In today’s technically savvy, social-media-crazed world, it’s very easy to make posts and updates, give comments, and hit ”likes”; however, be mindful of what the messages and your online activity say about you. Your postings on social media sites represent you. Your followers and their followers (depending on the privacy settings) can see your comments – and be assured they will make evaluations of you based on your activity. Use social media to your advantage, personally and professionally, by following these simple tips:
• Use a professional photo
Don’t use an odd likeness of yourself, another entity’s visual, or something overtly quirky. Show yourself in a well-done photo. This is your opportunity to shine. Some sites can be more casual, but make sure the image properly represents you. Update it if necessary, so that it depicts how you look today, not 20 years ago.
• Stay positive
Show your true character. If you would not say something publicly on the street, do not post it online. It is curious to me that so many people have online personas that are far different from their in-person self – what is going on here? Who is the real you? This difference in personas can become very awkward when the two images do not match up professionally. Online comments and photos can live forever. Even if you delete them, they still may have left an impression with viewers. If there is a negative situation, be wise and thoughtful in the way you respond or talk about it when posting social media updates.
• Be brief
Updates that are several lines long defeat the purpose of the medium. Quick, to-the-point information helps increase engagement. Lengthier posts are best for blogs. Micro blog sites are exactly that: micro. Be aware that no one takes the time to read a long post; it is perceived as excess.
Involve others with your posts. Listen. Respond. Be thoughtful. Ask questions. Follow up. Show how you serve through how you act online. No one likes selfishness when they’re meeting with someone in person, and the same is true online. Social media is meant to be social.
• Keep calm and keep clean
Your posts can be fun, but keep it clean. Even if your brand is creative, think twice before posting a borderline topic or racy picture. Always make sure your postings properly represent your personal brand. Ask yourself: ”Would I want my clients to see or read this post?”
• Be respectful
Remember the golden rule: Treat others as you would wish to be treated. The same is true for posts. Respect everyone.
• Stay within the lines
Obviously, if your employer, industry, or licensing requirements have online policies, make sure to always uphold and follow them. Legal action is possible if you do not observe such rules.
People make decisions every day, taking into account all of the information they are absorbing. You want any choices they make to be favorable when it comes to you and your brand. Manage your online brand just as you would any other important asset. Your reputation is online and on the line.
May 23, 2014 – Jennifer Ballarin, owner of Chouette Marketing, attended the French American Chamber of Commerce ofFebruary 8, 2013 0
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