10 Ways to build
your online
brand’

What does your online brand look like?
Taking control of your online brand is one of the
smartest, easiest ways to manage your reputation and ensure you are
getting the right kind of exposure. Looking for a new job? Hoping to
expand your social or professional network? Want to meet others with the
same hobby or interest? Take the time to build your online brand. The
returns can be substantial.

1. Account name:
Your name is the foundation of your brand. Do a name check across the
major social media channels (some of which are listed below) to see what
is available. Be consistent. Ideally, you would register the same name
across all accounts. Try to keep your user name as short as possible
given Twitter’s 140-character limit. Building a grid will help you
evaluate the best alternatives.

2. LinkedIn:
Create a complete LinkedIn profile. Not only is profile completeness
a prime indicator that you value your brand, but an incomplete profile
also costs you in not being indexed by the site\’s search engine. Get
the most out of the networking opportunities by joining related groups,
contributing to discussions and writing book reviews. But also don\’t
dilute your brand by overbooking yourself and joining too many groups.
Focus on quality, not quantity.

3. Facebook: If you are on Facebook, use the ability to create lists to
filter your social contacts from your professional ones. A wise
precaution: Limit the amount of personal information you share, either
in your profile (don\’t include birthday, address, phone) or in posts.
Don’t share anything compromising or that you consider private.
Employers are watching.  If you are in doubt, see the recent headline
story Canadian
woman loses benefits over Facebook photo
.Register a
username
or \”vanity\” URL. If your name is taken, find a close
alternative, such using your initials or including your middle name. If
you have a business, register the business name separately from your
personal page. Cultivate professional friends that support and enhance
your brand. Use the same approach when determining what friends to
accept or invite and groups or fan pages to join.

4. Twitter: Use Twitter to
post updates to LinkedIn and Facebook. This is a convenient feature, and
Twitter appears to have resolved the initial kinks. As part of your
branding arsenal, Twitter can be a powerful tool. You can complement
Facebook page memberships following the same sources on Twitter. And
think before you tweet. If the majority of your tweets are accounts of
minute-by-minute minutia, you can lose credibility and risk turning
off–even losing–your followers. Leave a minimum two characters of
the allotted 140 to allow people to retweet your posts.

5. Blogging: Blog about your hobby, profession or other interests to get exposure,
make connections and set yourself apart. You can simply participate on
blogs, leaving comments, or create you own blog. There are many services
available, but the best known are WordPress and Blogger.

6. RSS feeds:Have up-to-the-minute headlines delivered to your desktop and/or mobile
device via RSS feeds. Subscribing/unsubscribing has become so
easy, you can accomplish in two clicks what used to require code
copy-paste.

7. Dashboards: Optimize your browser
dashboard. Yahoo!, Google, Bing all offer
interfaces that you can customize.

8. Profile photo: Choose a photo that best represents you, one that would be an
appropriate accompaniment to your business card.

9. e-mail Signature: Promote your online brand with every e-mail
you send. Include the relative social media icons and links in your
e-mail signature. Your e-mail program will have specific instructions on
how to accomplish this.

10. Google Alerts: Now you are ready to create
Google Alerts
. Use alerts to monitor your brand and also to follow
developments in your areas of interest. For a job-seeker, alerts are a
great way to track your employers of choice. Periodically, Google yourself to
ensure your alerts are on target.

Given that employers and recruiters are increasingly looking online to get additional information
on candidates, consider that you are always on the market. Don\’t put
off building your online brand. Taking the time now will put you ahead
and keep you up to speed on changing trends and branding
tools.

For more information: href=\”http://innerarchitect.com/2009/07/20/5-social-media-profile-
mistakes-to-avoid-at-all-costs/\” target=\”_blank\”>5 Social Media
Profile Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs\r\nHow to: Create Friend Lists on Facebook\r\n5 Easy Steps to Stay Safe (and Private!) on
Facebook\r\n
More
Employers Use Social Networks to Check Out Applicants\r\n
How to
Create a Cool Social Media Email Signature\r\n
Social Media Icons