DOs and DON’Ts for Representing Yourself Online

DOs&DONTsA couple years ago I wrote a post about Facebook etiquette, and how you should polish your online persona just as much as you do your resume. Today, I’d like to elaborate a bit on the DOs and DON’Ts for ANY social media channel you might use to make up your online persona. Before we dive into it though, I’d like to reiterate why it is so important in the first place.

First, people (and employers!) WILL look for you online. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. Now, ask yourself, what will they find? Will they be impressed or put off? Second, even before having an online presence that represents you positively, it’s important to have a presence in the first place. I recommend that everyone have an online presence to showcase your knowledge and skills, but if you are in marketing or business, you MUST have an online presence. Think about it, if you’re applying for a position that includes social media or online marketing and you don’t even have a Twitter account, do you think they’ll hire you? Probably not.

So, now that we’re clear that you should have an online persona, and that it’s important that it is positive, let’s look at some DOs and DON’Ts for today’s top channels:

Facebook

Facebook DODON’T share information or post pictures that would make someone’s nose wrinkle. For example, posting a picture of you drinking a beer when you were 18, writing a status about the color of your latest (fill in the blank), or ranting and raging about your ex is just NOT appropriate. Seriously, use your judgement! Oh, and talking about how much time you have left before you serve your jail time is also not appealing.

DO use Facebook to share what you’re interested in and connect with family and friends. We are all human, and we like to socialize, hence the immense popularity of Facebook. Feel free to post a picture of you eating dinner with your family or share an article about something you like. Just be you – a positive and happy you.

Twitter

DON’T use profanity or be a spammer. People also don’t really want to know that you failed your chemistry exam or how bloated you feel. Tweets were not designed for the world to hear about your ailments or how much you hate this or that. And, like I said, don’t be a spammer – don’t assume the default Twitter egg is a perfectly good profile picture, or that tweeting mystery links to strangers is okay.

DO share your knowledge and post interesting articles. Start conversations with like-minded professionals. RT a valuable infographic or blog post (make sure you read it first!). Twitter can be a powerful networking tool and a good way to help you share information related to your expertise.

Twitter DOLinkedIn

DON’T leave your profile outdated. If you’re profile still says you’re working at the cafe you waited tables at in high school, you definitely need to make some revisions. You also shouldn’t have a profile picture of you in your swimsuit. LinkedIn is a professional network!

DO showcase your work and take advantage of LinkedIn features. LinkedIn is your online resume – make sure to tell people what you do or did in a particular position, and try to get recommendations for them too. Add pictures, videos, or slideshares that relate to your experience (this is one of LinkedIn’s new and awesome features). Visuals can compliment your experience in many ways.

LinkedIn DO

In the end, it comes down to presenting yourself in a way that you wouldn’t want to hide from anyone, whether it be your grandmother or a potential employer. Present yourself and communicate in a way that you would face-to-face, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

Do you have more DOs and DON’Ts to add? Post them in the comments!

Lesson 3: Social Media is Always Evolving

subcribe feature on FacebookWhether we like it or not, social media is constantly evolving.  Although there are small changes happening on many social media platforms, the platform that is currently consuming headlines is Facebook.  As I am sure many of you have already noticed, Facebook has recently made some major changes in the way it’s social network functions.

Arguably the most influential change is the ability to “subscribe” to Facebook Users’ updates.  Not only can you now subscribe to people who you aren’t friends with, you can also choose what updates you are subscribed to from your friends.  In addition, there are more options concerning what you see in your news feed – you have the option to hide stories, change your subscription, or unsubscribe altogether.  You can read more about this feature here: Introducing the Subscribe Button.

What is more important about these changes is the implications it has on social media marketing.  Now users can still like your page, but choose not to see any of your updates in their news feed.  What does this mean?  You have to be even more diligent about what you’re posting, when you’re posting, and how often you are posting.  Here are some resources for learning how to go about posting to Facebook:

Moral of the story?  Make sure you stay up-to-date on the evolution of social media – and be aware of how it affects your social media marketing strategy.

Anything you’d like to add?  Share it in the comments!

Lesson 2: Facebook Etiquette

As my senior year begins at Colorado State University, it is more evident than ever that everyone is gearing up for the all-important, yet alarmingly nerve-racking, job search. The next few months are filled with resume workshops, mock interviews, and networking events – but nobody is paying any attention to their online persona.

It should be stressed – your online persona a.k.a. social media must be polished just as much when embarking on a job search! Companies are no longer oblivious to the amount of information they can find out about a person on Facebook – and they know just about every college student has a Facebook page. What does this mean? Your future employer is checking you out online – looking at your pictures, reading comments, etc. – and if you have a whole album of your drinking photos or are chatting it up on your wall about how you played hooky last Friday, you better bet you won’t get that callback!

Wondering what to do now? Check out this great article, “Essential Social Media Etiquette for College Students: Six Tips.” This should get you started on revamping your Facebook page into something that represents you positively and professionally.

Do you have any more great Facebook tips you’d like to share?