Your online reputation leads directly to your offline one
What you say and what people say about you online can be just as detrimental to your online reputation as to your offline one. This goes for large AND small companies. Case in point:
The owner of a donut hole shop in the city of Pittsburgh recently had his blog shut down and its keys thrown into an Internet worm hole after community activists brought to light the conflicting messages he was aiming to spread via his blog and via his shop.
His blog posts were bordering on extremely conservative views, while his shop’s slogan urged customers to embrace the hippie in them.
While we would not like to promote stereotypes or pass judgements on others’ blogs and are therefore omitting some details, we believe that it is fairly easy to see where the conflict of message was.
The response? A sector of the community created their own groundswell on Urbanspoon.com, filling the comment space with reviews about horrible service, rude staff, prompting counter-posts left by friends defending the owner and the donut shop.
While the Internet may seem like a place where you can express yourself freely in an environment that is completely detached from who you are in “real life”, the fact is that they are both you, online or off. How you act in one realm can easily affect how people perceive you in the other.
When interacting in the blogosphere:
- Write as if your customers are standing right beside you
- Remember that once something is published on the Internet, there’s no going back
- Be mindful of your online reputation. Your customers are.