The advent of smartphone technology and ever increasing mobile access to the internet has meant big things for social networks. For Facebook it means more traffic by their already addicted users. For Twitter it simply means survival. But for those serious about online reputation management, the temptation that instant access to social networks offers can be quite damaging to an otherwise carefully crafted and well-maintained image.
That’s because more times than not when you decide to beam a musing or a rant from your phone and onto social networks, your name usually goes with it. After all these sites revolve around emitting the information you wish to associate your identity to other individuals. This can pose big problems for those concerned about the search engine optimization of their own name.
You might be an aspiring musician or an attorney trying to make a name for yourself in a new city. Either way it’s the searching of your name on Google or other search engines that you’re counting on as the way people find you. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is simply the art and science of ensuring that the top three to five results that come back when a phrase or a name is searched for are results that either benefit you or results wherein you make a worthy appearance. The crisis occurs when you type your name into Google and are shocked and ashamed to discover that of the top five results, one or two is an embarrassing or regrettable post you put onto a social network.
These kinds of results are hard to get rid of if they become notorious. For example an aspiring musician might have a sizable local following, and one day he Tweets comments where the local law enforcement authorities are lambasted in what can only be described as in the most street-oriented of ways. The fan base might love it, and maybe that’s why it was done in the first place. But then the tirade is visible whenever someone simply types the musicians name into a search engine, and suddenly you have an event that doesn’t die down but stays alive for months, all the while you’re still a member of society who must drive down the roads that the cops patrol.
Don’t let the passions of a moment combined with access to instant social networking gratification get in the way of managing a stable online reputation. Online actions are not as degradable as newspaper: that information might be openly visible for years. Take my advice, and be smart when using your smartphone to be social. Your reputation might depend on it.