Welcome to the most powerful group of individuals in the world! – Millennials. According to the Financial Times, millennials would make up 35% of the global workforce by 2020. Globally, there are a little over 1.8 billion millennials, with about 90% residing in developing nations. Millennials have common traits such as selflessness, which means they volunteer with social and charitable organizations. Also, millennials keep up with the latest technologies and they openly share opinions about current events on social media.
In as much as this group of individuals have been categorized and generalized according to certain traits, this is not a homogenous group. Most millennials act and respond differently to different situations. In this digital age where most parts of our lives are lived online, it is very critical that we are intentional about our actions on various digital channels. By the time you finish reading this article, you must have gathered an understanding of what reputation management is and strategies you can adopt to manage your digital reputation.
Reputation management is the process of identifying what other people are saying or feeling about you or your business both online and offline and taking steps to ensure that the consensus is in line with your goals. According to Pew research an American think tank based in Washington, millennials have the highest average number of Facebook friends, with an average of 250 friends and 55% of millennials have posted selfies on social media. This means millennials have high engagement with the digital community more than any other generation. On various digital platforms, their shared content, who they follow, what they like and even their friends in their network make their users deduce some perception. It is, therefore, necessary that millennials are very intentional about their actions and interactions in the digital space since these can create a positive or a negative reputation for an individual. Below are some strategies millennials can adopt to build a positive reputation:
• Create: One of the best strategies you can adopt to cultivate a positive digital reputation is to create content. Content may come in the form of write-ups, pictures or videos. You may choose any of these or find a blend of some or all which may work for you. You can start a blog, curate content through your social networks, and become an influencer online. Even though you may still be young, start building a professional profile now. Colleges and future employers will be impressed with the work you’ve done so early in life, and you’ll have an upper hand compared with applicants who aren't aware of their online reputation at all. Some embassies have even started using the online reputation of individuals to help them make decisions on individuals who wish to apply for visas. Millennials should, therefore, be intentional about creating positive content on their digital networks to maintain a positive reputation.
• Be mindful: Millennials need to be aware that what they do and say online matters. In younger years, it’s easy to think, “I can do and say whatever I want, and no one cares." But you have to keep in mind that the thing you didn't think was important four years ago is still there, and people you want to impress can find it easier than you think. [Also bear in mind that content once posted on the internet may never be completely taken off.] So, one great step in cultivating a positive personal reputation management strategy is to only post positive content on digital platforms. Lately, social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have been a platform where a lot of millennials share anything and everything on their mind without bearing in mind the consequences. Never should you try to be hypocritical on these digital channels, instead, you can be expressive of your character if you are a humorous person. The question to always ask before posting anything is, "Does this reflect what I stand for and what I want to be?”
Support a worthy cause: Millennials are selfless individuals and are passionate about various global issues. There are many issues of global concern that the world is trying to find solutions to and as a great way of creating a positive digital reputation, the advocacy strategy can be adopted. The advocacy strategy is the use of an individual's voice or influence to promote a cause. There are issues around poverty, entrepreneurship, education, even now more critical is climate change and many others that can be adapted depending on your interest. This article is written by an individual passionate about capacity building and personal development of this generation and believes putting this piece together will improve the digital reputation management skills of millennials across the globe.
Focus on essentials rather than perfection: Without knowing it, this new rule has been made by millennials for the rest of the world. Some millennials won’t even bother improving peripherals around things they do. This is because they want to build trust by being authentic and real. Being yourself strengthens relationships. Millennials know instinctively that it’s about the relationship. That’s our world. It is very important to know that the most essential traits that one can exhibit in our world today are authenticity and trustworthiness. These are also very powerful strategies to adopt to build an efficient, positive and powerful digital reputation.
As millennials, we have a role to play in shaping up to our digital reputation and in all this, it is essential to note that staying true to yourself is the best and the greatest strategy one can adopt in managing digital reputation.
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