Build a Digital Reputation by Being Social

January 21, 2010Sparxoo


By Tara Lane, Staff Writer

Seth Godin is the marketing guru, Guy Kawasaki is the entrepreneur, Chris Brogan is the social media master and Dan Schwabel is the personal branding leader. Each of these enterprising individuals spent years crafting their reputation as thought leaders. Each has utilized one or more digital platforms to build a strong, lasting reputation. While blogging is the primary media, Twitter and LinkedIn are also powerful platforms to build a meaningful reputation.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn recommendations feature is unique to its network. No longer do job applicants need to write “references available upon request” at the bottom of a resume, or keep a running list of possible references who employers may or may not call. Recommendations give a more personalized and honest view of you, and may touch on areas of your work habits that a hiring manager may neglect to ask about over the phone. All in all, a simple LinkedIn recommendation can give a big boost to one’s reputation as a person and as an employee.

Twitter – Not only can you follow other thought leaders, you can also build an audience of your own. Twitter is a great place to build social and human capital, a place to show off your skills, relay opinions, and learn from others. If done right, others may soon look to you as a leader in your field. Chris Brogan wrote in his book Trust Agents that a true social media expert won’t refer to him or herself as such, but will develop the reputation from his or her peers. Just by doing and sharing what you love, you can grow a sizable following. In order to have conversations on Facebook, you have to use the Wall, and not many people will end up seeing it.


  • Harvard’s reputation for education, as well as its reputation for providing outstanding financial aid packages, drew more than 29,000 applicants for just 1,700 spots last year. Numbers like these add to the university’s reputation for very low acceptance rates.
  • In a survey of 2,500 hiring managers, found that 38 percent of respondents said they had searched social networks to find out more information about applicants. One in four said the results contributed to the hiring of an applicant, while 38 percent admitted to dismissing a candidate because of what they’d found.

Take Aways

The recession has taught everyone how to value personal relationships, the importance of maintaining them, and the importance of maintaining a reputation. Our personal relationships with others become even more valuable, often viewed as part of our self worth. Leveraging the tools we have, both online and off, is essential to building key relationships, networks, and upholding our own reputation.

Networking is a large part of finding a job, or simply expanding one’s circle of friends or business colleagues. Your network can help you do more than just find a job. Through others, you can learn about new trends and opportunities within your field, find a mentor, and create future business opportunities.

Much of what drives networking is reputation. If someone can think of you off the top of his or her head because of your outstanding reputation in a certain area, you’ve done the right thing. Of course, you must be able to carry through with that reputation and live up to the expectations of others.


  • Paper resumes are decreasing in value. LinkedIn becomes the number one place to view and review candidates.
  • A separate Twitter platform will emerge that is specific to businesses and entrepreneurs only. Top executives and leaders will be invited to share their knowledge with fellow industry leaders on a closed, private platform.

Who’s On Trend

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Chris Brogan
  • Apple

Read all of the 2010 trends here. (PDF)