for ‘reputation roadkill’ if you are not careful.

Using these 10 items, courtesy of Andy Beal, as guideposts, you can effectively look both ways and safely cross the online road to avoid being reputation roadkill.

1. Your reputation is not compartmentalized. Online, offline, it is all you and your reputation. You cannot expect to have one reputation in your online life and a different reputation in your life offline.

2. You are always being judged. Similar to what we tell clients in media training, always assume your microphone is on because you never know who is listening.

3. Do not feel the need to fill the void. Do not post or tweet just to post or tweet. Your social media posts should always have purpose and be authentic.

4. Train your staff. Your employees are an extension of the company. Make sure they are armed with the appropriate information and verbiage to properly represent the company.

5. Use the right account. If you post social media updates for the company, do not tweet anything from a personal account that you would not want on the company account.

6. Know your audience. Your message should resonate with customers and they should look to you as a thought leader. Keep the voice of your company and its associated social media profiles in mind when sharing information.

7. Be present. Social media fans and followers expect a response in 24 hours—or less. Do not maul your online reputation by letting questions and concerns shared on social media fall to the wayside.

8. Do not automate engagement. In today’s busy world, it is easy to use scheduling tools for everything, even our social media posts. But be wary about taking scheduling too far and be cognizant of other happenings, within the company and society.

9. Greed is ugly. Just because something is topical and trending, does not mean it is right. Be sensitive to news and events and do not exploit them for your own benefit.

10. Big lies are eventually revealed. This one pretty much speaks for itself. Tell the truth, lies can – and do – come out.