Have you ever logged into Facebook and been taken aback by a friend notification? Has a recruiter, potential employer or your current boss decided to add you?
This is increasingly common. More and more important connections are being formed over social media and online, in general. This should not be something that strikes fear into your heart over your unsavory photos and questionable status updates, but rather evokes a glow as you know they are taking notice of your impressive online personal brand.
Developing a personal brand is essential in this tricky economic climate: if you want to stand out from the crowd at your next job interview, a successful online brand encompassing blogging, social media and online monitoring would be an excellent asset .
With so many places to establish and maintain your online presence, from a blog or Tumblr account, to professional networking sites, monitoring what information is out there about you can feel like a full-time job! But with just a few basic monitoring tactics, you can be on top of your game when it comes to your online presence, ensuring your personal and professional brands aren’t marred by a blog over-share or an incriminating photo or two.
Set Up Google Alerts
Resist the urge to type your name into a search engine! Instead, utilise Google Alerts to instantly know when your brand has been buzzing around the internet. Google provides a quick tutorial on how best to take advantage of their alert system.
You’ll want to set up key words and phrases that give you accurate results and emails when your name, email address, or blog site are referenced in other spots on the web. This will give you that all important heads up as to where and when you are mentioned.
Interact with Your Followers
Your fans, followers, and commenters are one of your greatest resources.
They’ll provide you with honest feedback on your social media content and direction, so engage them. Internet anonymity gives people courage. They’ll let you know when they’re confused by your last post, or if they disliked your Twitter update. On the other hand, positive engagements can spread like wildfire. You’ll get a good indication of your social media successes by the number of comments, shares, and re-posts you receive.
Set Aside Research Time
Dedicate some time to researching social media trends so you can keep yourself relevant. You want your online presence to work in your favor, always. Your profiles and accounts should keep your skills and assets visible to potential employers and professional partners.
Check Your Privacy Settings Regularly
Social media websites are always revising their policies.
It’s good practice to set up a monthly routine and double check the privacy settings on each of your social media pages. Occasionally, you’ll spot a change (Facebook is notorious for altering privacy settings without alerting members). Make sure the privacy settings you’ve created are still intact. Nothing can doom a professional identity as quickly as the two-hundred and seventeen photos from last year’s album titled, “Vegas, Baby!”
Don’t Stress Over Information You Can’t Change
If, when you begin to monitor your online presence you see material that you are not overly happy about on other sites, don’t get too upset. You can contact their webmasters and ask them to take it down, but odds are they won’t, so you will just have to move past it.
DON’T contact Google! This will not go well, they don’t have control over this, they just show what is already out there!
Instead, work on producing great new content to connect with your name, be it blog posts, conversations on social media or examples of your work.
Simply employing these monitoring tactics and developing a general routine to keep on top of your online presence will save you a lot of time an stress in the future, so don’t delay! Start cleaning up, developing and producing great new content and monitoring your personal brand now!