Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok have opened up new possibilities for connecting with a worldwide audience. Depending on its use, this immediacy can have positive or negative effects. Reputation management is an ongoing process that involves knowing what to post, what not to post, and how to protect yourself from online attacks.
When Using Social Media, Assume Nothing Is Private
While most social networks offer privacy settings you can use on photos or posts you want to share with a select group of friends or family, content is never truly private. Facebook and other sites are constantly changing the rules about how much content you can protect, and your friends can forward embarrassing pictures of you without your consent.
Experts say you should never post anything on social media you don’t want the world to see. If you have “questionable” photos or videos of yourself that you would be embarrassed for your grandparents to see, either don’t post them in the first place, or remove them immediately if you have already shared them. Such content can include lewd acts, drinking, offensive gestures, and inappropriate dancing.
While talent selection decisions should never be made based on a person’s religious or political views, steering clear of these types of posts will help ensure you do not inadvertently offend anyone you are trying to impress.
If someone else posts a picture of you on Facebook that you find embarrassing, remove the tag that identifies it as you. Also don’t hesitate to ask others to take down pictures of you that might compromise your reputation.
Parents of younger performers may find it beneficial to mention that the social media profile is parent monitored. This can act as a deterrent for those who might be considering posting something inappropriate or sending a questionable message to your child’s account.
Sharing the Right Things the Right Way on Social Media
Now that we’ve talked about what not to post, here is what you should be sharing. Videos of you performing or walking the catwalk are essentially visual resumes that showcase your talent and your prior experience. Be sure to include information about the performance in the post and give credit to the videographer if it was professionally done.
Speaking of being professional, be sure everything in your post is spelled correctly and that your grammar and punctuation are accurate. These types of errors can raise red flags about your professionalism to some agencies or talent scouts.
Set Up Google Alerts to Track Mentions of You
Not only do you need to think about what you are sharing about yourself online, you should also be monitoring what other people are saying about you. Set up Google Alerts for your name to track any mentions of you that may appear. You can choose to receive notifications immediately, once a day, or once a week. You can also select what types of media to receive alerts about, such as articles, blogs, images, etc.
Protect Your Password
Avoid sharing your social media passwords. Someone may sign in with your login information and post harmful content as you. Also, try not to use the same password for all of your accounts, especially the ones associated with your career. The last thing you want is someone spamming agents or talents scouts who follow you, or posting something inappropriate.
Reputation Management Includes Not Losing Your Cool—EVER!
Whatever you do, don’t lose your cool if you are under attack. Don’t add fuel to the fire by venting your anger or frustration, whether you think the criticism is justified or unjustified. Reprisals are definitely a no-no unless you want to risk the attack going viral.
The internet can be a powerful, inexpensive marketing tool for your performance career, but only if you use it wisely and safely. Keep it clean, stay in your lane, and take the high road to keep your online presence positive.