I’m not going to lecture you on the importance of your online presence and monitoring your social profiles. We’ll leave that to the social media gurus, warlocks, and ninjas. My social makeover will transform you from a social networking wannabe into a borderline media mogul in under 2 hours. The 2-part approach gives the skeptics a chance to bail on my plan at the halfway point. Meanwhile, you can explore the results of your initial efforts, collect your first metrics, and note opportunities to improve your social strategy before you progress to the second phase.
10-step Social Makeover and Guide to Create a Social Presence in Under 2-Hours:
- Determine your online identity. I suggest seizing ownership of your name whenever possible. Obviously if you’re a ‘John Smith’ that may be tough, but you want to choose a social alias that will become synonymous with real-life you. Use this identity as your username for new accounts and your custom URL on each social profile you establish. My preferred identity is ‘DanLeavitt’, but I share a name with a somewhat socially savvy musician from Colorado so I occasionally use my alternate identity: ‘DanLeavittJr‘. Check KnowEm.com before you choose an identity to make sure your alias is available on each of the major social platforms.
- Outline your profile. The information you publish should be consistent on every social platform. Create a short version bio, long version bio, list of interests, books, TV shows, movies, and any other content you regularly see on someone’s profile. Copying and pasting this info to the new profiles we plan to create will save time, ensure consistency, and improve SEO efforts. Now we can focus on the personal and professional identity trifectas! (Advanced Tip: Create a document titled ‘profile content’ in Evernote so you can easily access and update the material)
- Give Facebook a face-lift. (trifecta pt. 1) It’s time to stop being a creeper and become a contributor. Facebook is the king of social networks and it represents the cornerstone of your online identity. Contrary to popular belief, Facebook is not a forum to share every detail of your personal life. The easiest way to create an audience is through content that is funny, cute, and/or relevant to a broad audience. Avoid taboo topics and newsfeed-jacking (limit yourself to 1 post every few hours you little addict). Keep an eye on your privacy settings and follow the golden rule: “If you wouldn’t share it with a stranger, don’t share it online.”
- Twitter isn’t a dirty word. (trifecta pt. 2) What do I write? How come I only have 140 characters? Does anybody pay attention to this crap? Write whatever you want (something quasi-intelligent is preferable). It needs to be short and sweet, so get to the point! Millions of content addicts flock to Twitter each day to learn breaking news, helpful hints, or find an audience that shares a common interest.
- Only the best blog. (trifecta pt. 3) Blogging is the yellowbrick road to social networking Oz. Follow the yellowbrick road. What do I write about? Anything! Follow the Golden Rule and write about your interests or share your expertise. The content you create will become a portfolio you can share with your new online audience. (Free blogging platforms: WordPress.com, Tumblr, or Blogger)
Tomorrow I’ll share steps 6-10, including the second trifecta necessary to solidify your professional identity. Are you still concerned that managing your social presence will become a tedious time burden? I’ll introduce you to my favorite tools and resources that will make monitoring your new social presence a breeze.
***BONUS: you can establish your online identity by joining social networks and interacting with that network. Feedback is another tool that expands your presence. Provide reviews on sites like Yelp.com, Google, and MerchantCircle to become a valuable source of information in your community. Part 2 will include a couple of tools you can use to track your influence on the community. Want to get a head start? Go write reviews for your favorite restaurant, pub, and local attraction!***