• Priyash Nigam

How to do online reputation management?

Online reputation management of the numerous adjectives employed to describe the Internet and its impact upon the lives of millions of people all around the world, 'unrestrained' stands out as perhaps, the most telling feature of this information supernova of galactic proportions, which necessitates online reputation management

Information on the Internet travels unrestricted, unchecked and for the most part unverified since the boundaries between author and reader, producers and creators of content and receivers of content have been pulverized. Content is no longer rigid and bound to a single source. The advent of technologies enabling users to appropriate and modify content at will have shattered the illusion of the permanence of the written word.

The coming of the Internet broke distance barriers between people allowing for greater communication, faster incorporation of information, and tremendous exchange of data, information and communications. The subsequent approach of social media took it even further, building online communities and starting conversations that included the whole world.

Central to social media is the idea of perception. When you register on a social network or social bookmarking website, when you sign up for a blog, when you post your videos and photos on the Internet, you are vitally concerned about the image you portray and the impression it will cast upon the people viewing your content.

Online reputation management engages with this basic concern and involves creating a strategy that governs the resources at your disposal - social media tools like social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, blogs, online videos, photo sharing, forums and instant messaging - to successfully influence the perception that others have of you.

Fundamentally, online reputation management is all about negotiating the perception formed about you online and controlling its influence upon your activities offline. Through online reputation management, you can maintain a balance between the information posted by your competitors and the information you provide as an antidote.

Online reputation management is also known as online identity management as it deals directly with the establishment of your identity online as favorable or undesirable. The first step towards forming an online identity management strategy is to accept that the power of social media has resulted in you losing control over the projection of your identity online, a situation that can be remedied only through online reputation management.

Secondly, online reputation management has to be applied consistently over time. There are no quick-fix solutions that can be carried out by waving a wand. A consistent brand message must be projected across all social media variants that highlights positive aspects of your activities and drives support and goodwill towards your business and work.

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