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Date: March 29th, 2012
Category: social media
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Seven Principles to Building an Online Reputation

Today I’m speaking at re:think in Oslo, Norway (more on the city later).

The conference organizer, Arnt Eriksen, asked me to consider speaking on something that is near and dear to my heart, but a topic I hadn’t yet created a presentation around.

The topic? Principles of Building an Online Reputation.

So I thought I’d do something a little bit different today and share with you the presentation.

Because it’s all images, it likely won’t make sense without some explanation.

Therefore I give you the seven principles to building an online reputation.

  1. Create a strong online monitoring program. I stole a lot of my recommendations for this principle from Lisa Gerber’s blog post yesterday. If you haven’t read it yet, head over there now.
  2. Create engaging and valuable content. Also on the speaking docket today are Valeria Maltoni, Chris Brogan, and Maggie Fox so I used a lot of their work as examples throughout my presentation (see principle five). The content can’t be sales-y or boring or highly technical. It has to be informational, educational, and engaging.
  3. Comment on other content. We’ve talked about this here before, in terms of creating your own media relations program…or a response campaign, as we call it. I show examples of how this works, from a traditional media perspective. By commenting on a USA Today article, the author did a follow-up story and used me as a source.
  4. Build community. Mitch Joel famously (at least to me) once said you don’t have a community until people begin talking to one another without the help of the blog’s author. This principle goes into detail about how to make that happen so you can watch it all unfold.
  5. Stroke egos. And not in a fake way that makes you seem like you’re doing it just to get something, but in a real and genuine way. This principle talks about how, when people comment or engage with you online, the don’t want to be ignored. Think about it this way: Have you ever made a witty or funny comment on someone’s Facebook status update only to have that person go right past it and engage with everyone but you? It doesn’t feel good. People just want to be heard.
  6. Have a crisis plan ready. It doesn’t have to be formal, but you should follow the five P’s of crisis planning: Predict, position, prevent, plan, and persevere.
  7. Write a book ahead of its time. Mitch Joel (who speaks later today) and I have gone round and round about some of these principles, particularly about blog commenting and stroking other’s egos. In fact, last year he wrote about the other side of comments, completely disagreeing with me. So I joke with him that not everyone is smart enough to write a book ahead of its time (cough, Six Pixels of Separation, cough) so most of us have to do the really hard work of building a reputation without it.

I’ll let you know how it goes. But, in the meantime, I thought I’d share the slides with you so you can dig further into each principle.

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