In the modern connected world, online presence is everything.
Science fiction of the early 2000s would have you believe that everything would be online in the future. Like many unlikely and mundane predictions of the future, this has become an almost literal reality: almost everything and everyone is online. With people’s public lives being exposed to the scrutiny of a fickle public in social networking, even the slightest of faults and misunderstandings can be blown out of proportion. The resulting bad press could be very hard to control.
For many businesses and high-profile individuals, online reputation management has become an accepted part of life, with businesses investing heavily in having a reputation management campaign as part of their promotions and public relations program. But managing a clean public face online is not just the domicile of enterprises and entrepreneurs: regular people could actually benefit from taking a proactive stance in managing a positive online presence while defining themselves through their activity and content. In this way, one could give off a trustworthy, competent first impression and persona—a personal brand.
Crafting a positive social media presence and personal brand requires active and tactful participation in social networking. While social networking has its own utility on a personal level and is a great tool to craft a positive personal brand, it also require users to take control of what they post and what gets posted about them in a network. Understanding privacy settings and holding oneself back before typing statuses and comments on a whim are just some of the expected chores that come with cultivating a positive online presence and a good personal brand.
A substantial and positive online presence can help individuals craft a favorable personal brand that would help build trust for future employers and partners, a metaphorical best foot forward in the cyber realm. But even the most sterling of reputations could be undermined by negative content; a good online presence also provides a base to build up an online reputation repair campaign.