The Social Web (aka. Social Media) is an increasingly complicated and cluttered space. As the Social Web matures, many of us find ourselves having already experimented with new apps, platforms and sites.
This rapid adoption of new platforms and social technologies has led to multiple profiles and presences - either branded or individual - for the company’s we work at, or for ourselves as professionals. Due to the essentially ‘private’ and therefore fragmented nature of the Social Web since its inception (it is after all basically a bunch of walled platforms and apps), the personas we have developed across disparate communities and platforms is often uncoordinated and inconsistent.
Now, more than ever, as Search Engines become more attuned to the Social Web (think of Bing’s foray into social search results - and Google as well, with more to follow), it is critically important to think about the profiles and personas that we have created. Building and properly architecting a multi-platform online social presence has deep implications for any brand, company, organization - and individual.
Your social persona - your adoption of social technologies and the social graphs that they help you to build - defines who you are in today’s hyper-connected, digital age - to your future clients and employers. So pay heed and take care. Be thoughtful about how we travel and subscribe to the Social Web.
8 important rules for users of the Social Web in Asia Pacific:
Rule # 1: Choose the social networks that you participate in deliberately. Keep track of the networks that you have joined. It’s a good idea to shut down/ delete profiles and social network subscriptions that you do not actively maintain or use anymore.
Rule # 2: Create strong passwords (not your name + your birthday!) and do not share your passwords with ANYONE.
Rule # 3: Always take a moment or two extra to think about what you’re posting and where you’re posting it before you press post or send. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. Remember that whatever you post will be accessible by everyone, forever, and might travel quickly from one social network to another.
Check other user experiences and reviews will quickly tell you what to watch out for and if other users before you have had bad experiences. In the beginning, restrict your privacy settings and share a few pieces of content. Try different features. See what happens when you post stuff. Once you are comfortable with a platform or app, and you understand how your content and information is being served to the large network, you can then gradually open up your privacy settings further.
Rule #5: Remember, even if you have privacy settings calibrated to your liking, your data is always only as secure as the weakest link in the chain – whether that’s a security breach of a third-party service that you’ve given permission to access your social media profile or your friend who forgets to logout at a cybercafé. So the golden rule on the Social Web is: Do not post things that you neither expect nor want the rest of the world to see.
Rule #6: Like it or not, your online persona is where many people – from your future employers to your next blind date – will get their first (and maybe last!) impression of you. If you care about what impression they might form, you should regularly check your own search results (using Google, Bing and within the search engines in the networks you use the most) for your own name. Doing this every once in a while will let you understand how others observe you online. (Even if the information is not inherently negative, it may not be projecting the image you want.) Take time to craft your image to your own satisfaction. This is a process that is done over time. It takes patience and discipline. It is important though. After all, how search engine “see” you is how the rest of the world sees you (or does not!).
Rule #7: Think about your content and the image it forms of you online, both in isolation as well as holistically. For example, if a prospective employer, client or family-member sees a posts of yours in isolation, what impression would he or she have? And if someone consolidated all the posts over any period of time – say one year - about you online (e.g. by looking at your Facebook Timeline), then would they perceive you? Think about those you care about – your family, your boss, your colleagues, your friends, that great company that you’d love to work at in the future. Think ahead, and think about how your image or profile online represents you.
Rule #8: The concept of sharing information online, especially when using social platforms and apps, comes with opportunities as well as potential risks. And as long as you’re cognizant of the risks and benefits involved, you can empower yourself (and those that you care about most) to make the right, most responsible sharing decisions. This will allow you to build your brand’s persona successfully and positioned for good reputation and marketing results.
Go forth and conquer - your social graph awaits!
- integratedinfluenceasia posted this