We’re living in a ‘remote’ world. Interacting with others online is becoming more important than ever before.
How you handle your online profile during the lockdown and beyond will determine the social media presence and following that you will earn during this period of high stress and anxiety.
On the one hand, with potential clients and employers spending more time online, you have an ideal opportunity to connect, support them and build your profile.
On the other hand, what you do today will be available for future clients and employers to find online forever. It’s therefore important that you spend time determining what you want to say and how you want to interact online. You need to be authentic, but you also don’t want to type every fleeting thought that you have, particularly when you’re also experiencing higher levels of stress than usual.
To enhance your social media in a positive, long-lasting way, keep these ten critical points top of mind.
Determine your key objective: How do you want to be known online? Do you want to be the go-to name for futuristic predictions? Are you supporting entrepreneurs? Will your personal brand focus on helping others to become the best version of themselves? Once you determine what you want to be known for, you have a lens that you can view every post and interaction through, so this is a critical first step.
What is the benefit you wish to offer your audience? This relates directly to what you want to be known for. Simply sharing the same thoughts on topics as everyone else doesn’t add value to your audience, it just clutters their news feeds. Take the time to find a unique angle or thought. Be critical – are you adding value to someone’s day or even week?
Pay attention to the quality of images you share. This begins with your profile image, which should be professional and high quality, but is also relevant to each and every image your share. You are essentially building an online brand. The look and feel of your posts should be recognisable.
Be authentic. Building a professional online profile and brand is only successful if you are authentic. First, because people have become very good and recognising who is being authentic online, and who isn’t. It’s okay to be human – we want to interact with people. However, you also need to be consistent. Authenticity helps you achieve this.
Spelling and grammar count. There is no doubt that we have moved into a more casual business era, but that doesn’t mean you can write poorly. Readers unconsciously trust – or distrust – posts based on whether they believe someone is an expert. Spelling and grammar are important indicators. If you can’t pay attention to the details, can I trust your insights?
Include professional endorsements and accomplishments. Ask your network to share your posts. Share their posts as well. Building an online profile is largely based on who you are associated with, so choose your connections wisely. Don’t friend or follow someone whose values are completely opposed to your own. Ask your network for endorsements on LinkedIn – and endorse them as well. The online community is based on social proof.
Be selective in what you re-post. Your online audience trusts you, so verify information before you repost or share it. This is particularly important during a crisis period like Covid-19, where people are desperate for information, but there is a lot of fake news doing the rounds. Treat each post like a social responsibility.
Find the line between authenticity and over-sharing. Even with privacy settings in place, social profiles can be viewed by employers and customers. If you are actively building a public online profile, be aware of how you are portraying your personal and professional lives. People want to see who you are, and sharing personal details is okay, but review each post through your lens: does it support your overall objectives?
Be kind. We are in the middle of a pandemic. Stress and tensions are riding high, and social distancing, home schooling and remote working are adding complexities to everyone lives – not to mention financial stresses. Remember to treat others as you wish to be treated.
Respect different opinions. Many of the most active personalities on social media welcome debates. This is how we engage with each other on difficult and often important topics. If you choose to ask questions of your audience, request that everyone remains respectful, and make sure you are respectful in turn. We don’t all share the same opinions, and it is important to listen to each other.