Think of the internet as that gossipy girl in high school and imagine that there’s no secret she won’t spill. You wouldn’t willingly help that gossip ruin your reputation. However, you have without knowing it by allowing your private shenanigans to infiltrate your personal brand. I challenge you to Google yourself and see if you’re truly happy with the results.
Moving on, I would think that I wouldn’t have to write this post but I do. There are still stories about people getting fired for posting something inappropriate or having something from years earlier reappear to wreak havoc on their lives, and we never think it will be us on the other end of that story. Your personal brand is a sacred and precious thing which is the culmination of everything you are. When you damage that it can be very hard to recover; just look at Mitt Romney’s Presidential race.
For the love of God, lets use our powers for propriety instead of stupidity!
Brooke’s Rules for Using The Interwebs:
- Use your real name when possible – this helps link you to your accomplishments.
- Converse with others like an adult.
- Post original content often.
- Use the same profile image across sites.
- Lock-down your personal sites – set privacy to friends only.
- Make sure that your privacy settings exclude the general public.
- Share social content that is relevant to your brand.
- Use approximately the same language on all of your “About me” and profile pages.
- Make sure to review all posts that you’re tagged in.
- Use high resolution professional quality photos in all profile pictures.
- Make sure to fill in all professional fields in profiles.
- Make sure that your Vines and personal Youtube videos represent you in a positive way.
- Actively use LinkedIn and its groups.
- Stay current and consistent.
- Actively engage with your audience – converse but not idly.
- Link all portfolios and professional work – nothing personal or private.
- Remember your reputation at all times – you’re representing yourself online with everything you do.
Do tweet with professionalism, proper format, and source attribution/mention.
- Use a fake user name or some odd vanity name for anything – use your real name.
- Lurk, engage.
- Muddy up your streams with random and unprofessional posts.
- Drunk-post anything ever. Review it when you sober up.
- Aim for as many contacts and followers as possible – the right ones have more impact.
- Follow everyone who follows you – maintain your brand.
- Follow the crowd and join every new social media site – stick to the ones with traffic.
- Incessantly talk about yourself in posts, forums, and discussion boards.
- Engage in internet drama.
- Post your opinions all willy-nilly.
- Use internet shorthand EVER – properly spell your words.
- Tell lies on-line.
- Do not bully anyone, ever.
- Post anything related to work.
- Behave fake or contrary to who you are.
- Be wishy-washy with your online involvement in groups or networks.
- Post seething reviews of other companies, products, or services (again, use professional language everywhere).
- Post “party weekend” pic’s publicly if they include bad behavior.
- Get tagged in pictures where you’re wearing Crocs – that’s just bad form.
- Use unprofessional pictures as your profile image.
- Include others in your profile picture.
- Post nude pictures anywhere for any reason. This includes using Snapchat.
- Engage in any type of spam marketing.
- Limit your use of sharing and posting nonsense.
- Reblog anything just because you were asked to by a follower or someone you follow.
Yearly Online Persona Maintenance
- Review your liked Facebook pages and remove any that contradict your brand.
- Review all photos uploaded and tagged in. Remove any that are unprofessional or unflattering to your brand.
- Revamp all social media sites.
- Google yourself and delete any unnecessary profiles.