Just how secure is your company and your personal online profile? If you happened to catch Sam Richter’s presentation on protecting your brand at the NAED Western Regional Conference, the answer is not very secure. And equally startling is the fact that it’s your fault that your online profile is in danger.
Richter compares the safety of your online image and brand to handing your cell phone to a stranger. Your personal information, photos, e-mail, notes and strategies are potentially all on the Internet or your phone. And if you are not protecting them, they are available for anyone to see.
Richter points out that this branding is important because it is how your customers think of you, and that goes beyond just the company. Many times, a CEO of a company will do something negatively on the Internet, and that will negatively impact their company. This includes social media like Twitter and Facebook, where there are plenty of examples of company presidents and CEO’s who have posted something on their personal account, and it negatively impacted their business.
In addition, we now live in a world where everyone has the capability to take your picture or shoot video on a cell phones. If you are caught in a position that can negatively impact your personal or business brand, someone can capture that, and that can cause damage that cannot be repaired.
Richter also points out that your company needs to have a plan to handle negative feedback. He also believes you need to keep in mind that any way you respond to negative feedback could end up in a blog or on social media. Richter’s rule is simple, “Do not do something permanently stupid because you are temporarily upset. That will always come back to haunt you.” Richter says this is especially true with e-mail, where no matter what you send, invariably the person on the other end of the message will take your words negatively, even if it is not intended that way.
Richter ended his presentation by saying the things you can do to protect your brand include keeping your personal social media accounts secure, protecting the online image of your company at all times, and make sure all negative feedback is handled appropriately and without emotion.
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