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Google Yourself

I had an interesting catch up with Imran Ali, a real digital brainbox, with brands like Orange UK on his CV and a host of start-ups under his belt.

Our discussion focused on how an individual can manage their personal online reputation as the boundaries between work, friends and family come crashing down – and everyone wants to be your friend.

This new territory is catching out employees, as companies check online profiles to get a greater understanding of future and current members of their team.

But ‘saving’ your reputation by opting-out can do even more damage as companies need marketers who demonstrate their understanding of how to engage with their online community. Plus it’s a great way to raise your personal profile.
So, what’s the new social media etiquette? Do we need rules or can we trust our own common sense? The world of social media is evolving so quickly that there are no hard and fast rules.

Here’s a few practical tips to stop you getting your fingers burned:

  1. Find out where your reputation is today. Type your name into the major search engines and see what comes up. Make these ‘vanity’ searches a regular part of your working life.
  2. Make a decision – are Facebook/MySpace/Bebo just for friends? If so then keep your profile private and encourage clients to befriend you on LinkedIn, explaining that you don’t use Facebook often.
  3. If you’re using Facebook as a business tool, keep the content relevant. Remove your wall and hide whichever quiz you’ve just signed-up for. Remember it’s not just your content but that of your friends you need to manage whenever they tag you in a picture.
  4. Alternatively, create a second Facebook profile, open to business associates that demonstrates your professional image – and keep it up to date.
  5. Create and maintain your LinkedIn profile, think of it as a poster that adds depth to your CV and demonstrates the kind of connections you have.
  6. If your online profile is lacking, start to follow some blogs relevant to your industry – and make interesting contributions.
  7. If you have the time to commit, create your own blog. Consult with your friends and colleagues on style and content, blog at least a couple of times a week, encourage others to contribute and respond to any comments.
  8. And finally never let anyone film you doing something that you don’t want to share with your mum, your boss or your future partner.

Good luck!

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