Privacy on-line is fast disappearing as search engines and social networks publish information in an instant. Conversations about people and brands are searchable with granular advanced search functions that include dates and specific media such as images and videos.
In the last century(as far back as the ancient web time of 1995) there was no Google or Bing to help you find information easily on the web. Finding people or brands using primitive search engine technology at the time such as AltaVista was rather hit and miss and finding something relevant was often buried as far back as page 20 of the search results.
Now to find something about a person you only need to put their name into Google and up will come their LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles.
You are Now an Online Brand!
Hate it or love it, you are an online brand whether you like it or not. Sometimes those results on page one of a Google search will produce what other people are saying about you on their blogs or Facebook pages. In other words if you are not actively participating in your own on-line PR then you have handed over your public relations to other people by default.
Social media provides the means to take control of your own brand and ensure people see you how you want them to see you.
So what are the essential social media tools that a 21st century executive and professional should have in his toolkit.
The Executives Essential Social Media ToolKit
These are not the only social media tools available to you but are the key platforms to consider joining and optimizing.
1. Professional Blog
There is no excuse not to have your own professional blog whether it is branded with your own name or a name that is relevant to your industry. Easy to use blogging platforms such as Blogger.com or Tumblr.com can have you up and running in minutes.
For ultimate control you can purchase your own domain, buy a WordPress template and have it self hosted on GoDaddy.com or Hostmonster.com.
Blogging does not need to be complicated and can include articles about the latest news in your industry or simple tips on what you have learned over the years. A 200-400 word article will be enough to display your passion and talents to your peers (and headhunters!)
Scott Monty, the head of social media for the Ford Motor company, uses his blog to communicate about social media and it serves as a platform that enhances both his personal brand and the corporate brand.
2. Facebook “Page”
Now I don’t mean a personal Facebook profile! Create a Facebook “Page” in addition to your personal profile and use it to share and promote your professional brand. A public and professional Facebook page is highly visible to search engines and will assist in making your personal brand easy to find. Publish your blog articles to it, ask questions of your audience and link to your other on-line properties such as Twitter and your blog.
Mari Smith uses her Facebook page to promote her personal brand and is a great example of best practice with a landing tab, latest tweets, a video, a Flickr photostream and a “call to action”
LinkedIn is the default web presence for most professionals and is essentially an on-line resume for most executives. It can be much more than this and allows you to add links to 3 web properties in your profile settings. LinkedIn can also be optimised so it displays your latest blog posts, tweets and Slideshare presentations that can display your thought leadership in your industry. Active participation in LinkedIn groups can go a long way to ensuring that you are not invisible to your peers and your potential future boss.
Twitter is great for sending out the latest news in your industry and profession and also to monitor important people and brands in your industry by creating lists of the top influencers. Twitter is also an easy way to promote your blog posts to a global audience by embedding links with the article’s headline.
Most savvy professionals know the value of speaking engagements in their industry for creating valuable networking oppotunities and personal brand promotion. Create a Slideshare account that you can publish your latest PowerPoint presentations to the web for all to see. This says two things
1. Your opinion is seen as valued and important enough to be asked to speak at industry events
2. You are switched on professional who knows about the latest web technologies
Participating on other social media channels can include YouTube or a Flickr and this will depend on both your time and resources that you have available to you.
If you manage to participate and optimize these platforms so that people can subscribe and share your ideas and content then you are well on your way to taking control of your own online personal brand!
Have you taken control of your personal brand? Are you proactive on-line?
- 23 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand
- 5 Tips to Build Your Personal Brand with Social Media
- Why Social Media is Optimizing the Personal and Corporate Brand
- Job Searching with Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]
- How Do You Use LinkedIn? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Image by wenxin