Keep your personal and business online social networks separate
Keep your PERSONAL andBusiness Online Social Networks separate
As a business owner who has a personallife, it is important not to mix the two. It can bedifficult today not to with the advent of socialmedia. When someone "likes", "follows" or"friends" you because they know who you are, itcan be difficult, awkward and uncomfortable todeny them. You may fear hurting someonesfeeling when you turn them down as a friend onFacebook because they are a businessacquaintance and not a friend, but it is importantthat you learn to do it.
It is true, that some business associates will crossover and become friends, but its not always thecase. In business, one wrong comment, picture, or"like" can turn someone off your business even if itsnot business related. Its hard to imagine, but evenpeople you do business with, like and respect, oftenhave different political, religious and social beliefsfrom you. The social rules of not discussing politicsor religion with mixed company still holds true. Itsjust that you now have more places to manage now,with the open atmosphere of the Internet.
If youve been on the Internet for a long time,you might be surprised to find out whatinformation there is about you online. There arewebsites that gather information based on yourname, address, and other factors. Check out thesite PeekYou.com, which is a site that collectionsinformation from all over the web. Do a simpleGoogle Search on an old email address, or an olddiscussion you had years ago on an openmessage board or Usenet group, and youll findthe ghosts of your past ready to jump out and runyour online reputation.
You can clean up the past, and bury itbehind new content and information, butit will take a little work. Take thefollowing steps to clean up your onlinereputation so that you can manage youronline reputation.
SeparateKeep personal and business separate on socialmedia. Ensure that updates on your personalspace are personal, and your updates on yourbusiness space are business related. Do notintertwine the two unless you have a reallygood reason.
ResearchCheck out your search results and see if there isany damage yet. Do a separate search on eachsearch engine especially Google, Bing, Yahoo andMSN. What results turn up on the first three tofive pages? More importantly, what comes upfirst? Most people will not look past the firstcouple of pages, but it is important that youcheck.
CleanIf youve already mixed up things, start slowlycleaning it up. Announce to your friends andbusiness acquaintances that you want to separateyour personal and professional life. They willunderstand, and youll find that some people willfollow your lead. In some cases, you can even askfor the content to be removed. Ask theresponsible parties to kindly remove theoffending content.
CoverUp your focused and positive business content.Set out to do at least one new blog post a day for30 days, and one new article marketing articleper day for 30 days. Focus on specific keywordsthat you want to be known for, and before youknow it, the bad search results will be buried.They will never go away, but people will be lesslikely to find them if you have positive content upfront.