Everyone knows that online branding is important. Whether it is branding your business or personal branding, you should know not only what to do, but more importantly what not to do. One of the most important things to understand is that you already have a personal online brand. Most people don’t think about this, but it is true. If you are involved in any of the social media sites, then you - as a person - have a brand. It isn’t only what you say and do on these sites that contribute to your personal brand, but it also involves what others are saying about you.
In many cases some professional individuals have lost their jobs due to poor judgment on a social networking site. If you do or say something that causes negative feedback, realise that they can and probably will spread virally. You should keep your ear to the digital superhighway concerning these things and try to nip these in the bud. Everyone is going to have some negative publicity on the web - it is just in the nature of business. Instead of lashing out and causing more damage, use it as a learning tool and focus your efforts on improving that area of your personal brand. This may involve posts communicating your desire to improve customer service, guarantees, delivery times, or any other myriad ideas. Don’t let a negative turn your brand sour.
Your online brand can suffer from underexposure. If you try to be involved in every social media site out there, you won’t be able to do a good job on any of them. Instead, keep track of which sites provide you with the best results and concentrate on managing them to the proper levels. Consider automating updates as much as possible in order to become more efficient. Applications are available that will allow you to automatically publish content to many social networks simultaneously.
Over-promoting yourself is another danger. If you plug yourself at every chance, people will start to ignore everything you say and it will be as if you never existed to them. Instead, consider endorsing others or offering content that is helpful to your audience. If you do this, the majority of the time people won’t mind the limited amount of self-promotion you engage in. You might even find that you are ‘shared’ or ‘linked’ to a larger number of people than before. You might even find that others begin to endorse you! This type of word of mouth advertising is priceless.
Take the time to Google yourself and see what kind of presence you already have. Employers have already started making this a standard method in the interview process. If your business is the face-to-face kind, then you should be aware that many potential clients will search you before contacting you. Your online personal brand is likely to be their first impression of you. Pay attention to your personal brand online, avoid sabotaging it and you can make their first impression a good one.