Periodically an event or story will occur and get posted online that is not flattering for you or your business. It can be a problem when this happens and often a mop & bucket aren’t going to be enough to make it all go away.
- A bad story from a disgruntled ex-employee or client
- A press release regarding an issue you or your business were involved in, even if from a distance
- Stuff like speeding tickets, less than accurate domestic disputes or a civil trial you got pulled into.
- Not to mention content that you are completely responsible for such as Social Media posts, tagged pictures or groups you joined, that maybe if considered again, you would not have joined.
When these stories hit the internet, there are only a few things you can do to make them go away.
- If you are connected to the content owner – ask them politely to take it down. If they don’t agree to a polite request, use a little more forceful request, up to and including the use of a 2×4
- If you are not connected to the content owner, but can get in touch with them, you can try to encourage them to take the content down, but they may want something in return. (Note – some of the public record posting sites are in business to make money taking content down. Just go ahead and expect to pay if you want the content down now.
- There is another way to make the content go away. Push it down stream.
Pushing content down stream does not make it go away. What it does is overshadow the content with new content. This takes a little work, but it can be successful if you put the effort in.
The strategy for pushing content down stream includes:
- Create accounts on numerous public sites with the same name as the content you want to push downstream
- Populate the profiles with lots of positive and extensive data
- You may want to actually use some of these sites for your personal and/or business purposes. So, keep track of the accounts you create.
- Use the same public domain (google, yahoo, msn, hotmail) email address for all of the accounts you create
- Spend a little time understanding the public site functionality so you understand how to use it for your task at hand.
- Where possible, create links between the new sites
- If the content you want pushed downstream is on a social media site, create lots of additional positive & public data on the same site.
- Spend 15-20 minutes a week posting new comments, pictures, updates, etc, etc in order to create new positive content.
- Monitor Bing, Yahoo & Google (not loged into any sites) and watch new content show up while the unwanted content goes down stream.
Here is a listing of some of the public sites you can create
- www.twitter.com – tweet interesting and fun tweets
- www.facebook.com – share stories, pictures, articles that are fun, interesting and useful (use Public Posts, not private)
- www.linkedIn.com – connect with professionals and join groups that are useful and interesting
- www.wordpress.com – start a simple blog and write stories about your professional and personal experiences
- www.pinterest.com – share images you discover online that excite and interest you & others
- www.about.me – publish all of your social media sites in one place
- www.circle.me – another way to publish your list of social media sites
- flickr.com – a great place to collect and share pictures you take that are interesting and fun
- paper.li – publish a list of all of the blogs and sites that interest you
- foursquare.com – GeoLocation posts of the exciting places you visit
- Google+ (www.google.com) – similar to Facebook
- YouTube.com – share videos that are interesting and fun (create your own and follow other interesting content creators
I share this list because anyone who wants to create an online presence that builds a positive & beneficial awareness of themselves can use these sites to build a positive brand for themselves, while pushing that not so positive content downstream.
This work does not need to be done rapidly – pushing bad content downstream is a long term project, and the online presence value can be beneficial to students, job seekers, business developers and business owners.
It’s a process, not a one time task.