Sunday, June 7, 2009

Personal Branding: Getting started with Facebook

In my previous post, I wrote about the importance of creating a personal brand; in today’s post we get started! Currently one of the top websites, Facebook is one of the first places to start your personal branding campaign. Everyone should have a Facebook strategy and it should be based on your overall life goals. (But certainly balance the professional with the personal - your profile should reflect who you are!)

Most of you may already have a Facebook profile, but make sure you look good when a college or company recruiter looks up your profile – and they will. The Federal Trade Commission (in the U.S.) has decided that companies and universities that research how you spend your personal time and what your passions and hobbies are do not violate your privacy.  In other words, the Internet is fair game.

 Depending on who you are, where you are in your career, what you’re passionate about and an expert in, you’ll want to brand yourself differently. Here’s a quick list of ways to promote YOU on Facebook:

1. Use your real name in all of your online profiles; be consistent in your branding (and be yourself).
2. Add important information about you, focusing on the education and work section. In the contact information field, be sure to list your blog if you have one, any websites you might have and links to your profiles on other social networks. (More information about other networks in my next blog!)
3. Put your picture on your profile – they are a positive addition to your online presence. It’s always better if you can associate the name with a face. In fact, post albums of pictures! (Just be thoughtful about the pictures you post.)
4. You might consider turning tagging settings off for both photos and videos; some pictures you just might not want everyone to find easily.
5. Keep the applications and widgets to a minimum; only those that will represent who you are in a positive light.
6. Join and actively participate in Groups that interest you; or start your own!
7. Regularly update your status – making it a reflection of who you are and what you do.
8. Write informational notes.
9. Share useful links.
10. Comment on your friends’ walls, pictures, videos, notes, and posted items
11. Check -- and frequently recheck -- your privacy settings on social-media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.You may set your entire account to private or grant certain individuals permission to view sections of your profile. You can also make your entire profile public for everyone to see, which could be beneficial to you if you’re looking to become more visible, and have your name come up in searches.
12. Make every effort to find out what's out there about you. Anything that may be taken out of context should be taken down.

Next blog post … How to build your personal brand on Twitter (FUN!!)

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