Bolstering your online reputation

CEOs and executive board members act as the faces of their companies, and are always looking for new ways to improve the way their firms are perceived by the public. However, with the proliferation of social media sites and other online platforms, it has become increasingly important for executives to manage their own personal brands online as well. Whether you’re trying to impress an executive search firm or just looking to improve your Web persona, here are five strategies that can help you improve your online presence.

  1. Track important keywords
    The first step toward expertly managing your Web reputation is to know what people are saying about you, and Search Engine Watch noted that keyword tracking programs are the easiest way to stay up to date. There are several free keyword trackers, including Google Alerts and Social Mention, that will alert you every time your name is mentioned online. You can also use these services to stay updated on other relevant keywords, such as the names of your company, co-workers or competitors.
  2. Set up social media profiles
    According to Forbes, Facebook and Twitter aren’t just for connecting with family and friends – they can also be useful when it comes to creating a strong professional reputation online. The source even recommended setting up an account with Google Plus. While Google Plus isn’t as widely used right now, Google searches favor Google products, so your Google Plus profile will be more visible in search results. You don’t necessarily need to be active on social sites, though you shouldn’t be completely dormant, either. Take the time to completely fill out personal information on your profile, and try to post new content once a month, even if it’s just a link to a relevant article that you found interesting.
  3. Be aware of privacy settings
    While you certainly wouldn’t consider posting a photograph of yourself engaging in questionable or unprofessional behavior to your social media sites, there’s no controlling what other people upload to the Internet. Protect all of your social media content with privacy settings so that only those you’ve selected can view your personal information. Forbes noted that you shouldn’t hesitate to ask a friend or family member to remove a picture.
  4. Consider an online reputation management program
    As it’s become increasingly important for Internet users to monitor their online reputations, several services have cropped up that promise to do the heavy lifting for you. Forbes reported that there are several companies, including Reputation Changer, Big Blue Robot and Metal Rabbit Media, that promise to hide negative information about you that can be viewed in Google searches. They can also be used to help push positive information, including a preferred social media profile, to the top of search results.

These services can be pricey – most reputation management companies charge close to $5,000 a year. However, executives who don’t have in-house teams dedicated to monitoring their online presence may find that the fees are worth it.

About Caldwell Partners

Caldwell Partners is a leading international provider of executive search and has been for more than 40 years. As one of the world’s most trusted advisors in executive search, the firm has a sterling reputation built on successful searches for boards, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts. With offices and partners across North America and in London, the firm takes pride in delivering an unmatched level of service and expertise to its clients.

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