If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in college, the last thing that you concern yourself with is your online reputation. In an age where personal information is basically served on a silver platter for anyone to see, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s extremely easily to tarnish your reputation by posting something on social media that can come back to haunt you.
Though, managing your online reputation isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in your priorities list, it should be. Why? Because whatever information you contribute to your social media profile increase or decrease your chances of being hired by a future employer or perhaps, even reflect poorly on your personal brand or future business ventures.
A study by the Pew Research Center shows that young adults in the age group of 18-29 are indeed taking steps to protect their online reputation. Specifically, about 44% of young adults from this age bracket said they limit the amount of personal information they disseminate throughout social media networks, while 47% delete unwanted information or comments and 41% take time to de-tag themselves from pictures and statuses.
Statistics like these show that online reputation management is more than just a trend, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s necessary for young professionals in a digital environment. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re interested in improving or managing your online reputation, here are a few easy ways you can do so through social media.
Know How To Use Privacy Settings
Sometimes, not keeping up to date with changes in privacy settings in social media can hurt your reputation. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s absolutely critical for social media users to understand how to work their privacy settings in order to keep the certain information from reaching the wrong people, ie. employers.
When you post something on a social media channel, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t share anything you wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want your future employer to see. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s usually best to refrain from talking about politics or religion. Any strong feelings and thoughts about a certain subject could rub some people the wrong way.
Guilty by Association
Who you keep as friends will say a lot about you. Sometimes, users have rowdy friends that tag their friends in inappropriate posts and pictures. Association with these friends could tarnish your name. Although most users wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t delete them as friends, the next best thing would be to manage your tagging settings, that way, anyone that tags you will need your approval.
Sexually Suggestive Material
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best to refrain from uploading ANY sexually suggestive material. Many college students are at an age of sexual experimentation, and therefore, could use the internet to trade sexually suggestive content. Whether you appear as anonymous or not, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still possible to trace your identity through your email or phone number. Before sending an inappropriate picture, remember to consider the negative after effects.
Stay Offline When Under the Influence
If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve heard of drunk texting, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve probably heard of drunk posting. Time and again, people in general, not just college students, will often go online and post inappropriate comments or pictures while under the influence. A good rule of thumb, log off or turn off your phone before you take that first sip of alcohol.
One of the most common status updates on social media deals with users complaining about work, school or people. When you complain, it reflects poorly on your image. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t update your status when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re angry, because likely, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to have something negative to say. Instead, find a balance of words so that you digital personal doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look too angry.
Consider A Name Change
For extra protection and privacy management, some users (especially teachers) consider changing their names on their social media profiles. Users are free to use their middle name or motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s maiden name as their last name. This way, you can have both a personal and professional reputation.
The first thing potential employers will do is Google your name. Depending on whether or not youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been effectively managing your reputation, it could bode well or badly for you. Be ahead of the game and Google yourself before submitting your job application. This can help give you an idea of how youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve portrayed yourself through social media. If you need to make changes, make them. Sites like Brand.com, can give you an accurate measurement on your online reputation
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s absolutely critical to begin managing your online reputation during your college years. It can help your make or break your career. By managing your online reputation, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be able to create a good name for yourself both personally and professionally.