Furthermore, companies are sometimes inadvertently associated to posts, such as the supermarket employee who posted a YouTube video of him and his workmates larking about in the warehouse. Evidently he didn’t stop to think how his actions may have harmed the company’s brand, or indeed his personal brand. In essence, protecting your brand is protecting your reputation.

With so many of us being active online, including updating social media sites, contributing to forums and advertising, we are opening ourselves up to potential risks, such as identity theft, an increase in negative search results, pay per click abuse or domain squatting. However, it’s such a great way of engaging with people across the globe that we shouldn’t shy away from it, instead we should be aware of the risks and take a common-sense approach.

What’s more, being invisible online isn’t going to do you, or your company, any favours either. Try doing a Google search on yourself – were you nowhere to be seen? It’s all about taking control and managing your personal brand, we’ve put together a few tips below on how to start tackling this –

Personal Brand Tips

  1. Be courteous – take on board the advice your parents gave you and exercise good manners at all times!  This is especially crucial when representing your company, as professionalism can open up doors.
  2. Work wisely - It goes without saying that keeping promises, good time management, avoiding poor grammar and spelling mistakes and managing expectations are all good practice. Embracing this approach (in and out of work) also means that information that can be found online about you is more likely to be positive than negative. 
  3. Monitor your brand online – register for free with Google Alerts to keep an eye on what is being said about you and your company. For organisations there are also monitoring tools for managing your reputation, who will supress negative search results.
  4. Stay in control – check out the privacy settings on your personal social media profiles and tighten if necessary. Consider creating a personal profile such as About.me or Profiled.com to promote your online identity. In the workplace ensure that a social networking policy is put in place and train those that are going to be representing the organisation.

Both employers and employees should take a proactive approach to brand protection and work in partnership to get the best out of their online presence. Ultimately what customers see online influences their buying decisions so put a strategy in place now! On a personal note, positively promoting yourself will get you noticed and who knows where this could lead you…