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Social credibility: What is it and why you need it

By Tim Fuell - September 21, 2014

Even if you are least ego-driven person in the world, how others perceive you is one the most important elements of your sales kit.

If people haven’t heard of you or want to know more about you, what’s the first thing they do? … Look you up online. We all do it. See a celebrity on the TV, not sure what they were most famous for, or who they were married to? You Google it or use some other search tool. The internet has given us unprecedented access to some powerful information about each and every one of us.

Interestingly, each and every one of us also has great power in controlling what others can see about us. Do a personal internet search on most people and the top listings will invariably come back as that individual’s social media profiles. Profiles that we can all make bespoke and self-branded to control and influence how other people see us online.

No being online, not featuring in those searches and not having a social media presence can in fact be very detrimental to your social credibility. For some they will see you as behind the times, others simply may not even come across you or know you exist if you don’t appear in a search.

Definition from Oxford University Press www.oxforddictionaries.com

Definition from Oxford University Press

There’s nothing really different about online credibility or social credibility when compared to credibility in the physical world. It can still make or break a deal and a bad but of news can be detrimental. What you do have online however is the ability to control many of the snippets of information about you that appear online.

Make sure all your profiles are up to date

You may have forgotten about that Pinterest profile you once created, but undoubtedly it still lurks. How will you know? Just do that simple search for yourself. If it pops up in your results you can guarantee it will pop up for others too – is it what you want them to see? I would always be loathe to delete a profile simply because of the SEO benefits shown above but make sure you at least have control of the profile and if you aren’t using it, change the profile header to say so and drive visitors to platforms you are using.

The importance of social credibility is rising at a rapid rate. Who you are, what you do and when you do it is becoming increasingly important in influencing those who are looking to do business with you. Make checking your status a routine you carry out monthly. Think of it as you would cleaning your car to shine in your driveway. A good set of profiles makes a statement that you are proud of yourself which in turn suggests you are proud in your work and thus worth the investment of time, money and effort by potential customers.