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Why You Need Social Media Management, Part 1

There are two ways to control your reputation: haphazardly, and professionally. Haphazardly includes not doing anything, not joining the major sites, just sticking your head in the sand and pretending they do not affect your life and business.

Do you realize that if someone with the same name as you or in a business with a similar name gains a bad reputation on line, and you are not there with your own positive presence, people may think it’s you? So by not participating in social media you may damage your own reputation.

The best plan is to join the most important sites, create professional profiles, and maintain at least a minimal, positive presence. Reserve your name and your business name(s) on the major sites so that when you decide to be more active, they will be available to you.

Why Everyone Needs Social Media Management

Everyone needs some form of social media management. Here’s why.

Social Media Management is a new term for something that some of us have been doing for a long time under different names: community management, reputation management, image management, public relations.

Long before Twitter and Facebook there were online communities where an individual or organization could earn a good or poor reputation. There were Yahoo groups, Usenet groups, and list serves (group email lists), forums and membership sites, and others.

Long before the Internet, public relations experts were monitoring mentions of people and companies in print and broadcast media and taking steps to improve the recognition and improve the reputation of their clients.

If media exist in any form, your presence in them has to be managed. For example, just because you do not tweet, that does not mean people do not tweet about you, or post mediocre reviews of your products or services on Yelp.

You may hate Facebook, but your friends and customers are there, posting photos with you tagged in them, making comments, and so are many of your potential customers. And make no mistake, your potential customers are there.

If the members of Facebook were the population of a country, it would be the third largest country in the world. At 800,000,000 million members, the population of Facebook is over twice that of the entire United States.

Even if you do not have your own business, you should be shaping the image that your employer has of you. Nowadays more and more companies check LinkedIn. A positive online presence can help you get future jobs, promotions, and important professional connections.

That means even if you think the whole social media phenomenon is a fad (like radio, television and newspapers?), you still need to be there—on your own terms. You need to control your image, your message, and your reputation.

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