Publications on the Internet and social networks can affect the reputation of a company, a professional, a politician or a celebrity at any time. If you want to learn how to avoid a potential crisis like this… Read on.
When the selection process to appoint the new president of Radio Televisión Española was opened, two of the proposed candidates deleted thousands of messages from their own Twitter accounts, reported by Verne. What did those tweets contain? Probably nothing relevant, but it brings to mind the old proverb, prevention is better than cure. As we have seen in different cases, the things that we say or the contents that we share on the Internet and social media may take their toll even after many years have passed since they were first published. You do not have to be a celebrity for this to be the case: 87% of companies check the social media profiles of candidates during the selection process.
To avoid this kind of image crisis, we need to act on two different fronts. First of all, think about everything you share and publish to avoid having problems; secondly, control your reputation on the Internet and act immediately if you detect some inappropriate content. Here’s how you could this into practice.
How to avoid having problems with your published content
The first thing that any company or professional has to take into account is that the Internet is a public and permanent media: everything that is shared can be seen by anyone and it is unforgettable and will be recorded for ever. Even private jokes in a WhatsApp group can be redistributed by any of its members and end up in public.
Although there are some apps to erase messages from social networks massively, nobody can guarantee that someone has not made a screen shot of the message. In addition, they may have been recorded on web pages such as Archive.org. Therefore, it is always more effective to avoid publishing inappropriate content than to try to remove it later.
In the movie Chef, a chef loses his job because he does not understand how Twitter works.
Some tips to avoid these kind of problems are:
- Learn how each social network works before you start using it.
- Create different accounts for your private and professional activity.
- Use the highest privacy settings to protect your data.
- Define a content marketing strategy for your business.
- Never post or reply to messages when you are angry.
- Before spreading shocking news, check that it is not fake news.
- If you do make a mistake, apologise in a public way and without too much delay.
- Do not share your opinion of politics, religion or other sensitive issues in public.
- Take care of your personal brand: It will follow you the rest of your life.
It is not about being paranoid, but you have to keep in mind that anyone can see what you share, even privately, and people could use it against you, whether now or in the future.
How to control your reputation on the Internet
Apart from avoiding the mistakes, it is also important to control what is said about yourself on the Internet, especially in the case of companies and professionals.
These are some basic tips to manage your online presence:
- Try to search your name or your brand in Google and check the results.
- You can also use any of the online reputation tools.
- If you find any inappropriate content, ask the web page and Google to remove it.
- Answer your client’s complaints and requests quickly and efficiently.
- Pay attention to the consumer’s opinions in comparators and reviews-sites.
- Respect data protection legislation thoroughly.
- Do not feed the controversies: an official apology or denial is enough.
- Establish a real-time public relations strategy for your brand.
Not even the best public relations agency is able to avoid a crisis of online reputation caused by an unfortunate comment on social networks. However, you can manage your communication in a professional way to be more effective and reduce risks.
Do you believe we think properly about what we publish on the Internet?