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”.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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