Our Social Media Image, consists of our representation on Social Media Networks, and generally speaking this is determined by two things:
A. Our Social Media Profiles.
B. The material we share in each of our Social Media Networks.
Regarding our Social Media Profiles, these consist of the individual and/or company profiles that we create in each of the Social Media Networks we are part of (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn etc.). Let's assume for example that you are a food exporter looking for importers for your products as well as forming strategic collaborations with key parties from all over the world, and you choose LinkedIn (the worlds largest Social Media Network for professionals) as the avenue to identify importers and collaborators who will help you achieve your professional goals. You create a LinkedIn Profile, throw in some information from your resume and your website and you start connecting and approaching potential prospects. What will those prospects do the minute they receive your message or they find you via LinkedIn Search? You guessed it! They will visit your LinkedIn Profile. And what will they think if your LinkedIn Profile is not filled out 100% or if it is not written in a way appropriate for the largest network of professionals in the world? What if you have not uploaded a LinkedIn Profile Image, or if you have uploaded one, it is not professional and does not represent you as approachable, trustworthy and competent? You guessed it again! They will have seconds thoughts of doing business with you or even communicating with you in the first place.
Regarding the material we post in each of our Social Media Networks, this consists of the updates, comments, posts, images, videos, presentations etc. that we decide to showcase in the Social Media Networks we belong to. Even the material we share from other users of Social Media should be included in this category. Depending on relevant settings configurations, and depending on each Social Media Network's specifics, this material can be seen by the followers of each of our Social Media Networks, or can have the potential to be seen by the Universe of Internet users. Let's assume for example that you are a job seeker, looking for your next employment opportunity, and you approach several potential employers, provide them with your resume and cover letter and are waiting to be invited for an interview to proceed to the next step of their selection process. What will those potential employers do the minute they receive your CV? You guessed it! They will visit your Social Media Profiles and check out your latest updates on each of those. And what will they think if in these updates they identify improper language used, unsuitable comments about previous employers, unfit images of yourself etc.? What if they identify material that contradicts some of the statements you have made in your CV or Cover letter? You guessed it again! They will have second thoughts hiring you, or even inviting you for the next step of their employment selection process.
After reviewing the two examples above, it is safe to state that a solid Social Media Image can be a stepping stone into both one's career as well as one's professional success.
So what can I do? You may ask yourself! Well, generally speaking there are two things you can do and although it may not seem so at first glance, they can be rather time consuming:
A. Clean up your existing Social Media Image. Visit each of the Social Media Networks you belong to, identify material that is inappropriate either for your Social Media Profiles or for your Social Media updates, and edit or delete it accordingly. And my suggestion is, don't do this only once! You should regularly monitor your Social Media Profiles and Updates to ensure everything is running smoothly and of course take corrective action where appropriate.
B. Fill out your Social Media Profiles 100% (either by yourself or by having a professional help you with this task if you feel you do not have the time nor the skills to do so), use appropriate language for each Social Media network, perform a spelling & grammar check and make sure you are portrayed as an approachable, trustworthy and competent individual.
C. From now on, think twice before you post something online. (not just you by the way! all of us should!).
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