Ready to build your web presence online using free, fun social media networks?
Let's take a moment to consider what each of these social networks are about, and what you need to get set up.
1. Facebook: Create a free page with pictures and links, post your thoughts, and share ideas.
2. Twitter: Connect for personal and business use. Updates must be 140 characters or less.
3. LinkedIn: Create a professional profile. Your profile acts like a digital resume, great for connecting with others in your field.
First gather the necessary items on your computer.
- A headshot or picture of yourself that you like. Use the same one for all your accounts.
- A sentence or two that describes your work. Think elevator pitch--something that you could say to describe your business in the time it takes to get from the ground floor to the 4th floor.
- This description will often be right below your picture. Interested people take a quick glance at this sentence to get a sense of whether they want to link with you, so make it snappy!
- An email address. If you need an email, gmail from Google is free and very easy to set up.
Tips for using LinkedIn ( www.LinkedIn.com)
- People check out others' credentials by looking them up on LinkedIn.
- Consider this your digital resume.
- Be thorough and professional with your profile.
- Make a few connections to people you already know right away--get and give recommendations early on. You need to have three other people write recommendations for you in order to have a complete profile.
- If you already have a website, be sure to include a link to it on your profile.
Tips for using Facebook (www.Facebook.com)
- If you want to have your individual, personal profile separate from your work, set up a business page too.
- Individual profiles are often more casual and may include close family and friends. Check privacy settings if you want this information and your personal updates to remain private.
- Business pages are much more public and anyone can "like" them. You could encourage your clients or students to join or like your business page, while keeping your personal profile private.
- Go back to LinkedIn and put a link to your Facebook profile or business page on your profile.
Tips for using Twitter (www.Twitter.com)
- Initially, commit to at least three updates or “tweets” spread throughout the day, for two weeks.
- Find some people to follow. If you like them, explore who they follow, or are followed by. Perhaps you'll find some interesting people to follow!
- Use Twitter's live search function to find people talking about your interests or business interests.
- Try to keep a balance between how many people you follow and how many follow you.
- You can use HootSuite (www.hootsuite.com) to schedule your tweets in order to save time.
Things to consider when setting up social media accounts:
- Your privacy. Publishing a work address makes sense. Home addresses are better kept private.
- By using the same picture everywhere, people have a better chance of remembering and recognizing you.
- Good will, positive comments, sharing information and generosity are best practices when social networking.
I hope you have fun with these sites! They have been a source of entertainment and connection for me over the last few years, and using them has been surprisingly productive for my businesses.
Want to learn more?
www.Mashable.com -- for social media news and tips
A powerful book for the social media world:
Trust Agents by Chris Brogan, Julien Smith