If you’re very Internet savvy, you probably use the Internet to manage your own online reputation. Reputation management is one of the hottest new trends online, and people are creating profiles on sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and Beebo in order to manage their own online presence.
Even Wikipedia allows you to manage your own online reputation, and that of your company, if you know how to use it right… except of course you’re not ‘supposed’ to add a Wikipedia page for yourself!
However, many business experts aren’t using the Internet the way they should be and aren’t taking control of their online reputation in the way they are of their offline reputation.
Sharon Barclay from the PR firm Blue Trumpet Group conducted research into the top 100 CEOs from the Fortune’s 2009 list to see how the brightest business minds in the world were using the Internet, and the results were disastrous.
Of the top 100 CEOs, only two of them had registered for Twitter and just 13 of them could be found on LinkedIn. Twitter you could perhaps understand, it’s fairly new and seems to be the domain of the young and of celebrities, but LinkedIn is a business networking website. CEOs are its main target market.
19 of the CEOs were on Facebook, but almost 75 of them could be found on Wikipedia. Of course, the Wikipedia entries can be written by anyone, so any public figure will find they’re on Wikipedia, whether they like it or not. Most of the entries found were incomplete or inaccurate though, as is often the way with Wikipedia.
Barclay deduced that the results show that the CEOs weren’t doing enough to manage their reputation online:
I would think an executive at that level would want to exploit (an online) network as much as possible. But the only executives using LinkedIn well were people in technology.
Do you do enough to manage your reputation online, or would you even know where to start with reputation management?