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Reputations Are Crucial

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Serendipity

I received an email from my friend Chris Griffith the other day talking about on-line reputations, right after I had read an interesting post by Australian Social Media consultant Laurel Papworth   with the chart you see above. I really liked the chart, and was planning on using it in a Social Media presentation I’m giving next week , and I thought the chart did a great job of explaining how reputation attracts consumers by building trust. The topic wasn’t (in my small mind) specifically real estate related so I wrote a quick post about it on another one of my blogs.  

To me it was a common sense type of thing so I really didn’t think much about it until this morning when I was on Facebook. As I was poking around I noticed one of my friends had joined Social Media Today. The name of the group was vague enough to make me look, so I went to see what was what – and lo and behold I found a study that actually quantifies the points made in my post and Laurel’s chart.

I love Being Right

When I read the article, I got really happy. I believe that there is a huge difference between what you thinknd what you know and as a result, I try to be careful to differentiate between opinion and fact. But when I saw Laurel’s chart, combined it with my own feelings about reputation and my experience as an employer, I knew  that being careful about how you manage your on-line reputation was an important thing for everyone to think about.

Through the magic of three stages of separation, I found a Facebook link to Social Media Today where there was a post about an article in Computerworld, quoting a survey performed by CareerBuilder.com. (Its only a couple of clicks to go a long way in the virtual world).

The Computerworld article provided empirical evidence based on a study of 31,000 employers conducted by Careerbuilder.com. In the study they found that reviewing Social Networks as part of the hiring process had doubled amoung this group in the past 2 years.

According to the article, these managers are using the social networks to find the following information;

  1. Information about alcohol or drug use (41% of managers said this was a top concern)
  2. Inappropriate photos or information posted on a candidate’s page (40%)
  3. Poor communication skills (29%)
  4. Bad-mouthing of former employers or fellow employees (28%)
  5. Inaccurate qualifications (27%)
  6. Unprofessional screen names (22%)
  7. Notes showing links to criminal behavior (21%)
  8. Confidential information about past employers revealed by the prospective hire (19%)

Our potential employers, employees, associates, customers, and clients all have the same ability to check our backgrounds, and may be even more likely to do so than this group of management folks. Therefore it is imperative that we be aware of the consequences of posting things that may seem innocuous to us , but might be negative (or even offensive) to someone else,

MySpace and Facebook created a special club for the early adopters, but that’s all changed now. The good part about the phenomenon of Social Networking is that it has grown immensely, but with that growth grew a diverse audience, and the potential for unintended consequences if we don’t think before we type.

A Word to the Wise

So from the people who brought us the immortal phrases “Don’t Drink and Dial”  and “Don’t drink and Tweet” we have the new cliche “Think Before You Post” . Chose the information you want to share in the Social Networks carefully, remembering that you never know who is going to be reading it, and for what purpose.

Those of us who read and write in the Blogiverse have learned (sometimes painfully) that stuff you post on the Internet seems to be forever and that caution is indicated. But when we are young, invincible and immortal, we sometimes forget that the importance of thinking ahead.  No 20 year old getting a tattoo ever stopped to think about what that Ink would look like when they reach 55 or 60 (to the chagrin of more then a few folks) or perhaps they didn’t care. But putting something in your profile that might impact your ability to gain a client or a job, or recruit an associate is a bump in the road most of us would want to avoid.

Bill is an unusual blend of Old & New - The CEO Century 21 Advantage Gold (Philadelphia's Largest Century 21 company and BuzzBuilderz (a Social Media Marketing Company), He is a Ninja CEO, blending the Web 1 and 2.0 world together in a fashion that stretches the fabric of the universe. You can follow him on twitter @Billlublin or Facebook or LinkedIn.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Craig Ernst

    September 16, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Great post, Bill! I remember reading and article sometime back (either in WSJ or NYT) about this very thing. Nothing that’s posted on the web will ever go away. There are a lot of young people inadvertently doing themselves a great deal of future harm with what they are frivolously posting on the web today.

    And as you pointed out, it’s not just the young. Naive and impulsive writing on the web can certainly come back and haunt you. Potential clients are *definitely* Googling you, searching for you on Facebook, etc.

    My grandmother used to tell me that I should always behave as if someone was always watching me, because they were. She meant Jesus(!), but in this case, it’s Big Brother aka The WWW (and maybe Google).

    So, let’s be careful out there. 🙂

    Craig

  2. Kris Berg

    September 16, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Immediately sending the link to my daughter in college although, through my continual “creepering” of her Facebook, I know that she is already getting it. A few pictures have mysteriously disappeared since Rush Week ended. 🙂

  3. Kris Berg

    September 16, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    On second thought, I can no longer send her this link. I don’t think she fully comprehends my creeper nature.

  4. Bridget Magnus

    September 16, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    I go back to my old advice about email, because it applies to posts as well:

    Never publish or send anything you wouldn’t want to read out loud to your mother, your boss, or a judge.

    This will keep you from embarassment, even if it won’t entirely insulate you from unemployment or subpoena.

  5. Bridget Magnus

    September 16, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    I suppose since we’re all “independent contractors”, insert “broker” for “boss”.

  6. Missy Caulk

    September 17, 2008 at 5:41 am

    Bill, this is good data. I don’t accept friendship requests on FB from my children’s friends. I try to keep it professional. I know at our high school, the guidance counselors have profiles to check on the kids and as a mom, I’m always telling then to watch what you put on there. Unfortunately they sometimes listen and sometimes don’t.
    41% for drugs and alcohol and 40% for photos’ is a lot of looking.

  7. Steve Simon

    September 17, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Just a very good post… I agree with the concept whole heartedly. The tricky part is getting the younger personto understand that “They will not always see things the way they do know…”

  8. Kim Wood

    September 17, 2008 at 7:22 am

    What you say in Social Media doesn’t stay there?
    What about what happens at the RE Conferences that others may capture on film? (“X” LOL)

    Keeping a balance between transparency and professionalism can be a little tricky. I haven’t mastered it, that’s for sure, but a work in progress. I do want to be *me*; that I know for sure.

    Steve – I agree – and if you figure it out, please let me know. It seems like they are just there for the moment.

  9. Mack

    September 17, 2008 at 7:23 am

    I real estate one of our biggest assets is our reputation. I know some agents whose reputation will keep other agents from even showing their listings. Bill, I liked the quote from Warren Buffet in your other article; “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”. This is another reason for us to all treat each other with the respect and professionalism we deserve.

  10. JeffX

    September 17, 2008 at 11:02 am

    @Kim I have no idea what you’re talking about 😉

    Great article Bill. Off to check my own Facebook page for ‘discrepancies’…and contemplate how my tattoos will look in 20 years 🙂

  11. ines

    September 18, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Does that mean I can’t say “CRAP” on twitter anymore? or talk about “MOJITOS”?

  12. monika

    September 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    How true Bill. The written word lives forever…or so it seems!
    🙂

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Social Media

How this influencer gained 26k followers during the pandemic

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Becoming an influencer on social media can seem appealing, but it’s not easy. Check out this influencer’s journey and her rise during the pandemic.

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Influencer planning her social media posts.

Meet Carey McDermott – a 28-year-old Boston native – more widely known by her Instagram handle @subjectively_hot. Within a few months, since March, McDermott has accrued a whopping 26k following, and has successfully built her brand around activism, cheeky observations of day-to-day bullshit, and her evident hotness.

“It mostly started as a quarantine project.” Said McDermott, who was furloughed from her job at the start of shelter-in-place. “I had a lot of free time and I wanted to do an Instagram for a while so I thought, ‘I might as well take some pictures of myself.’”

To get started McDermott, used a lot of hashtags relevant to her particular niche to get noticed, and would follow other influencers that used similar hashtags.

“I definitely built a little online community of women, and we all still talk to each other a lot.”

Like many popular influencers, McDermott engages with her audience as much as possible. She is sure to like or reply to positive comments on her pictures, which makes followers feel special and seen, and subsequently more likely to follow and continue following her account. She also relies heavily on some of Instagram’s more interactive features.

When asked why she thinks she has been able to build and retain such a large base in just a few months, McDermott explained: “I think people like my [Instagram] Stories because I do a lot of polls and ask fun questions for people to answer, and then I repost them”.

But it’s not just fun and games for @subjectively_hot – Carey wants to use her account to make some substantial bread.

“I’ve gotten a bunch of products gifted to me in exchange for unpaid ads and I’m hoping to expand that so I can get paid ads and sponsorships. But free products are nice!”

Additionally, McDermott was recently signed with the talent agency the btwn – a monumental achievement which she attributes to her influencer status.

“Having a large Instagram following gave me the confidence to reach out to a modeling brand. After they looked at my Instagram, they signed me without asking for any other pictures.”

To aspiring influencers, McDermott offers this advice:

“Find your niche. Find your brand. Find what makes you unique and be yourself – don’t act like what you think an influencer should act like. People respond to you being authentic and sharing your real life. And definitely find other people in similar niches as you and build connections with them.”

But McDermott also warns against diving too unilaterally into your niche, and stresses the importance of a unique, multi-dimensional online persona.

“[@subjectively_hot] is inherently a plus size account. But a lot of plus size Instagrams are just about being plus size, and are only like, “I’m confident and here’s my body”. I don’t want to post only about body positively all day, I want it to be about me and being hot.”

And you definitely can’t paint this girl in broad strokes. I personally find her online personality hilarious, self-aware, and brutally anti-patriarchal (she explicitly caters to all walks of life minus the straight cis men who, to her dismay, frequent her DMs with unsolicited advice, comments, and pictures). Her meme and TikTok curations are typically some of the silliest, most honest content I see that day and, as her handle suggests, her pictures never fail in their hotness value.

For McDermott, right now is about enjoying her newfound COVID-era celebrityhood. Her next steps for @subjectively_hot include getting paid ads and sponsorships, and figuring out the most effective way to monetize her brand. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases threaten her chances of returning to the place of her former employment in the hospitality industry.

With so many influencers on Instagram and other platforms, some might find it hard to cash in on their internet fame. But with a loyal fanbase addicted to her golden, inspiring personality, I think Carey will do just fine.

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Social Media

This LinkedIn graphic shows you where your profile is lacking

(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn has the ability to insure your visibility, and this new infographic breaks down where you should put the most effort.

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LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a must-have in the professional world. However, this social media platform can be incredibly overwhelming as there are a lot of moving pieces.

Luckily, there is a fancy graphic that details everything you need to know to create the perfect LinkedIn profile. Let’s dive in!

As we know, it is important to use your real name and an appropriate headshot. A banner photo that fits your personal brand (e.g. fits the theme of your profession/industry) is a good idea to add.

Adding your location and a detailed list of work-related projects are both underutilized, yet key pieces of information that people will look for. Other key pieces come in the form of recommendations; connections aren’t just about numbers, endorse them and hopefully they will return the favor!

Fill in every and all sections that you can, and re-read for any errors (get a second set of eyes if there’s one available). Use the profile strength meter to get a second option on your profile and find out what sections could use a little more help.

There are some settings you can enable to get the most out of LinkedIn. Turn on “career interests” to let recruiters know that you are open to job offers, turn on “career advice” to participate in an advice platform that helps you connect with other leaders in your field, turn your profile privacy off from private in order to see who is viewing your profile.

The infographic also offers some stats and words to avoid. Let’s start with stats: 65% of employers want to see relevant work experience, 91 percent of employers prefer that candidates have work experience, and 68% of LinkedIn members use the site to reconnect with past colleagues.

Now, let’s talk vocab. The infographic urges users to avoid the following words: specialized, experienced, skilled, leadership, passionate, expert, motivated, creative, strategic, focused.

That was educational, huh? Speaking of education – be sure to list your highest level of academia. People who list their education appear in searches up to 17 times more often than those who do not. And, much like when you applied to college, your past education wasn’t all that you should have included – certificates (and licenses) and volunteer work help set you apart from the rest.

Don’t be afraid to ask your connections, colleagues, etc. for recommendations. And, don’t be afraid to list your accomplishments.

Finally, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. You’re already using the site, right? Use it to your advantage! Finish your profile by completing the all-star rating checklist: industry and location, skills (minimum of three), profile photo, at least 50 connections, current position (with description), two past positions, and education.

When all of this is complete, continue using LinkedIn on a daily basis. Update your profile when necessary, share content, and keep your name popping up on peoples’ timelines. (And, be sure to check out the rest of Leisure Jobs’ super helpful infographic that details other bits, like how to properly size photos!)

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Social Media

This Twitter tool hopes to fight misinformation, but how effective is it?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Birdwatch is a new tool from Twitter in the fight against misinformation… in theory. But it could be overkill.

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Twitter welcome screen open on large phone with stylus.

Social media has proven to be a blanket breeding ground for misinformation, and Twitter is most certainly not exempt from this rule. While we’ve seen hit-or-miss attempts from the notorious bird app to quell the spread of misinformation, their latest effort seems more streamlined—albeit a little overboard.

Birdwatch is a forthcoming feature from Twitter that will allegedly help users report misleading content. According to The Verge, Twitter has yet to release definitive details about the service. However, from leaked information, Birdwatch will serve the purpose of reporting misinformation, voting on whether or not it is truly misleading, and attaching notes to pertinent tweets.

Such a feature is still months away, so it appears that the upcoming election will take place before Birdwatch is officially rolled out.

There are a lot of positive sides to welcoming community feedback in a retaliation against false information, be it political in nature or otherwise. Fostering a sense of community responsibility, giving community members the option to report at their discretion, and including an option for a detailed response rather than a preset list of problems are all proactive ideas to implement, in theory.

Of course, that theory goes out the window the second you mention Twitter’s name.

The glaring issue with applying a community feedback patch to the rampant issue of misinformation on social media is simple: The misinformation comes from the community. A far cry from Twitter’s fact-checking warnings that appeared on relevant tweets earlier this year, Birdwatch—given what we know now—has every excuse to be more biased than any prior efforts.

Furthermore, the pure existence of misinformation on Twitter often results from the knee-jerk, short response format that tweets take. As such, expecting a lengthy form and vote application to fix the problem seems misguided. Simply reporting a tweet for being inaccurate or fostering harassment is already more of an involved process than most people are likely to partake in, so Birdwatch might be overdoing it.

As always, any effort from Twitter—or any social media company, for that matter—to crack down on the spread of misinformation is largely appreciated. Birdwatch, for all of its potential issues, is certainly a step in the right direction. Let’s just hope it’s an accessible step.

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