Managing Your Online Reputation on Facebook


Swoop Digital was contacted prior to Easter to discuss the situation about Ben Polis and managing his online reputation by SYN radio.

For those not familiar with the story, Ben Polis was the founder and CEO of Energy Watch who got into hot water after making several offensive and racist remarks on Facebook. The outcome was that the Melbourne Football Club removed Energy Watch as a sponsor and Ben Polis was forced to step down as CEO of Energy Watch.

This was a media relations disaster for Energy Watch and the Melbourne Football Club – both of whom were left with little option but to take action.

The underlying message for most people is that they need to be mindful about their reputation online and any implications it might have for their career, their business or any deals, such as sponsorships, that are in place.

The interview was between SYN Panorama Executive Producer Joseph Dunstan and our Managing Director Ray Poole.

To supplement this interview we have added a few more tips specifically on how to manage your online reputation on Facebook:

  1. The best advice is don’t make comments that could be construed as racist or discriminatory – remember you are in a public forum and your comments are there for all to see
  2. Set up Google Alerts for your personal name or “brand” so you can get alerts, manage the situation and prepare a response before it becomes too big.
  3. If you are tempted to make offensive comments, make sure you change your Facebook privacy settings are not set to public. Adjust your settings so that only friends or select people can see your comments.
  4. When updating your status on Facebook, use the drop down arrow next to the post button and select custom – you should then be able to control who you send your message to. However the main thing to realize that even friendships fall out – so in a public arena sometimes you are just better off saying nothing at all.
  5. Check your public timeline regularly and remove any posts that you think might later cause you some regret.