This guest post is by Valerie Wilson.
Quick: Picture that bad choice for a prom or bridesmaid’s dress years ago. Or the haircut that your mom made you get—the one that looked like a Tupperware bowl had been placed on your head. The one that didn’t go over very well at school.
Some memories do last forever, don’t they? This is true. But, hey, they are just memories. All good. No real damage, right?
Quicker: Remember one rumor that floated around your high school years ago. Who was doing what with whom?! Remember how it spread like wild fire? And how old are you now? How long has that rumor stuck with you? Those were rumors. No proof!
But your Facebook political blurt-out a few years ago—or last week? A scathing reaction you made or to which you responded? Or—the biggie—a “little comment” about a previous account or client or employer with whom you worked?
Brace yourself. That “just having a bad day” comment can have a long-lasting effect. That’s the stuff that can be cut and pasted and repeated and posted—everywhere. Don’t let that happen to you.
The good news is that there are some strong strategies you may employ to improve your online reputation:
- Always tell the truth. Remember those rules you learned as a kid? This was one of the most important ones. To increase your readership, don’t embellish. Your blog will succeed if you establish this intention. For example, International Growth does a great job of establishing credibility.
- Build positive relationships. When you blog, you’re building relationships with people and organizations. Be aware of building as many of these positive relationships as possible. Follow other blogs; they’ll reply in kind. Appreciate them by directly commenting to them and about them, and keep the language fun and enjoyable. Upbeat blogs such as RapidBuyr’s exemplify this technique really well!
- Keep calm and carry on. If you do get that occasional negative poster, be sure to keep calm and carry on, just like the t-shirt says. The goal is to make it right. Do it quickly, or the number of your blog followers could dramatically decrease. Your reaction can and will be around for a long time. Act accordingly. One particular blog, Socialnomics, shares even more insight about how to handle negative feedback on your blog. Damage control can be painless if you pay attention to just a few key strategies.
- Go viral, go