When it comes to promoting yourself or your business, our online image is becoming incredibly important. This includes both our brand and personal
Our online presence represents our largest social field. When crafting an online profile, it’s
important to remember that those who view us only interact with a snapshot of our personality. If we’re not cautious about how we approach our profiles, the wrong impression can be made very easily.
Part of the problem is that we often don’t allow our online image to evolve. We don’t update our credentials or qualifications. We present outdated information or even a photograph that is ten years out of date.
In order to ensure that people we are potentially going to do business with have a good
understanding of who we are, we should get into some useful habits when presenting ourselves online. Here are several ways in which this can be achieved.
Whether we are looking for a job, starting our own business or simply wanting to get noticed for whatever reason, it’s important to set out some achievable goals. Thinking carefully about what we want to achieve with our profile enables us to use it proactively.
It’s important, then, to strategize. Many of us balk at the idea of utilizing acronyms. However, in this case, the SMART principle becomes really useful. If you are not yet familiar with the idea, it stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Orientated.
Think about what it is you want to achieve, how you will gauge its success, whether it is within your grasp and when you would like it to achieve it. Applying these criteria to each and every point of your strategy will break down your goals into more manageable tasks.
Are you using the right profile image?
The first thing that most people online will engage with will be your profile picture or any photos on your timeline. Your profile picture acts as a brand identifier. With that, you need to be sure that you are using the right image.
There are, of course, many different ways to approach your profile picture. If the brand you want to represent is of one who enjoys fine beers and whiskeys, then a glass in hand is appropriate. However, if you’re looking to be hired for an accountancy job, then that image can be quite detrimental.
In addition, you should recognize that employers or potential clients may find some quite embarrassing photos of you. Try to untag or take down any unwanted pictures.
Link all social media profiles
Over the past fifteen years, social media platforms have grown exponentially. Whilst this has allowed greater choice for those looking to create a substantial online presence, it has also meant that you may have to widen your search for a potential audience.
It may be tempting to concentrate on one platform, such as Twitter or Facebook. However, once you’ve got a handle on your personal brand, you should seek to automate and link all of your social media together. This way, you can promote yourself or your website across many platforms all at once.
Thankfully, each platform recognizes the users need to share posts across different
platforms and most of the time, you’ll find automation tools to share your content.
Make sure your links work
Websites and content change all of the time. If you are in the habit of updating your website regularly, you should check if the links you’ve provided on your social media platforms continue to work.
There’s nothing more unprofessional-looking than trying to click through to a site that no longer works. Potential customers or employers you may have might well think that you are no longer interested in sharing your website.
A habit of updating and maintaining links will mean that your social media remains relevant.
Tell a story
The internet is becoming more user-content driven — with the likes of Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook Live taking the web space. To gain people’s attention, it’s important to start looking for ways to engage on a more personal level.
There’s no better way to do this than to form a narrative around your online profile.
“People instinctively like to see a narrative, whether it’s a rags-to-riches story, an incredible
journey or even a fall from grace,” says Alyssa J Scott, author at Researchpapersuk and Last Minute Writing. “Take a good hard look at your resume and think about what your personal story is. Whatever you come up with should be persuasive but still authentic — don’t assume people can’t see if you’re faking it!”
Add a call to action
This applies to all online profiles, not just businesses looking for a sale. Calls to action are more often applied to sales funnels, but they can equally apply to someone looking for an audience for their ideas, those seeking employment or those looking to connect with like-minded people.
Every post you make and every part of your bio should have an end goal in mind. It’s useful to keep your social media strategy handy, so you can see each and every goal you wish to achieve at every step. Your calls to action should be led by your SMART objectives.
Showcase your best content
Let’s be honest for a minute — not all of the content you put out is going to be your best. Of course, it’s something we all want to achieve. But in many cases, whether it’s because we’re pushed for time or we lack the motivation for whatever reason, our output can be simply mediocre.
This said, as much as you may look back at some of your content or posts and frown, there is always some that you feel deeply proud. This is the stuff that you should put front and center.
Despite how many feel about the sometimes toxic nature of social media interactions, most
people genuinely want to see your best work. By putting your best content on your landing page or in constant rotation on your social media, you are setting a benchmark for yourself, as well presenting the best you have to give.
Create engaging copy but don’t overload the text
Many decry the internet as a destroyer of social etiquette. They fear that smartphones have taken the place of face to face interaction and that traditional methods of engaging with the world around us are rapidly breaking down. In actual fact, much of the internet is still text-based. This means that people are reading at a much higher grade than they were perhaps twenty years ago.
“The fear that the people are changing how they interact with their environment is a legitimate one,” writes Jennifer B Wilkins, author at Draftbeyond and Writinity, “However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. George Orwell, one of the previous centuries greatest writers, advised us to cut out pointless prose. He may as well have been talking about internet content.”
We’ve become accustomed to using our online profiles as an avatar for our real-world persona.
Most of us who have watched social media evolve from chat rooms and personal pages like
Myspace tend to allow our profiles to remain two dimensional and text heavy. But those who have grown up in the digital age recognize that simple texts and a profile picture are static and frankly, uninteresting.
In order to keep up with this trend towards a more tactile, visual style you should be open to the use of video content or podcasting. The younger generation, having taken Insta-famous bloggers as role models, are adept at presenting to a camera or talking on any given subject via streaming service. It takes a little practice, but once you’ve taken the first daunting steps into the diverse range of interactive media available, you will no doubt start reaping the rewards.
Add keywords to your profile for SEO
Of course, all the best media content in the world is likely not to get very far without a carefully crafted SEO strategy. In the early days of viral content, bloggers and vloggers could hitch a ride on trending hashtags or load up their keyword terms and tags. However, search engines and social media platforms have sought to regulate the uses and abuses of keywords.
It may seem like a lot of work at first, but once you’ve grasped the underlying ideas of SEO, it can become relatively straightforward. The trick is to keep up to date on your industry, skills or chosen subject and continue to research and update your search terms. With many online resources on SEO available, it’s getting easier and easier to grasp this crucial aspect of modern digital engagement.
See Also: 9 Easy Ways To Use Social Media SEO
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Author: Inna Yegorova
Inna is a business analyst living in Springfield, MA. She helps clients define business goals, find market opportunities and standardize their workflows. In her free time, she enjoys healthy cooking, playing tennis and writing on all aspect of business development at Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays, academic writing websites.