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Managing Your Social Media Reputation

April 28, 2011, 5:05 PM by Peggy Moyer

Managing Your Social Media Reputation
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Sites like Twitter and Facebook are becoming the norm. And that has college professors changing their lessons, especially when it comes to helping students land their first job.

We've all heard the argument, 'What I post on my Facebook or Twitter account is personal and I shouldn't be judged on it when it comes to how I would perform at a professional job.'

Well, as you can guess, it does matter, and one Sioux Falls college is making sure students understand that.

“Do employers look at Facebook? They have admitted that they do look at it. Again, not the top priority - hire or fire - but it's a piece of information just like calling one of your references," Dr. Mike Nitz said.

Dr. Nitz teaches public relations and communications at Augustana College. With social media being such a big part of today's world, it's his job to make sure students understand that everything they put out on the internet can be used for or against them.

"I try to emphasize focus on the strategic brand reputation that you want as an individual," Dr. Nitz said.

Augustana seniors Rachel Gerber and Megan Brandsrud approach their Facebook and Twitter accounts from the perspective that everything people post online, from chats to pictures, even if they’re someone else's, contributes to your social media reputation.

"I feel its better to be safe then sorry because more often than not your employers are not going to be that lenient," Brandsrud said.

"They always teach us in class, if your grandma doesn't want to see it, they we don't want to see it on your Facebook profile," Gerber said.

In addition to talking about inappropriate content for the internet, Nitz also teaches students how they can use social media to their advantage.

"Your resume is out there and they can see this person on paper, but until they can look through some of your pictures and see the activities that you are in, the music that you're passionate about and the people you interact with. That will show them who you are and if you'll be a hard worker for them," Gerber said.

One other piece of advice from public relations 101 is to make sure everything you contribute or write online adds to the conversation and isn't idle chatter.

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