You probably read the title of this blog and thought, “What? Another blog post on social media? Really?“ To which I answer, “Yes! There are always things you need to know and DO!” At StudentBranding.com, our goal is to provide readers with insight and advice on social media, building your personal brand and kick starting your career.
This post is all about the most important student branding resolutions for the new year- in fact, don’t wait until January 1- start on them today!
Social Media Matters! Here’s what could happen if you don’t monitor your personal brand online:
- You can lose a job offer! See the case of the “Cisco Kid”
- Dan Schwabel guides us through some social media “no no’s” in his blog post 10 Ways to Get Fired for Building Your Personal Brand
These are just a couple of examples that illustrate what could happen if you don’t closely monitor your brand in the social media world.
Here are the Top 10 things you need to do NOW:
10. Examine & update your privacy settings. Facebook, MySpace and pretty much all other social networking sites will have privacy settings. Really spend a good hour or two optimizing these settings to tailor your privacy to various audiences.
9. Know what your friends are posting. You are only young once – but if your friend uploaded that picture of you passed out after the holiday party, untag it and ask them to remove it from their photo albums! Even if you didn’t post it or keep it on your profile, it’s still out there.
8. Communicate your social media boundaries to family, friends and colleagues. Don’t feel bad if you have to delete your mom’s comment about your embarrassing family nickname. (Even I have to remind my parents from time to time to not to reference certain family monikers around my network. They still think it’s funny to try and embarrass their 34-year-old daughter!) Sometimes you have to remind your personal network that you are an adult and a professional.
7. Late night out with friends? You are bound to have a little too much fun every now and again, but avoid posting status updates or tweets that you may frantically be trying to delete the next morning. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. I have friends who are also colleagues that sometimes declare events a “Tweet Free Zone!” and call out TFZ!
6. Did I mention understanding the privacy settings? Seriously, do that now! Even if your profiles on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc. seem to be pretty vanilla, it never hurts to be cautious. You also protect yourself from the unscrupulous.
5. Update or Create your LinkedIn Profile: It’s less expensive for employers to hire a referral and more are turning to networks and tools that facilitate hiring referrals. Even if you want to give up Facebook and don’t get Twitter – create a LinkedIn profile for professional purposes – networking and job search.
4. Create a Google Alert: Google Alerts are a powerful tool in monitoring your brand. They are free and easy to set up. You can have search results sent to you instantly, daily or weekly. I recommend setting up a Google Alert for your full name and any user id’s you use frequently.
3. Wash your mouth out with soap! Who hasn’t picked out a choice word or two in a moment of frustration? But try to keep it out of your posts. Part of managing your personal brand is also recognizing that you may need to clean it up a little. Avoid foul language, crude content or arguing with people over social media networks.
2.Log off. Be sure to “unplug” from social media every now and again. Remember that social media is great for connecting and reconnecting online with old and new contacts – but it’s most powerful when those connections are cemented in real life. You also don’t want to neglect the relationships you had before you logged on.
1. Use good old fashioned common sense: Ultimately, you control the content you put out into online social networks. Engage, make new connections and reconnect- but do so responsibly. Social media isn’t going away and now we have to find ways to incorporate it or live with being out of the loop. You can engage as little or as much as you want. And if you are ever in doubt about something, don’t post it.
Lanie James serves as Employer Development Coordinator for the Career Services office at Oklahoma State University, also known as HireOSUgrads.com . She holds both a B.A. in Journalism Broadcasting and a M.S. in Mass Communication from OSU. Her research emphasis focused on emerging and social media in Career Services. She also serves as the President of the Oklahoma Association of Colleges & Employers (@OkACE). Connect with Lanie on LinkedIn or Twitter @JLanie.