Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tumblr, Endless Possibilties

With one hashtag, one word search, hundreds of worlds and realms are displayed instantaneously. Millions of people upload text, quotes, links, photos, videos, chat, and audio to the same site at any given moment, the platform for this particular phenomenon is an online social networking site called Tumblr.

Input a simple word like... “dog” into the search bar on Tumblr’s main page, and you will find the entire spectrum of a dogs existence and the endless possibilities of the expression of that word “dog”: puppies bathing in a shallow pool, German Shepherds, guard dogs photographed in an aggressive documentary style, entire pages dedicated to the sounds dogs make, the spiritual concept of a dog, hot dogs, famous writers’ quotes about dogs. The results exhaust every avenue.

What would display if your corporation's name was entered into Tumblr’s search bar? What if I entered the hashtag of the service you provide, how would your presence in that field be reflected in this online social network? Would you even be present?

Tumblr is not just an informational site, in many ways it is similar to Googling your last name and uncovering public facts such as address or the high school you attended, but, with Tumblr, there is a much more subjective result, pliable, and artistic even.

There are dozens of opportunities to expand public knowledge of your corporation, tools to utilize that will enhance or drastically alter your reputation. If you are not aware of these possibilities or if you are not actively controlling your reputation on the social networks such as Tumblr, you are in essence surrendering that control. If you don’t proactively manage your online reputation, someone may negatively affect it with your knowledge. This may have more influence to your reputation then you could imagine, and in some cases, it may be irreversible.   

Tumblr does have extensive features and tools that may seem overwhelming to learn and navigate; all social networks have their bells and whistles, and each are a resource worth tapping into, buttons worth learning how to press. It is necessary to make your business accessible in every medium possible, to expand the reach of your online reputation through every social network possible. Just as there are dozens of features to learn, there are just as many resources dedicated to teaching those features, they are also online reputationmanagement sites dedicated to the success of your presence in social networks.         

Avoiding Bias on Social Networking Sites

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Bias can present itself in many ways. It can be blatant or subtle, offensive or agreeable.
We may be unaware of our personal bias, perhaps we are attempting simply to express our opinion, but this can greatly affect our business relationships and our online reputation.

When using social networking sites such as Facebook, it may seem appropriate to express our political, religious, or personal opinions; and while this is our right as Americans and as humans, it is important to remember that what we may be expressing is actually a personal bias and not an opinion based on fact. Whatever it is we post to Facebook will certainly not be an opinion shared by all who view our Facebook profiles, comments, status updates, and so forth.

It is impossible to appease every person who views you or your business online. In most cases, it is also impossible to remain neutral on every matter.   Bias may be applied to procedures, products, people, and many other circumstances. For instance, bias may entail the endorsement of a certain product with little concern or consideration of the product’s competition. The bias may be rooted in personal relationships or emotional reaction instead of factual evidence or logical aspects of the product.

As an example, a sales representative of cleaning supplies, while making a pitch, may disregard all comments or complaints that his product does not clean as quickly or effectively as the leading competitor. Instead of confronting the evidence, he simply disregards it and allows his personal bias, the bias of being employed by the company, to determine his actions and behavior.

In this scenario, and in almost every scenario of bias, the salesman is undermining his own credibility, and the credibility and reputation of his company. By not acknowledging the evidence against his product he becomes untrustworthy to those witnessing his blatant bias.
While all scenarios may not be this cut and dry, avoiding bias is an easy matter of developing an objective eye towards the content on your social networking sites.

When communicating on social networking sites, it is most important to simply take into consideration why you hold a certain viewpoint, before posting a seemingly controversial comment, or endorsing a particular product or service; double check, question if bias has any footing. Because, almost every case of bias will result negatively, it will negatively influence the reputation of you or your business, and should be avoided.

Don't Let Your Reputation Go Unmanaged

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I recently traveled to the southern United States. Away from my home for over four weeks, my mail accumulated at home and at work, envelopes filled my mailbox, newspapers overlapped each other in the yard, emails took significant time and data to download. It was overwhelming, like a garden that hadn’t been weeded in years, there was a lot of work to be done. Determining what belonged, what didn’t, what was important, what wasn’t, what needed to be responded to, and what should be ignored.

Beyond the issue of time consumption and minor papers cuts accrued by all that mail, there were more serious consequences; an overdue electric bill, an unanswered wedding invitation, and a non-attended mandatory jury duty. The poor upkeep and ill managed mail resulted in ruining my reputation financially, with the electric company, personally, with the future bride, and legally, with the court system. It took several months to undo the damage acquired in just a few weeks.    

Consequences, large or small, inevitably follow when we let such problems go untreated.
This is also true of our onlinereputations, and the management of such. Without constant upkeep, your onlinereputation can quickly become an unruly garden, a pile of junk mail and overdue bills.
Unfortunately, cleaning up a messy online reputation is not as easy as weeding a garden or throwing envelops in the recycle bin. It can take days or weeks to determine the root of the problem, and that is just the beginning. After determining the problem, the hard work comes in reversing or correcting the reputation which could take months or even years.

Of course, the solution is obvious: be consistent in managing your onlinereputation. But, it may be too late to do simple monitoring and upkeep. You may just be starting, going back through several years of online content to begin the process of reputation repair. If this is the case, you may need professional assistance, your time and energy are valuable, but the dilemmas and necessities of repairing, monitoring, and managing your online reputation cannot go undone. Each day technology is growing, more people are connecting online, your online reputation will only grow from this point forward, you must be proactive in ensuring it grows positively, and not negatively.

Protect Your Privacy

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Your privacy is what allows you to get away from the daily stress that life graciously gives to you. It is that one moment of the day where you don't have to worry about a case you are working on, completing a deal or anything that will more than likely bring on more stress to you. What about your online privacy, how important is that to you? Are all your social media accounts secured? Are you the only one who knows the passwords? These unfortunately situations can bring a lot of harm to your online reputation if you are not careful.

There has been a commercial on TV lately talking about privacy but not about your identity or credit cards but your social media accounts. The times have certainly changed and a new market has opened up, people are now becoming victims of fraud not by their bank accounts but by their social media accounts. Keep in mind that social media is just an extension of your personality when you are not in office or in a professional setting. So for people to become victims of fraud on these platforms raises a lot of questions.  

My first question is how much information you are putting on these sites, I know when filling out an application you have options to put phone numbers, email addresses and even your location! Those options right there are can be trouble if you choose to fill them out. Your email address should not be published online; you should never put your phone number online especially on a social media account. While your location is acceptable it should stop with your city and state nothing more.

You are already exposed by having your pictures online don't make easier for a potential hacker, stalker or creep to find you steal your identity and create another life for you will you live your own life. It is a crazy thing to imagine but according to some articles and TV commercials this form of identity theft is becoming very popular.

The best thing you can do to make yourself less likely to be a target is have an account on just one social media account, cut down your exposure. You don't need to be active all over social media you're just asking for attention and you will receive it. The best way to get through this efficiently and thoroughly is to hire an online reputation management firm that will help you restore your reputation

Just when you thought it was safe to come out and play online it's not. You find yourself looking at you but you already have an account, you then realize you have been hacked and it is not a good feeling.

How is Your Online Reputation Compared To Competitors?

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Nobody wants to lose a step when it comes to their rivals, that is why keeping a close eye on your online reputation is a must. Business owners and professionals are becoming more aware of how important it is to maintain their online reputation and are taking different measures in order to achieve their goal. It is well known that a negative online reputation will cost you customers, and possibly your dream job that you were seeking. Take action now.

How does your website reflect your business? This is an important question that must be taken into consideration in order to become aware of how you are stacked against your competition, or if you meet the standards you claim. If your website claims that you will give your customers the best customer service possible make sure that you live up to your word. Hire the right staff, and have employees that are well trained in order to give the customer the best possible customer experience.

Keep your ears open and listen to what your customers have to say. If a customer claims to be unhappy about a recent encounter do something about it. The worst possible thing to do as a business owner is ignoring your customers, put in the time and effort in order to make sure your customers are happy with the brand that you represent.

Many companies are hiring an online reputation management company in order to better help them in building a positive online reputation. It does not matter if you are a big company or small, online reputation will make or break you. Work with your online reputation management company in order to build a fine establishment with a reputable name because at the end if it is reputation that outweighs everything else.

Centel Media™, an online reputation management company, has shown to be a reputable company and work hard on building the type of reputation that you need in order to be successful. They have trained professionals and experts working with you on your online reputation, and will make sure that you have the upper hand when it comes to your competitors. These experts have the skills and techniques that are needed when it comes to dealing with negative content surrounding your name.

Something Old, Something New

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In today's world we are quick to dismiss anything that is not modern or not up with today’s time. We are truly doing ourselves a disservice when we choose to leave "old" methods in the past. Little do we know most businesses have been around before we were born and just because we have social media and most if not all businesses are active on those websites does not mean that they should be the measuring stick for how a business is supposed to be developed.

Before this technology boom businesses depended on other means to survive and promote their business to the masses.Social media came along and has given businesses a chance to expand and get their brand out to a wider audience, but a business should still have a foundation where they don't have to depend on social media to develop their business. I actually think that businesses that thrived before technology became so big are at a huge advantage over everyone else.

Those businesses are structurally stronger because they have had to use lesser means for promotion such as newspaper ads, radio and TV. While these three methods of promotion are still very strong they don't have the same effect as a mobile app or an e-mailed coupon. Before we were pulling out our phones to upload a coupon or opening an app we had to use newspapers and circulars. From a competition standpoint it really brought out the best in everybody because the pickings were thin, so you had to stand out and appeal to your audience if you wanted business.

That was the old way; the new way consists of mobile marketing, scan codes on the side of every product we buy and other tech savvy methods to increase business. If you want information on something just pull out your phone and scan it and a coupon along with a newsletter will be sent to you. What used to take hours now takes minutes to do.  

In my opinion it would be wise for a company to adapt an old school method and apply it to the way you do business today. While a technology based foundation is good, technology is changing every day and that means everyday your foundation shakes which is not good. If you were to apply some radio ads or create a circular that can be placed in papers that would stabilize you.

When one foundation becomes unstable you have another to fall back on which is going to keep you in business and guide you through a lot of tough times.

Social Media Reputation

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Social Media is another way to connect with people, in some ways it is more efficient and takes less time than the standard routes of communication. It has also become an essential tool for businesses who want to attract a younger audience. In some ways social media has replaced your newspaper as the go to place if you wanted to get coupons for your favorite brand.

But just like anything online it is important to make sure that your accounts are not being used to respond to negative comments, it is important to keep it professional at all times. It may be tempting to respond to some comments but your businesses social media account is not the forum to do that. Your online reputation consists of more than just your website and comments that are written about you. Your socialmedia account is a big part of that.

Being that social media is less restrictive than a professional webpage people might find it easier to attack your reputation. The effect that this can have on your company is very damaging because everyone can see what someone one says about you. All it takes is one post and millions of people can view a negative comment about you which can get bigger if you do not take care of the problem as soon as it happens.

Your social media accounts are your customers go to place to get updates and more of an inside peek of your company. You want the atmosphere to be very inviting and pleasant, there should not be any negative comments left out in the open for everyone to see. It looks bad on your part because it makes your page look very sloppy, there should not be a compliment followed by three negative comments. Those comments should be taken care of and removed.

Monitoring your account is easier said than done, it can take a lot of time and attention away from your other business operations. It is very advisable that you hire either a team of experienced social media users or an online reputation firm that can help enhance your social media presence as well as monitor your account against any attack. Just like your online reputation it is very sensitive and should be handled by professionals who specialize in this particular field.

When dealing with your online reputation never hesitate to get help. It’s an investment that will pay itself off before you realize it.