Social networking is just like eating, sleeping and breathing to many busy professionals. However, social-media profiles can undermine your best efforts when used incorrectly. These social-media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and more – contain material that will live forever. You must account for your online reputation and how it influences the views of your customers, clients and colleagues.
Understanding your online presence is the first step towards success in business. Some common sense suggestions always hold true. For example: Remember which account you`re using. Some Twitter users post a disclaimer in their bios stating that “opinions are my own.” Unless your account is set to private, your acquaintances and fellow professionals will still see these posts. When it comes to offensive tweets, there’s no margin for error.
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Create a compelling visual.
To begin setting up your profile, select an up-to-date photo with a professional background. Dress and act accordingly. That means no sunglasses or shot glasses.
Contribute to the forums.
LinkedIn forums are an excellent way to engage with the audience. Responding appropriately to online acquaintances will show that you engage with the community and genuinely care about other but be careful how you present yourself. Don’t publish minute details about your daily routine. Content needs to be viewed as informative and entertaining. Have a meaningful and informative conversation with your fellow forum users and refresh your online presence on a regular basis. You will soon develop new and lasting relationships while driving users towards your website and social-media profiles.
Carefully monitor your tone.
Practice good etiquette and avoid aggressive, belligerent language. If you stay positive, you increase the likelihood of exchanging ideas that might be mutually beneficial. Never complain, condemn or criticize because users will be turned off by a negative attitude.
Remember not to post too often.
Determine how often you want to engage with customers online. If you post too often, your professional peers will believe that you’re desperate for attention and praise.
Manage your privacy settings.
You can tailor your privacy settings on LinkedIn just as you do on Facebook and Twitter. To adjust how other users experience your LinkedIn profile, sign in and select the “settings” option from the drop-down menu.
Have common courtesy.
Be polite at all times. The virtual world is merely an extension of the real world. Don’t send LinkedIn connection requests without having some relationship with the recipient. LinkedIn is a major professional networking opportunity and submitting random connection requests will make a poor first impression. Send LinkedIn requests that are personalized.
The importance of LinkedIn for business purposes should be obvious at this point. However, many professionals keep spinning their wheels when drawing an effective strategy for their LinkedIn usage. By tailoring your LinkedIn profile to fit your needs, you increase the odds of securing more clients and customers.
Author BioBlake Jonathan Boldt is a content strategist for Reputation Advocate. He provides writing, editing, social media and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and digital media outlets.