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Is Your Social Media Profile For REAL?

By guest blogger Diane Bjorling.

Welcome to another lesson on BLOGBloke.com. My name is Diane and Blog Bloke has kindly let me share my thoughts.

Today’s lesson title is “who are you?” -  a very appropriate subject for everyone and anyone who is struggling with writing a social networking profile.

I don’t know about you, but personally I hate the darn things, I never know what to say or how to say it. Will my profile convey too much information or not enough?  Will my profile put my best foot forward and interest people to want to know more about me, or will people run away? Creating a good social profile is even more important since the world and Google now show profiles in search engines for everyone to see!

Welcome to the World of Social and Visibility!

Did you know that up through the 19th century in European society, identity was largely determined by a handful of criteria  such as profession, social class and church membership (Simmel, 1908/1971a), but with the rise of the consumer culture in the late 20th century possessions and consumptive choices were also brought into the totality of of “identity”.

Gossip! Gossip! Gossip! With Names!

Translate – people now talk about themselves as though they were in a gossip magazine, and we want to know more! Is this good?

I feel that we are treading a fine line when it comes to talking about who we are on a social network, and with the issues of privacy and our security being at stake we need to be mindful of what we say and how we say it.

So the question becomes, how do we write a social profile that will meet the needs of keeping our privacy, but letting people know who we are.

  1.  Contrary to popular belief, do not put down every single thing about yourself. I realize that goes against what some experts will tell you, but ask yourself this first: Would you want your mom or loved one to know everything about you? That is a good place to start what you want people to know.
  2.  Use your keywords! Did I hear a groan somewhere? Keywords are really important when you create a social profile for many reasons from saying who you are (example homemaker) to saying what you do (example blogger). Keywords show up in search results on a search engine and people will find you on the different networks via keywords.
  3. Study the different social networks before you join them. This may sound obvious to many, but not all social networks were created equal.  BLOGBloke has a favorite expression “Sheeple” which is very apt. People tend to join and do things because everyone is doing it and this is especially true of social networks. Google+ is a good example.  When you understand what the purpose is to a social network, then you can write your profile to connect to people in the best way for that site.  Did I just say “best way for that site”?   The reality is you should only join those sites where you stand the best chance of connecting with like-minded people – where you can join the conversations happening – where you can connect!
  4.  Do NOT join every social network on the net! This is a continuation to number 3. Unless you have  internet marketing syndrome“, joining every network on the net is both foolish and time-consuming.
  5.  What kind of profile are you writing?  Are you creating a business profile or a personal profile? Going back to point three, when you are on a site such as LinkedIn then everything you write will be slanted to your business. Where on a site such as Facebook for example, you are writing more towards friends and family.
  6. There are times when you should tell the truth and times when with holding information is just common sense. A good example of truth-telling is via the interests or hobbies you share.  Case in point, you see a tweet by one of your followers giving snippets of information about exercise, what they are doing or how they enjoy an exercise. Then you go to Facebook where you meet up with that same person and see them talking about how much they hate exercise and everything to do with it. In the Twitter profile they have the keywords, “exercise fanatic” and on their Facebook  profile they have “love gaming so that they don’t have to exercise”… hmm, so which profile is true and has that person develop credibility? A good example of withholding information is talking about your birthday or  giving other personal identifiable information such as where you live. Personally I do not give out my birthday and freely admit that on those sites that will not give me the option to keep  my birth-date private. I will lie and be proud of it (that was me being transparent and giving disclosure). Before anyone teases me that I just don’t want to tell people my age – the fact is people can profile me and track me simply by my date of birth, and that is just not going to happen :-)
  7.  Images! It really is true that a picture will speak a thousand words. When you put an image of yourself on any social network, what are you saying about you? I read the report of an interesting experiment by Nina Jones, a 17-year-old  on what your social network profile picture reveals about you. The experiment was conducted on Facebook and some of the comments for choosing profile pictures included:
  • “My profile photo is meant to give the impression that I possess a higher degree of gravitas and sophistication than I actually do.”
  • “I never show me on my profile, I don’t want to make it easy for me to be found, because of work.”

When writing your profile, think of your profile picture as part of what you want to ’show’ about you and consider it your ‘calling card’.  With the recent issues on Google+ about names, and yes images being used, we need to think about how we want people to view us. I will say outright, that if you need to keep yourself safe for any reason then never give a real image of yourself.

So how do we put all this together?

  • Create a résumé for yourself, keeping in mind the keywords that you want to use for people to connect with you and write them down.
  • You don’t have to be like everyone else, but we do have common interests. So write what YOU really are interested in, the books you like (favorite authors) the music you enjoy and so on.
  • What are your strengths? Are you a thinker or a doer?
  • We are all an expert in something – what is your expertise?
  • Many people make the mistake of  using catch-all phrases as “I am a successful marketer”. Really? Unless you can back up that statement with facts and figures, please don’t say it!
  • Write down all the networks that you are actively involved in and that includes blogs, forums etc.
  • From this one template, you can create as many profiles as you want and focus on what is important to the various sites.
  • Keep your profile consistent on all the social networks! Referring back to point 6, there are times to tell the truth and times you need to keep information private.

There is a lot more to creating a good social networking profile than saying … My name is Sue How do you do, so give it the thought and attention it deserves.

Class dismissed – any questions?

..edited by Blog Bloke

Written July 30th, 2011 by | 27 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips, Featured Tips, Privacy Tips, Social Media Tips

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There are 27 Comments so far to “Is Your Social Media Profile For REAL?”

  1. This is an excellent and timely post. Social Media can be a terrific tool but it’s not without it’s risks either, and can be used for the wrong purposes or even cause us harm. Hopefully this post will make people think before they write, and to carefully consider what YOU want the world to know about you.

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    Reply by: Diane (blogneta) at 4:25 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, I am all for being honest or as the “gurus” say being transparent, but like anything..how much should you really tell about yourself and how much do people really need to know?

    I know that when I first came online, it was drilled into my head… you need to tell everything, otherwise people will not think you are real!

    I have come to realize that the true fact is, like meeting a new neighbor, you are polite and yes friendly, you compare your lives or what you do, BUT you never say everything, that is just plain dumb and more…it is not appropriate.

    We get fooled into thinking that when we follow someone or when we make “friends” on a network that it means more than what really is.

    I would prefer to take my time to really get to know a person before I tell them things that are personal. we all have our yardsticks on knowing whom to call “friend” and social networks are no different.

    I hope that I have injected realism into what I have said as in…my not talking about by birth date..some things we need to use common sense and relearn how to protect ourselves.

    I really do hate having to write a social profile, yet I know it is needed, hopefully I have given a road map that people can follow.

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  2. A timely and well written post that makes you think before putting your personal information on the internet. There are risks involved and we all know that identity theft is steadily increasing, so why shouldn’t we have the option to use an alias or an avatar when posting if we choose to.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 5:42 pm said...

    @Jeannie George, good question “so why shouldn’t we have the option to use an alias or an avatar when posting if we choose to” .. and we’re still waiting for a reasonable response from Google+ on that one.

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  3. Great post Diane - it all boils down to common sense - which unfortunately - most people forget.

    I have many good reasons to be on Facebook. But on the other hand, I figured the it would suit me better to keep away from that crowd. So, I’ve been off Facebook for close to 2 years.

    I wanted to be on Google+ too … but then realized that it will become just another Facebook !

    I am active on Twitter & Linkedin, however I keep my updates private and I’ve become very selective in choosing who follows me.

    I do however put up my real name and picture - I even have a real about.me profile - and it all comes with a responsibility that I conduct myself professionally at best.

    Who knows, I could be running for a political office some day eh ?

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 5:22 pm said...

    @Jaffer, I always knew you were a smart cookie :-) What’s really disconcerting is Google VP @vicgundotra never even bothered to acknowledge my tweets. Speaks volumes doesn’t it? (Pun intended)

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    Reply by: Diane ( Blogneta) at 5:45 pm said...

    @Jaffer, I am late coming in to say thanks for your thoughts.

    Common sense - what a concept and on the net?

    Far too many people have little to no common sense especially on social networks. In their effort to be seen people seem to wear rose colored glasses and refuse to look at the total picture!

    They say that social networks are free and free to use, but the reality is there is always a cost to anything you do.

    Social networks are only as good as the people who RUN them so always do your due diligence before you jump on the bandwagon.

    I like your thinking on how you are working the social aspect, I hope others read what you say and think about what they are doing.

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  4. Excellent post. I couldn’t agree more with #4. You don’t need a profile on every back water no name brand social site in existence. There are only a handful of ones that the majority of people go to anyways.

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    Reply by: Diane ( Blogneta) at 4:25 pm said...

    @Jer, I have to tell you that number 4 is something I relate to so well and why I put it in the article.

    I am pretty sure you have heard the word (tongue in cheek) “hashtagitis”? Well I had “socialnetworkitis” where I joined so many networks, big and small and forums big and small that to this day I am still getting rid of them….lol

    Now why would I do such a DUMB thing?


    I had everyone and their mother say…join this, go there, do this and the best one was..hey you can make money promoting these social networks and wow easy money.

    I never checked any of them out, I did not do my homework and in my ignorance I filled in profiles and played the game.

    I was flattered into thinking that I was doing not too shabbily when I was invited to be friends and then had those same people sell to me and then ignore me when I said no thank you.

    I wonder how many people have learned the lesson I have learned?

    Anyways, I have learned my lesson, I am still getting out of these networks and by the way, some are not so easy to get out of… duh me!

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 4:41 pm said...

    @Diane ( Blogneta), I joined the major social networks mostly just to reserve my name. Besides twitter I rarely use them.

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    Reply by: Diane ( Blogneta) at 4:45 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, now if I had done that, then at least I could say I was thinking of the future…oh no not me…but I sure created some very kewl names…ones that are best forgotten…lol

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 5:15 pm said...

    @Diane ( Blogneta), like you mentioned … consistency ;-)

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    Reply by: Diane ( Blogneta) at 5:36 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, got to love that word..CONSISTENCY maybe Google needs to learn that word also… oops shouldn’t have said that

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 5:43 pm said...

    @Diane ( Blogneta), I have taken great effort to be consistent whilst preserving a little of my privacy AND I’ll be damned if Google is going poo on that now. Perhaps we should get rid of the word anonymity and just call it for what it really is - “PRIVACY”. This isn’t about stamping out anonymous trolls to make social media more social. It’s an all-out frontal attack on our privacy!

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    Reply by: Diane ( Blogneta) at 7:21 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, I sorry it took so long to answer you, but I was doing a bit of research and it has been an eye opener, but if I was a bot I would never have been able to see some things.

    For example I know that you took a business course back in September, 2004, that you were having issues with Google “Blogger” and in fact you even wrote a post about it..what a title “ARRRGH ! Is Google Getting Sloppy?” back in Novemeber 2004 and I could tell you so many things about YOU. You have been very consistent on many levels, including how you talk and yes you are a bit cynical and your humor can be very sharp, your health has been a bit of a challenge - amazing isn’t it?

    You have always prized your privacy and you have never changed your thinking on it.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 7:32 pm said...

    @Diane ( Blogneta), me cynical? I prefer the term realist and I choose to blog semi-anonymous .. or should I say semi-PRIVATE. I try to be as transparent as I can without giving it ALL away, and that is my choice of course. It is also my RIGHT and Google needs to be respectful of that.

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    Reply by: Jer at 9:21 pm said...

    @Diane ( Blogneta), I’m kind of in the same boat as you. When I first started getting into the whole thing I fell for that same bad advice of joining every social network known to mankind. Hell at point I even thought submitting my site directly to search engines was the way to go. Glad I know otherwise, now there’s only a few that I use where I’ve had some decent results. Anything else I don’t even bother

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    Reply by: Diane ( Blogneta) at 9:54 pm said...

    @Jer, You did that too? lol the things we learn! Did you know there are still people who will promote submitters of all kinds and they swear they work?

    Personally, no thanks!

    I was sitting here fondly remembering (did I just say that?) thinking about screen names and BlogBloke saying something that I never even considered -reserving a name - I guess if I had been that smart, I might have done that, but nope…I sat for hours agonizing on a “good” screen name, one that would be unique and memorable and I have to admit they were memorable alright, but had NOTHING to do with who I really was, what I represented and what I wanted people to understand about me…oh the good old days and I am very very glad they are over.

    I am content being blogneta or Diane to my close friends..the other names can go bye bye ^=^

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  5. Ironically I can still read #googleplus posts “anonymously”. Heh, talk about an oxymoron. Gotta keep our sense of humor ;-)

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  6. Social Media Profiles: Who are You? http://t.co/H9caCHF Guest Post @BLOGBloke @blogneta

  7. Who are You? http://eqent.me/p4vljA

  8. via @blogbloke Social Media Profiles: Who are You?: Welcome to another lesson on BLOGBloke.com. My nam… http://mkt.gs/phHTso #blogging

  9. via @blogbloke Social Media Profiles: Who are You?: Welcome to another lesson on BLOGBloke.com. My nam… http://mkt.gs/phHTso #blogging

  10. Your Social Media Profile: Are You for REAL? http://t.co/H9caCHF

  11. @blogneta You have a new comment waiting for you @ Your Social Media Profile: Are You for REAL? http://t.co/H9caCHF

  12. we should get rid of the word anonymity and just call it for what it really is - "PRIVACY". via @BLOGBloke http://digs.by/pqYMeU

  13. Is Your Social Media Profile For REAL? Join the conversation now http://t.co/H9caCHF

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