Your Brand is How You Are Perceived!
If you are a business owner, what you do on the Internet, even from a personal perspective, helps form potential customers’ opinions about your brand.
Everything you say, write, don’t say, don’t write, insinuate, argue, debate, and more defines what others think of you.
Keep in mind that oftentimes, especially in writing, how others perceive you might not necessarily be how you want to be perceived.
I realize it is very difficult in today’s political environment to NOT take part in online conversations. Believe me, there are times I have to sit on my hands to NOT respond to some outrageous comments/opinions from BOTH sides to stop me from responding to the some of these absurdities. But alas, I DO refrain because in my opinion, it is in the best interest of my brand to remain publicly neutral!
I do make it a priority to NOT share my views or even my disgust at some highly-heated exchanges. I was brought up to never get into religious and political conversations and I still agree 100%.
I am also seeing some very large online brands that have nothing to do with politics, writing political posts slamming candidates. I won’t even tell you which side – you can guess or look it up yourself. In my opinion, they are hurting their brand and reputation. And from the comments I see, others agree with me.
Twitter is a great example of where we follow people that are in our niche and find that through different levels of automation, we are inadvertently re-tweeting highly inflammatory political rhetoric. We can’t seem to escape politics – just makes monitoring a little more time-consuming.
If you are looking for employment, what you say on social networking sites is easily accessible to potential employers. ESPECIALLY in today’s highly heated political environment, one could actually not get a job one interviews for because of political opinions.
How you are perceived on the web is directly correlated to how you present yourself.
Perception is in The Eye of the Perceiver
However, how you are perceived might not necessarily reflect your intentions. Perception is in the eye of the perceiver.
No matter what your small business sells, whether it is products or services, you, as the owner of your business are also your brand.
The Internet offers an almost ridiculously huge array of social networking sites to engage and participate in. From Facebook to Twitter, what you “say” is read by anyone anywhere who is interested enough to “listen”. When you make a comment on someone’s Facebook post or status, you need to remember that if it is off-colored or inflammatory in any way, you may have just left a negative impression of yourself in someone’s mind.
If you are a business owner, that negative impression will be carried over to your brand and you might have just lost a potential customer. It is easy to forget that while we are using social networking sites for entertainment purposes, we are also having an impact on our reputation and our brand.
The Internet Has A Better Memory Than An Elephant!
It has become common knowledge that colleges and potential employers often check out potential students or employees on the social networking sites to get an idea of who they are. An easy solution for someone looking for a job who wants to control what potential employers might see is to simply not write anything that could be perceived as controversial, insulting or inflammatory.
It is interesting to see the how the young people are reacting to this realization that what they write affects their reputation and could impact their chances of getting into a college. They are changing their real names, often, on sites like Facebook, so that their comments and conversations will not show up in searches as being tied to their real name. Maybe they know more than many adults about reputation management and branding!
But for some, this might take the fun out of social networking. It is a matter of personal preference on how one chooses to network. As long as you realize what the potential impact is of your style of networking, the choice is yours.
Manage Your Brand. Manage Your Reputation.
Protect Your Business!