With the suite of online channels, the potential to create and cultivate an online profile has dramatically shifted across the last few years.
These tools have also influenced the way we connect with others, learn, and advance our businesses and careers.
Our digital footprint is now just as important as career experience and formal education.
Here are my 5 steps to create and cultivate your online reputation;
Be clear on who you are
Write a personal brand statement, and identify keywords that define your key strengths and unique differentiators. Review the keywords inline with the way people search. Historically we would search for individual keywords, now increasingly we use more natural and conversational language, in our search process. In fact more than a quarter of queries are typed in the form of a question, with ‘how’ and ‘why’, representing more than half of those searches. When optimising your content, use keywords that match what your audience is likely to type into the search engine. .
Complement your brand statement with your vision, 12-month and long term goals.
Be selective of what channels you invest in
Once your are clear on your brand and vision, invest time in understanding what channels are going to be best suited to build your online profile. There are literally hundreds of social media channels. The process of developing content and managing and monitoring channels can be a full time job in itself so ensure you focus on the ones that matter.
Here are the top ten channels in Australia as of April 2016, based on audience size:
1.Facebook – 15,000,000 users
2. YouTube – 14,250,000 UAVs
3. WordPress.com – 5,550,000 users
4. Instagram – 5,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users
5. Tumblr – 4,400,000 users
6. LinkedIn – 3,850,000 users
7. Twitter – 2,800,000 approximatley monthly active Australian Users
8. WhatsApp – 2,400,000 Active Australian
9. TripAdvisor – 2,300,000
10. Blogspot- 2,150,000
Source via medianews.com.au, Facebook and Instagram
Ensure that you enough time to consistently maintain, update and nurture these channels, as there is no point in having an account with sporadic activity.
Keep in mind, that social media channels are platforms we are customers of. At any time the rules of each platform can change, affecting how many people, and the type of people, that see our content. This shouldn’t affect what we share online, however if you do have your own personal website/e-newsletter database nurture these as they allow for a one-to-one, uninterrupted conversation with your audience.
Join the conversations
Strengthen and build your online reputation by maintaining attention across these channels, regularly contributing to wider discussions and giving back by acknowledging and engaging with other people’s content.
Share your time and knowledge with others without expecting anything in return, and add value where possible.
Also consider an outreach strategy for your personal brand, by investing in content partnerships, earned media and advertising where it may be relevant.
Become a storyteller
Each of us has the ability to share thoughts and ideas within our area of expertise. We have become content curators, individual media organisations you could even say. The way we curate, participate and contribute online can have significant impact on our business and careers. If we pay attention to our brand, and the content we produce, we can build the perception of an expert in a particular area as it allows us to prove our ability through content, projects and publications.
Make a conscious effort to regularly write thought leadership articles and participate in interviews.
Also make sure you have spent time crafting your own personal story, or ‘elevator pitch.’ Where relevant, draw from your experiences to add authenticity and value to what you are speaking or writing about.
Stay ahead of the game
With new social media channels and digital tools regularly launching in the market, it’s important to stay abreast of what’s new and what may be relevant to use for your business.
Take the approach of constant learning. With things changing at a faster rate than ever before, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends within your industry.
Tools and Resources
- Set up Google Alerts to track mentions of your name and/or business online
- Use Canva to develop custom channel visual, for example a Twitter header
- Activate BrandYourself’s DIY tool which lets you track three profiles
- To schedule content across multiple channels, use Sprout Social or Hootsuite
- If you have a website, install Google Analytics to track growth metrics and engagement
- Keep abreast of popular content via Buzzsumo
- Use Followerwonk to understand your audience, and engagement levels, on Twitter.