Reputation In Social Media – 3 Sure Fire Ways To Damage It

For everyone, individuals and corporates alike, reputation is of paramount importance. Can’t stress enough the importance of personal branding and reputation in the offline world. Same is true of the online social media world.

Here’s a quick primer on the value of your personal brand and reputation, Seth Godin’s 7-Point Guide to Bootstrap Your Personal Brand by Pete Kistler.

Social media is all about authenticity – and your success with social media is a direct reflection of your reputation in your networks.

If for some reason you’re not convinced, and you do want to damage your reputation in social media, here are three sure fire ways that will help you get there:

1. Be Irrelevant:

We’ve all been there – and seen that. How many emails get deleted without reading? Worse still – how many emails never make it to your inbox through the spam filters?

How often do you ignore tweets that don’t make sense? How often do you pass over stuff that doesn’t fit in line with what you’re thinking – or needing?

One of the best ways to damage your reputation in the world of social media is to be irrelevant. Spamming could be one trick to use. The other trick up your sleeve could be to irritate, annoy, pester (or threaten) your connections.

You can also try gimmicks. Just focus on the number of your twitter followers – and build connections that are not authentic.

Also – don’t add any value, wisdom or insights into any of your social interactions. I guarantee you, personally, that you’ll come out with your reputation damaged.

Hint: Stay relevant in the world of social media. What ever you say – or do – should add value to someone (at least your self) in some way. If it doesn’t, it’s just not worth it!

2. Ignore The Contexts:

SmugMug is an amazing photo sharing and storage site for amateurs and professionals alike. I don’t use them, but have come pretty close to using their services more often than once.

I picked up this image from their product feature and comparison page – and is amazing illustration of what happens when you ignore the contexts.

A picture is worth is a thousand words – and I won’t get disturb the emotions and feelings this image evokes. But this is exactly what happens when you ignore the contexts.

Now this may an extreme example, but think about it in your own world. How often do you pre-judge and pass comments? How often do you communicate using wrong or incorrect contexts?

You are certainly damaging your reputation every time you lose the context and try to interact in your social networks with your eyes and ears closed.

Hint: Take the time to understand contexts – and repercussions. Avoid prejudice, stay clear of back stabbing and name calling. Communicate either to get the complete contexts – or only after you know the complete contexts. Every situation, every connection in your social world is different. One size fits all approach just isn’t going to work.

3. Foster Obnoxiousness

Close on the heels of the first two techniques, is the third one that can help damage your online reputation very successfully. Be obnoxious. Foster obnoxiousness. You can choose any combination of the definitions that make up the word – or all of them in your social interactions:

  • highly objectionable or offensive; odious: obnoxious behavior.
  • annoying or objectionable due to being a showoff or attracting undue attention to oneself: an obnoxious little brat.
  • Archaic . exposed or liable to harm, evil, or anything objectionable.
  • Obsolete . liable to punishment or censure; reprehensible.
  • Via: Dictionary.com – http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/obnoxious

Hint: You want to steer clear of anything that fits, even remotely, into the four defining categories of the word. Stay away – and your social media interactions will be far more rewarding over the longer term.

As Maria Keckler rightly says on her blog, Social Media Strategy For Writers

Know your purpose. Know your audience.

Every word you broadcast through Social Media outlets will create an impression of you, your brand, and your company. Before you click the Submit button, ask yourself if your message echoes your purpose and meets the needs of your intended audience. If it doesn’t, quickly move to the Delete key and start over.

Call them tips, tricks or techniques – these three pointers are a sure fire way of damaging your reputation effectively in the social media world.

I’m sure you can add a bunch of other pointers into this list – for the benefit of those who do insist on damaging their personal branding.

What do you think?

(Image Credit: valleygirl_tka http://www.flickr.com/photos/38194075@N05/4430503343/sizes/m/)

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