Now that you have Googled yourself, you can start creating an online profile. There are a variety of online reputation management tools—from Google’s Me On the Web and professional services—but I’m going to focus on simple steps you can take right now: cleaning up your existing social media profiles or creating ones if you don’t have them, and maximizing their utility.
STEP 1: Personal Protocol
The line between private and public is a touchy subject for a lot of people. There are a few approaches you can take:
- One private profile, others public
- All private or all public
Although you might put privacy controls on your profiles, it only takes a few loopholes to subvert them. Personally, I keep my Facebook account private and I only add people I have met offline. My Twitter page, on the other hand, is public. Overall, The best privacy control you can implement is to remember to not post “in the heat of the moment.” Remember that nothing online is 100% private.
STEP 2: Clean up.
If you choose to keep your profile public and have the intention of utilizing it for networking, it is best that you keep it “PC” (or Politically Correct”). Untag yourself from inappropriate pictures and anything else you wouldn’t want a prospective employer or co-workers to see.
Now that doesn’t mean depriving your social profile of your unique personality and interests, but refrain from reliving your less-than-stellar college nights out or corporate outing.
STEP 3: Be Yourself.
If you know anything about me, you are familiar with my sarcasm, regular quirky moments, obsession with fashion, eco-living, and Boston. Thus, my Twitter profile regularly posts on my interests and showcases my personality (really you have to meet me to fully experience it). I view Twitter as a conversation with my closest friends, meaning I am myself with my own voice and say what’s on my mind.
To sum eveything up, I’m going to borrow a few words from @BostonTweetUp co-founder Joselin Mane: “Live a lifestyle you feel comfortable with and call it a wrap.”
STEP 4: Maximize Your Bio
- It’s short and sweet
- Good headshot
- Snapshot preview of what to expect from tweets
- Relevant tags (ex. employment, education)
It is a good idea to standardize the picture you use across social media platforms so that people can easily identify you across platforms. Make sure the picture is visually appealing, preferably a head-on shot, and big enough so fans can recognize you (Twitter’s size is 250 by 250 pixels, so try to use it the most you can).
If you wish, you may provide contact information (email, etc) you are comfortable sharing. Also, creating a custom Twitter background opens the doors to really unleash your creative side and allow fans to connect with you.
What do you think? Any best practices I left or missed the mark on?
Next week, I’ll be discussing specific social media platforms for you to continue building your online profile.
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