Looking for ways to make yourself stand out amidst the millions of online profiles and portfolios in the information world? Here are a few tips to amp up your profiles and suggestions for how to make stellar status updates:
Here are some quick recommendations to improve your profiles on social networking sites.
- Cross-Link Profiles: Make it easy for people to find you everywhere by linking to all your other profiles on each new social network you join. Link to all your social profiles as well as your blog, your website, etc.
- Highlight Your Job: You’ll want to list your current and past positions so that others in your field can identify you. Oftentimes I come across someone’s account and I’m not sure it’s the same person I met at a conference or event until I see the library or organization where they work. If your goal is professional networking, you will definitely want to list your place(s) of employment.
- Use One Image: If you use the same profile image across networks it sets up a very consistent presence and helps people recognize you. It also removes any doubt that you are indeed the same person they friended on another network.
- Use Good Judgment: You want your profile to reflect your personality, but we don’t need to know everything!! You’ll want to consider what your current or potential boss will think of each activity and photo you post.
- Get the Vanity URL: Claim your vanity URL when possible. Many social networks will now allow you to create an easily memorable url to point people to your profile such as: facebook.com/ellyssa. This makes it much easier for people to friend you and join your network.
- Use Privacy Settings: Balance the personal and the professional by using Friends Lists and other privacy settings in Facebook and other networks. Save those photos of your scandalous Halloween costume or your beer pong tournament triumph for your close friends.
- Create Backgrounds: You don’t have to have graduated from one of the best online graphic design programs to have a profile that catches the eye. A great way to stand out from the crowd is to create a custom background. Many social networks, such as Twitter will let you do this relatively easily and there are oftentimes tutorials online for how to create them.
- Create One Bio: Develop a “master” bio statement for yourself consisting of a brief paragraph describing your current position and any current or past achievements or accolades. Based on this paragraph also create a quick, one-sentence “blurb” summarizing yourself. Save both of these bios and use them in your profile descriptions across all social networks.
- Look for New Friends: Pay attention to the “People You May Know” section on social sites to build your network. Look through your networks’ connections lists on LinkedIn and other sites to see if there are people you might know or what to know.
- Join Groups: Join or create groups and get connected to other people with similar education or interests.
Status Update Tips
Need some ideas for what to post about on your professional social profiles? Here are some suggestions:
- Professional Development Activities: If you’ll be going to a conference, taking a class, speaking at an event, etc. post about it and provide a link so others can see where you’re going.
- Links to Presentations: If you’ll be presenting a paper at an event, for a class, or to giving a workshop to your library patrons, post to your presentation on Slideshare or your paper.
- Links to Articles/Papers: If you’ve written an article or paper, share it with your network and let them see what you’ve been working on.
- Travel Photos: If you’ve been traveling for business or pleasure, post up some photos for your network to see.
- Show Your Personality!: Post about TV shows you’re watching, music you’re listening to, hobbies you’re interested in, or games you’re playing, etc.
- Shout-Outs: Mention (and link to) other people in your status updates by using the @ functionality in Facebook and Twitter. Also, make some comments on other people’s updates, write some recommendations on LinkedIn.
- Re-purpose Your Content: Link to your blog posts (Or have them fed in automatically using third-party apps like TwitterFeed), have your Facebook updates appear in Twitter or in your Tumblog or FriendFeed lifestream. Use applications such as HootSuite to post the same status update, photo, video, or link to multiple social networks at the same time.