What's Your Online Reputation? Shape Up Your Social Presence
Do you know what you are known for? It could be photography or baking or running. It might be volunteer work at an animal shelter or working on films. Whether you like it or not, you have a personal brand. And like it or not, that brand now extends online.
Let’s start with determining your goals for the new year and if your online presence is in alignment with your passions. Are you looking for a new job? Are you thinking of starting a business? Are you looking to expand your current business market or secure larger clients? As you are setting next year’s goals, think about what your online presence says about you. It will help guide your choices about the content you post and the continuity of your social media profiles. Is your Instagram account or your Facebook page an accurate reflection of your passions? Is your LinkedIn profile in alignment with the kind of customers you want to attract? Still unsure about if your Facebook page matters? Check out these stats for job seekers:
75% of HR departments are required to research candidates online before hiring, with 70% deep screening on social media. Microsoft Crosstab & 2017 Career Builder Study
56% of employers have decided not to hire a candidate based on what they found online. 2017 CareerBuilder Study
EVEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!
Over half of admissions screen college applicants online. Insidehired.com
Years ago, you did well in your career if you did good work and made connections through networking. Social media has changed all of that. Here are five things that you can do online to clean up your online presence and let people know what you are all about. #1 – DO SOME SPRING CLEANING Get everything up to date. This includes LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Is your personal website in your email signature? Is your contact information up to date everywhere? At a minimum, prospective employers expect an updated LinkedIn profile. Have some fun with it. Create a more cohesive visual presentation. Use consistent fonts, colors, and layouts across all of your social media. If you’re creative, show it! Also make sure that you have online examples (portfolio, demo reel, awards, etc.) of the work that you do.
#2 – BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR SOCIAL USERNAME Make it easy for people to find you and to tag you in their social posts. If you have a long last name, shorten it like Gary Vaynerchuk – @GaryV. Make it easy to spell. Don’t use middle initials or meaningless numbers at the end. You may want to buy your domain name and claim that name on each social network. You can use it for a site for your resume, an online portfolio or future business. Even if you have no intention of using it in the future, this will prevent others from doing it once your brand is established, as well as ensure they are available for you when you are ready for them. It can be a central place of information to highlight your accomplishments. Be consistent and create something that people can remember. When you meet them, you can say – “You can find me online @easynametoremember.”
#3 – CREATE POSITIVE CONTENT THAT YOU WANT PEOPLE TO FIND The best way to get rid of the negative results to build up the positive. Start to create high-quality content. If you are an artist, create an online portfolio. If you want to raise awareness within special needs families, start a Facebook blog. Engage with people within your network and connect with relevant communities. This online activity will raise your presence and your new content may get the attention of others PLUS help with your search engine results.
#4 – GOOGLE YOURSELF Google your name and see how your online reputation holds up. Have you posted something negative online? Delete it! Take down those unflattering photos. Untag yourself on friend’s posts if necessary. TIP: Set up Google Alerts so you can get an email every time your name is mentioned online. What if someone slammed your business on Yelp? What if one social media post got snatched up and shared thousands of times out of your control? You may need professional help. Check out https://brandyourself.com. Pete Kistler wasn’t getting hired even though he had all of the right qualifications. When he googled himself, he discovered that he shared a name with someone serving time. That’s how Brand Yourself was created. #5 – PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY Let’s take it one step further. Enter your name on the following sites – Mylife, Spokeo, BeenVerified, Radius, and Intelius. If you are surprised, shocked, or horrified about what you find, here is a resource for removing your personal information: https://medium.com/better-humans/how-to-remove-your-information-from-sites-like-mylife-77f89aff1aff Just like our homes need spring cleaning, so do our online profiles. Like it or not, we all have a brand – something we are known for. Take the time to nurture and grow it. It won’t happen overnight. Be patient and consistent. Then one day, when people hear or read something about your passion, you’ll be the first person that comes to mind.