So your prospective employer or maybe even a client of yours, a really great client you’d hate to lose, is running a Google search on you. Yes, you personally, and since you have done your best over the years to steer clear of social media use you are all good in the online hood. You successfully avoided the tags in the college party pics and managed to stay away from that Stage 5 clinger you were dating a few months back. Whom which you are positive is scouring the internet looking for you or at the very least a sign of your unhappiness with your lack of a long-term relationship status. Maybe even hoping for the “It’s Complicated” status… (whatever, drama, ugh) Yuuup, you are well on your way to securing a good sentiment with whomever it is is looking for you, right? Well you might be wrong. While you are not online being found for reckless behavior, those competing with you for the job offer, that life-long client or maybe even fighting for your job however are being found – gaining all the exposure, fame, opportunities and even leads…. Leads for days in fact! Sure, you might avoid pitfalls of missed jobs and embarrassing recounts with your HR director explaining a past awkward event of an individual you faintly remember as the younger you but you also miss key opportunities. Here is a sure fire way to start off on the right foot and just get with the program on being a digital citizen already!!
Create Your Essential Social Profiles
The first thing they will find is a lack of presence, and part of success in life is simply showing up. You might not be as huge into participation (at first) but you can atleast say you went to the party on Friday right? Most will jump to thinking about Facebook, but for most businesses, Facebook will have you spinning your wheels. With the Facebook Graph in pace these days, only 1% of your followers see your PAID ads. Not everyone can be Coca-Cola, Nike, or something probably more exciting. Let’s try a few different ones, just to be different. I think these are great sites to start exploring your social success with: LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and a new one to most I am sure, Quora. My post last week shared more on these four social networks and the original posting is right here for you. Try sprucing up that LinkedIn I know you have that has remained dormant. Try endorsing a few people on their skill, right them a nice recommendation or try posting an article yourself and gain some positive exposure right off the bat! Or maybe try doing some tweeting while stuck in traffic, waiting in line, or even in a dedicated block of time you set aside to conquer this Tweetbeast.
Highlight Your Best Self
So while you are out NOT being an idiot, you are way ahead, sort of. While others having been building themselves quite a little reputation management issue, you have a clean slate on what you want to create yourself to be online. No mares yet!! So yes, it may have been a good insurance policy to steer clear, and you can now enjoy more lucrative paydays and more success at whatever you do. You are the master of your social destiny! Indexing is your issue though. Much like Google takes content on the internet and indexes it, this is a social indexing – you are not indexed in other people’s feeds yet, and have a small sphere of influence. You will have to do serious research or find another way to stand out, but through great effort comes a great payout! Try writing a well-written LinkedIn Summary, make the best of your 160 Twitter bio, or for best results, share through quick posts and longer articles the achievements you have brought about, major projects you worked on, or other moments of triumph. It is called reputation management, and staying on top of it through the sharing of positive tales of your character will benefit you in the long-run. Best advice here, is the T.H.I.N.K principle.
Clean Up Old Profiles
I often like to approach people on LinkedIn, Twitter or where ever really and pitch the idea of helping them become better “socialites” or as we… I mean, a few people I know… okay, just me that I know of, are now unofficially calling ourselves in 2015. First of all, you must help someone before they will listen intently, and this starts many prospecting methods I have. I do a quick Google search and I find old MySpace pages, junked Facebook accounts, or the best are the old tweets that come up from 8 years ago when that person was 16 making “fo shizzle my nizzle” references. I point out that one flaw, and immediately causes a thanks, a begrudging apology that I happen to find that webpage, sometimes emojis like ??? and a great conversation on how they can turn it around, or pitch them my services of burying the embarrassing or defaming content in search results. If you can, delete the account or at least those postings of concern. I’ll be honest and tell you that my Twitter handle I use today was an account I used for ranting (or rizzling my nizzle) and had spent hours deleting tweets one by one. It was for the sake of keeping my brand name and also wrangling in those would-be moments of embarrassment. I believe I saved myself some face and a brand worth holding onto for my own sake.
Manage Your Settings
Facebook is the worst and that is why it did not make it to my list of essential profiles above. It simply has way too many setting, not to mention the worst or at best, the least useful content of all your social profiles. I love the simplicity that Twitter offers, as well as Instagram. Privacy is an on/off switch and their is only about 4-5 other settings features, and most are only esthetics like font color theme. I like many of the niche social networks these days as all you need to do is attach a Twitter or Google+ profile that exists and give permissions to the new app or network. This makes permissions and your privacy and security in a more stable position knowing your are basically format painting in your privacy settings you gave Twitter or Google+, respectively. Great way to manage these types of settings all in one place, as long as the first account had settings chosen wisely.
Know Your Rights
Most social profiles have a huge user agreement statement. The big one to note is that you DO NOT own the content placed on those sites. Even certain blogging platforms own your content once placed on it. So do not go posting anything patent worthy, trademarkable or groundbreaking as you are giving them ownership rights to your words. Essentially, Twitter, the Vines, Tumblr or even sites like Wix or Weebly could shut their doors tomorrow, go bankrupt or completely change their business model. Best part for the website owner is that you signed away the right to be informed directly, on most of the main social networks anyway. Social networks are not typically the best platform to present your best self from, but more about two-way communication and of course.. networking!Try creating a WordPress website perhaps. It is the largest blogging and web building platform in the world, it’s free for the most part, and you own it and the domain name if you keep it registered.
You have heard the ol’ gambling adage “you can’t win if you don’t play”. You might believe you are making better time investments but what is the value of a well-oiled machine that works for you and not against you. YouTube may be full of insane crazy videos, but it’s the same medium many people are making their paychecks with. Instagram has DIY crafters, no-name models and photographers being found everyday and even making sales on it’s platform. I myself am finding great value adding expert answers to Quora questions, and can see it’s intrinsic value over time as I gain clout for being a subject matter expert on digital marketing, social media and growth hacking. It’s time to put away to fear of what people might find but more aware of what they are not finding and make something wonderful and the kind of person whom people will be glad they came across!