How To Manage Your Online Persona

Whether you are a business or an individual, you have an online persona. You might not have thought about it as such, and you may never have tried to cultivate any particular image online, but regardless of that fact you will have left a ‘finger print’ on the web that people will be able to use to identify you and lean about you.

In fact if you haven’t managed your online persona, then chances are that it’s even more prominent and having even more of an impact on the way others see you in business and in your personal life. Through all of our interactions with various web services and networks, we build a treasure trail that can show who we are – but if we’re not careful it can grow out of our control and take on a personality of its own.

For business in particular this is a big problem as it might be damaging your professional reputation. Even for individuals though it’s still a problem – particularly when a prospective new date ‘Google’s your name’.

Here then we will look at the things that can impact your online persona and at how you can manage it to make sure that you give off the impression you want and that it doesn’t end up damaging your success.

Website

Your website is the most official aspect of your online identity – particularly for a business – and will hopefully be the one that most people look up when they’re trying to find out whether you’re reputable or not. Make sure that your website says what you want it to say then, by giving it a professional design and thinking carefully about your choice of words. Then make sure that you get it to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages) so that people can actually find it.

Your E-Mail and Usernames

If you’re still using the handle you chose when you first went online in your teens, then you might want to consider changing it. ‘MrMagicMonkey999’ is not just an unprofessional sounding name, but it’s also one that will have certain connotations and conjure a certain image. Do you want the people you’re talking to to think of a monkey while you chat with them?

Mentions and Reviews

Of course it’s not just you who creates your online persona, but also the other people who talk to you and about you. If someone leaves a bad review on your website, or writes a strange message on your MySpace page, then that can end up coming back to haunt you so it’s important to make sure that you address these. If you do find a mention of your business, then make sure to respond and put your point of view across. And if someone posts anything dodgy on any of your profiles, then consider removing it.

Things from the Past

Then of course there are all those awkward Facebook photos and those embarrassing old blogs that can still be found online for anyone willing to look hard enough. Remove as much as you can, but if you have a lot online that you’re embarrassed about then perhaps it’s time to simply consider starting over with a fresh profile… And it doesn’t hurt to have one profile for business and one for life either.

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The author of this post, Neena Jones, is a part of the team at Trice Web Development, a company that provides internet marketing strategies for small businesses. She has  a keen interest in marketing and enjoys sharing her ideas via blogging.