By now we all know how dangerous social media profiles can be. Whether you are a business owner, a very public professional or a job seeker, embarrassing content, when found on your Facebook page, can prove devastating to your personal reputation and ultimately to your professional success. It is no surprise, then, that the Internet is littered with lists of what not to post on Facebook — like slovenly photos from frat parties, mug shots, and so on.
But what about the opposite? What about the things that you actually should put on Facebook, as a way of building your personal brand? Believe it or not, social media sites are not just disasters waiting to happen. They can actually provide opportunities for building yourself up, and enhancing your professional image. The trick is knowing what your social media profiles need to include.
Of course, if you are seeking to leverage social media for professional enhancement, it is important to build authority. It is important, in other words, to establish yourself as someone who is knowledgeable, reputable, and an expert in your field. In short, you need to use your social media profiles to convince people that you know what you are doing.
There are plenty of ways to do so. An obvious one is to include work history and any and all professional affiliations, as far as they pertain to your chosen field. Moreover, though, it’s good to prove that you are intimately involved and respected within your niche. How can you do that? Find some opportunities to write guest articles for blogs that are respected within your industry and include links on your Facebook page.
Of course, you don’t just need to come across as an authoritative person. You need to come across as someone who is liked, trusted, and, in a word, reputable, as well. Simply listing professional achievements on your Facebook page is not enough, then. You should also seek to show another side of yourself by listing charitable organizations in which you are involved.
If you have ever volunteered somewhere, or raised money for a non-profit organization, list it on your profile. It may be prudent to omit political donations, of course. Even “liking” the pages for different charities and non-profits can go a long way toward enhancing your image.
Finally, there is certainly nothing wrong with letting people know that you’re not all about work and that you are committed to your family, above all else. Of course, keeping some privacy is totally fine, but avoiding any and all mention of your spouse or kids is probably not going to do you any favors! Include a list of family members, and perhaps even a few photos; you will be surprised at how far this can go toward establishing you as a person of substance and integrity.
About the Author: Direct response marketer and reputation management expert Rich Gorman is one of the driving forces behind www.reputationchanger.com which offers online reputation management. In addition, Rich operates the official blog for the Direct Response industry where he shares his thoughts on Direct Response Marketing.