Online Reputation: You Are Still Associated With Your Business Even When Clocking Out
We have come to realize that a presence is necessary for businesses within social media, we can now even agree that reputation management for companies are important; but are we ready to talk about personal reputation when it comes to your business?
This is most likely not the first you will read about how your personal presence online does affect your professionalism, in fact you may even have the urge to debate it. Writing that your thoughts are solely your own anywhere and that it does not associate or reflect those of your business is just wasted characters.
It is 2013, and your association with what you do will follow you. No matter where you are online, your presence is easily found and your actions with what you do online will no longer just be your own. Perhaps you may think that since you are using your personal account during your off time should be none of anyone’s business with what you do with that time, but it is, especially online. In fact, it is everyone’s business.
To be frank, you are not going to remember all of the people you have chosen to connect with on various social networks, such as your fellow employees, management or worse, your customers. If you choose to display yourself in an unprofessional way, it affects not only the way people will think of you, but the way they perceive the business you are associated with.
The controversy of getting fired over sharing, swearing or spewing words that are during the times you are clocked out have many not worried, nor will HR have much power to step in during these instances. But it is time for you to start thinking outside of your own safety zone. How you spend your off-time while online is not like how it is spent offline. There are no walls, no “What happens online, stays online”.
Your actions, words and persona will haunt you if you do not think about the trail you leave while using the Internet. You are a representation of your business, to anyone who knows you, to your local community and depending on how in-depth you are at your business; it could go far beyond that. But should it? A wake up call is necessary, being concerned about thinking your privacy cannot be infiltrated is not it, instead you could actually be your own worst enemy.
Think before you tweet, share content and write. Think before you choose words to say what you think or feel. The divide between your personal and professional life is thinning whilst online and in this world, there is no clocking out.