Life is great when everything is going as planned and moving along seamlessly. But what do you do when things aren’t so bright and cheery and roadblocks appear along your path?

The way in which you respond to situations creates the same reputation of who you are online (i.e., liked and trusted or blacklisted and banned) just as it does offline. So, with this in mind, here are three ways to kill your online reputation at lightening speed!

1. Freak out. If you’re not actively checking to see what is being said about you online, then you may be in for a surprise. Hopefully, that is not the case for the majority of you; however, wouldn’t you prefer to know than just hope for the best?

Setting up a Google Alert with your name (and/or business name) will prove to be the best way of being aware of any review, whether negative or positive.

What should you do if you come across a negative review? 

You can:

a) freak out and punch your fist through your monitor;
b) freak out and, without any thought, respond in an unprofessional manner; or
c) take a professional approach — thank them for their opinion and ask how you can improve your wrongdoings and how you can turn that negative review into a positive one.

Of course, the latter of the three options is the ONLY thing you should do, no matter how upset you are!

By responding in a professional way, and encouraging communication with the reviewer, you are not only portraying an aware and caring persona to them but to anyone else who may read the review stream. Seeing your willingness to rectify the situation would be better than just seeing the reviewer’s bashing.

(NOTE:  If the negative review truly is unjustified, it is possible to request the review to be removed from most of these sites.) In the meantime, work on getting more positive reviews by always asking both current and previous clients for one.

2. Stalk ’em.

Online stalking - image courtesy of Author

Someone has just requested to be your friend or has liked your page on Facebook. The first thing you need to do is add their email to your “HOT BUYER” campaign. Then, add numerous updates on their Facebook wall about YOU, YOU and YOU. Don’t forget to also include links to your listings over and over again.

STOP!!! Of course, I am joking, but you’d be surprised at how many people truly get social networking completely wrong! When you’re using the multiple social media platforms available to you, please, don’t be a stalker about it. As Chris Smith mentioned in his latest webinar, 12 Secrets to Converting Leads from Facebook, “the No. 1 best practice on Facebook is don’t be creepy”!

So what should you do when you get a new friend or new like? Continue on as usual. They probably began following you because they liked what you were saying without any pressure from you to begin with! Be social. Be you!

3. Permanent markers

Permanent markers - image courtesy of Author

What you post, what you link to, what you upload … all are like writing with a permanent marker, not a pencil. It is there for all to see, and it is there for good. Your mother seeing something less than respectable online is the least of your worries … what if you were looking into becoming a professional real estate speaker? Or what about if you were attempting to move up the corporate ladder in any way, shape or form?

Seventy-seven percent of employers search Google for their prospective employees; what do you want to have visible to the public’s eye?

If your past updates or uploads to any social media platform are questionable, I would recommend changing your privacy settings so that future posts are more protected. Here’s a direct link to Facebook’s privacy settings: On Twitter, you have the ability to protect your tweets through the settings page of your account, and LinkedIn has similar privacy features within your profile settings.

The moral of this story is think before you do. This is a golden rule for life in general, but when it comes to your online reputation, this is definitely a doozy.

These are my top three ways to kill your online reputations, but what other ways can you protect it from being demolished?

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