eBrandz Blog

What are implications of ignoring your online identity and image?

There are several examples of adverse publicity on the Web harming your credibility as an individual and also as a professional. And what if some miscreant starts posting something untoward about your brand time and again with no response from your side? This can only aggravate the whole situation. Lack of timely response can complicate the issue.

Guard against damage to online reputation

Underlining the implications and the necessity of protecting online identities, a recent article in The New York Times quotes an expert as saying: “The blogosphere is no doubt interested in you. But it’s over three days later and you are forgotten forever. But then you are (permanently) branded as that person.”

It goes without saying that professionals can face irreversible consequences of momentary digressions on their part, sometimes unintentional. Misinterpreted actions, words, or visuals can keep haunting you for a considerable period of time because such things keep flashing up online.

Be wary of social media’s nuisance value

Even children can indirectly damage your credibility apart from harming their own reputations online. Unacceptable behavior of employees on the Web can make their companies susceptible to face unwarranted legal hassles. If they enter into a needless tangle with clients, it can damage reputation of your business. Thanks to the immense nuisance value of social media, word spreads fast about such incidents.

The lawyer for the claimant can well argue that the management or the owner needed to be more proactive and meticulous in monitoring their employees’ online activities. Though the public memory is short, Internet does not allow such things to be erased from the public realm, unless you decide to take things in your own hands. In this context, The NYT tech writer Paul Sullivan makes certain pertinent observations:

  1. Damaging your on the internet does not take much time and effort. However, reversing and fighting the aftereffect demands expert intervention. You may feel that these are issues that you can deal on your and in house. That’s not the case. The task can get technically complicated and time consuming.
  2. You need inputs from experts who can act as a reliable resource to clean up your reputation. Their expertise can be of great help to undo the damage done. This will involve zeroing on the people or entities posting such information, getting in touch with the search engines, which linked to it, and meeting the site webmasters with a request to remove the content by proving that it is baseless and unsubstantiated.

What else can be done to guard your online reputation? We shall discuss the various aspects of reputation management on the Web in the next post. In the meantime, why don’t you share your experiences in this regard?