Thursday, June 19, 2014

5 Ways Students Can Protect Their Online Reputation

Have you ever Googled yourself? If you haven't done it before, do it right now. Now this thought may be a little scary but 80% of employers will Google you before they invite you for an interview. What employers find online about you is at best an incomplete picture of who you are but it's just a fact of life. Below are a few ideas of what you can do to make sure your online reputation is stellar.
a picture of someone googling their own name
1. Revisit the privacy settings on all your social channels. Most social media sites have a "view as public" link to make sure you know what is public and what is private. Anything that you'd be concerned about a future employer seeing, make sure to delete it or that it is private. You might be surprised what photos the whole world can see.
2. Set up two factor authentication for increased security. Getting any of your accounts hacked sucks. The last thing you want is SPAM being sent through your Facebook, LinkedIn or Gmail accounts to all your contacts. Two factor authentication makes it so you have to enter in a code from a text message to your phone, to be able to log in from a new computer. For example, if someone in Nigeria tries to log into your Gmail with your password, unless they have your cell phone, it will be impossible for them to get into your account.
picture of two factor authentication
3. Set a Google alert for your name. This works best if your name is not very common. If you do have a common name try to add another keyword like your place of employment, hometown or school. These alerts will send you an email anytime Google finds a new website or article where your name is mentioned.
4. If you don't have one yet, create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the worlds largest professional network. LinkedIn is the best place to establish your online professional presence and reputation. On your LinkedIn profile you can make sure employers find the information you want them to find. Check this other post I wrote which explains the LinkedIn basics all students should be doing.
5. Put up a professional picture for your LinkedIn and Google profiles. LinkedIn is a professional social network, so the picture should be professional. I recommend a professional picture for your Google profile too because it can show up in the emails you send through Gmail. If you are using Gmail for professional communication, you want a professional picture to show up.
example of google plus picture showing up in gmail

A little bit of effort can go a long way to protect your online reputation. Now is the best time to set yourself up for success in preparation for when that recruiter, from your dream company, Googles your name.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Summary: The Ultimate Question 2.0 by Fred Reichheld.

Last summer I asked Nick Besbeas (LinkedIn's CMO) if he could recommend some marketing books for me to read to prepare to come back to LinkedIn after I graduated. I just finished one of the first books, The Ultimate Question 2.0 by Fred Reichheld.

After reading each book, you'll get a post that has my key takeaways. Here they are......

Avoid "bad profits" at all costs. Bad profits are "profits earned at the expense of customer relationships." A great example of bad profits are the late fees from Blockbuster. Late fees were one of their biggest sources of profit. People were all too eager to abandon Blockbuster for companies like Netflix, who took advantage of Blockbuster's mistake. Netflix built their business off of the mantra "no late fees". Bad profits is one of the main reasons Blockbuster went down in flames.

Current accounting systems encourage bad profits. The book highlighted that current accounting systems do not distinguish between bad and good profits. This makes having another measure that you put alongside your financial reports extremely important. Naturally, the book recommended net promoter score

Net promoter score is a simple way to measure customer satisfaction. Net promoter is a customer satisfaction methodology based on one simple question you ask your customers. That question is "How likely is it that you would recommend this company, or this product or service, to a friend or colleague? Most often used on a scale of 0-10. This helps you bucket customers into detractors, passives and promoters.

Though the concept is simple, it is extremely difficult to implement. The companies highlighted in the book as successful users of the net promoter methodology all had large initiatives supported throughout the entire company to focus on using the net promoter score. For the system to really work, everyone from the management to the front line workers need to be committed to trying to create promoters among their customers.

Customer obsession is the winning strategy. Net promoter score, when implemented correctly, is a great forcing function to get the whole company thinking about whether they are creating positive customer experiences everyday.

This is fantastic book if you thinking about revamping how you measure customer satisfaction at your company or thinking of adopting the net promoter score methodology. Anyone that has to create customer satisfaction surveys for their job should read this book. Tactically speaking, if you're creating surveys the shorter the better and this one simple question can tell you a lot.