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How to Take Control of Your Online Reputation

By Crystal Smith


Social media isn’t new anymore. Just about everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, photo-sharing sites, and more. And it’s not new for organizations to use these sites for two-way communication with many different audiences. Does your organization have an official presence on social media? You might be surprised to find what you think is the answer to that question may not be true.

Whether or not your company has created an official page or account on one of the many social-media platforms, these pages and accounts may exist anyway. For example, is there a Facebook fan page for your organization that you didn’t create? A LinkedIn company profile? Or, how about a YouTube video or even an entire YouTube channel that references your business, but isn’t accurate? And if you’re not controlling these accounts and pages, then who is?

It’s no longer a choice for organizations to decide whether they want to be active in social media, the choice is now whether you will take control and manage your reputation.

Where most organizations make a mistake — after ignoring these social-media conversations — is diving right in without first doing some research to understand which and how many social-media platforms, individual pages, and accounts are talking about them.

This is called a social-media audit and in addition to revealing some eye-opening information, it helps to pave the way for you to build a proactive social-media plan and take control of your brand online. Are you being heard?


Crystal Smith is director of integrated media for public relations at Strategic Communications, LLC, which says it provides “trusted counsel” for public relations, crisis communications, government relations, and business strategy. Contact her at




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