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  • 02.11.08

Social Media Profiles and Brand Reputation

To be, or not to be, that is the question. This famous quote highlights the importance of how Social Media profiles are influencing how we exist online or if viewers find relevant information about our brand. Whether the brand in question is an individual or business one, establishing proper profiles on social media sites can increase search recognition, bolster traffic on specific phrases, and control how visitors perceive your information and presence.

To be, or not to be, that is the question. This famous quote highlights the importance of how Social Media profiles are influencing how we exist online or if viewers find relevant information about our brand.

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Whether the brand in question is an individual or business one,
establishing proper profiles on social media sites can increase search
recognition, bolster traffic on specific phrases, and control how
visitors perceive your information and presence.

While some companies focus on “the top”, this is a fundamental
problem in online marketing and brand promotion. Top results in search
technology and branding are created by establishing a presence in many
different places.

In basic terms: if you want to be on top of the pyramid – you also have to be on the bottom.

For the purposes of this article, we will focus on a case study of how my own name shows up in search results: “Barry Hurd”

You can do a quick search on Google and Yahoo for my name, unlike
many professionals you will see that my information is on dozens of
different social media sites that allow profiles. I actually maintain a
large list of hundreds of accounts that focus on different business
priorities and target audiences.

In the case of my own name, many of my profiles are fairly generic
so that they can be used for generic projects. However many of them are
seeded with appropriate keywords and links to other sites, articles, or
items of professional interest for me.

Creating effective Social Media Profiles

Step One: Use strategy. Before you start creating profiles
and running amok through dozens of social media sites, sit down and
detail why you are creating these profiles. Securing a personal brand
name, achieving higher search engine results, and exposing your company
message to the community are all good goals. Each and every user of
social media is going to have different personal and professional goals.

  • How do you want to present yourself?
  • What sets you apart from your competitors?
  • Will you be active in the community?

Step Two: Identify the information you want communicate. To
save a lot of time and effort, collect the information you want to
share with the world. If this is a professional application to enhance
your career status, have an updated resume on hand and highlight the
information you want to use. Consistent and clear information
through-out a social media project is essential.

  • What name do you want to use? This is important- as your
    name will be a primary way people find this information through
    searching.
  • What keywords do you want to be
    found under? In any profile system that allows titles, descriptions,
    and other information- your priority keywords should be used.
  • What
    visual picture is going to represent you? Almost every profile allows
    an image, have a company logo and profile image handy.
  • What testimonials can you share? Everyone has a few good things other people have said.

Step Three: Where will I be and who will I be with? Social
Media has the word “social in it for a reason. Utilizing your existing
network is the quickest way to get a boost to the results that your
profiles can have online. Below is a brief sample of sites that some of
my information appears on. There are hundreds, if not thousands of
sites that information could appear on.

www.linkedin.com
– Linkedin is the largest online professional profile service there is.
I am active under several profiles in the questions and answers
section, and I also use it to create niche networks of professionals
for specific business projects.

biznik.com – Biznik is a good
example of a niche marketplace of small business owners. The profiles
rank very well under search engine results and there are interesting
small business conversations happening in the local area.

socialmediasystems.com/blog
– my own company blog, where members of my staff write about various
online trends and tactics. Having a presence on my company blog allows
me to connect my company brand with my personal brand, which is
essential as a consultant and spokesperson for the company.

www.jobster.com
– Jobster is the largest profile based job site. In addition to
allowing me to keep track of professionals I know in different
companies, the profiles also rank very well in the search engine
results.

www.barryhurd.com
– my personal blog site with my proper name as the domain. Owning your
own name is well worth $10 a year. Roughly 20% of search users type
searches directly into a web browser address bar – which means they go
to a domain first (if that domain actually exists.)

Step Four: Invite people to participate. While there are
branding and minor search engine benefits of social media, the true
benefits come from actively participating in the medium by invited
associates and other like-minded professionals to connect.

  • Jump start your social media profiles by writing a quick
    e-mail to your top 25 contacts and inviting them to see your
    information.
  • Make a monthly effort to invite 5 to 10 new connections.
  • Choose one new social media site each month and create another profile.

Step Five- Taking it to the next level. Here is a list of
sites that can keep most professionals growing into the social media
marketplace. Spend an hour each month looking at a new community and
detailing if it is a good place for you to spend some effort finding
new (or old) connections.

ASSOCIATEDCONTENT.COM * DIGG.COM * ZOODANGO.COM * MYBLOGLOG.COM * REDDIT.COM * ONLYWIRE.COM * PLAXO.COM * ZOOMINFO.COM * SQUIDDOO.COM * CLAIMID.COM * Del.icio.us * YELP.COM * RYZE.COM * MYSPACE.COM * ZIGGS.COM * MEETUP.COM * NETSCAPE.COM * TECHNORATI.COM * WWW.ZIKI.COM * UPCOMING.ORG * RATEPOINT.COM * HOOVERSCONNECT.VISIBLEPATH.COM

 

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