How to manage a Virtual Profile

Given the prevalence of Social Media in today’s business world, it still surprises me to learn that some of my friends and colleagues are not familiar with a Virtual Profile and aren’t actively engaged in online social networking. When I ask my colleagues about it, their standard response is something along the lines of “I don’t want my personal information out there for the world to see… I’m remaining anonymous!”

While I understand the desire to protect your personal privacy, remaining completely anonymous can result in a lack of credibility and visibility online, which can negatively impact potential networking and even employment opportunities. In addition, if you’re not active online, you won’t be as familiar with recent social networking trends and technologies, which can put you at a disadvantage in your area of expertise.

How to Manage a Virtual ProfileOn the other side of the spectrum, I have friends and colleagues who post the craziest details of their personal lives on Facebook, as if it’s the most natural thing to share everything with the entire online community. Not only are they sharing unnecessary information with their online contacts, but this information can get recorded under their personal profile and follow someone forever. I see this as being equivalent to a negative event being reported to the credit bureaus for a late credit card payment—it can haunt you for a very long time! Therefore, if you’re tweeting about the entire bottle of vodka you consumed last night or posting angry messages on your friend’s wall, these activities are likely building a virtual profile you don’t necessarily want to be associated with!

So, back to your question: How do I manage my Virtual Profile? The information you’re really looking for is how to participate in the social networking space in a way that helps build your Virtual Profile, without doing damage to it.

The key to manage a Virtual Profile is to actively participate in social networks while being sensitive to the content you are posting, keeping in mind that everything you post will contribute to your online reputation.  Creating your virtual profile is a good start, but consistently and actively managing your Virtual Profile is what’s extremely important to your online presence.

If you are interested in marketing, then write about marketing and share your research and perspectives on LinkedIn, Twitter and/or other social networks. If you enjoy building and fixing bikes, then share photos or videos containing valuable information of the process of building a bike on your blog or YouTube.

Really, the main idea is to share relevant content on topics you want to be associated with in the virtual space, and to withhold information that would detract from your overall credibility as an expert on these topics.  Think about it this way– don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with your mom or your significant other– chances are at some point they will see it!

Remember, proactively managing your virtual profile now will  help establish you as a trustworthy and informed individual, and may open the door to potential networking and business opportunities in the future!  Plus it’ll be fun and challenging, and will likely give you something to brag about to friends and family.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about creating your virtual profile online, web development, search engine optimization, or anything related to online marketing efforts.



1 Comment

  1. Alex Pike

    Nice followup to your first post, Steve! What’s up wit SEOMention? You still running it?


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