Top 10 Tips for a Great Social Media Presence

In March I wrote about how my blog has been picking up traffic-wise and how I tried to figure out ways of streamlining the process of dealing with the various social media tools that are around. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find that traffic has indeed kept growing as well as subscribers and so, I decided that I am now qualified to write a “Top 10” post!

I know there’s already a ton of articles out there about how to improve your blog in this and that way and on becoming a “social media expert” – whatever that is. This list is none of that. It’s just a few ideas I picked up along the way that I like, find useful, and are easy to do. So, without further ado, here’s my top ten tips for a great social media presence:

  1. Get a Good Gravatar
    In terms of defining your online identity, your profile picture is one of your more powerful tools. Pick a photo that you like, and that represents what personal “brand” you would like to convey and keep it handy on your desktop. Go through your “profiles” and standardize your photo. Getting a Gravatar is helpful in doing this. This will help you become instantly recognizable to people you meet at conferences or on other social sites.
  2. Align your CVs
    One thing I find supremely irritating when looking at somebody else’s online profiles, is if there are gross inconsistencies between the information provided from one service to the next. Try to make a short list of your most important jobs, activities, projects or whatever you want to promote and make sure they appear consistently on your different LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook, Plaxo, etc profile pages.
  3. Create a Tagline
    Many social media tools allow you to write a short tagline describing yourself. Try to craft a nice short and sweet tagline that describes your work and what you want from being on this service. Keep it simple (6 words) max and leave space for a link to your blog or website.
  4. Acknowledge Comments
    It’s just polite isn’t it? If somebody takes the time to read and comment on something you’ve said and done, try to acknowledge it somehow. Even if it’s just “thank you for your comment :-)”
  5. Spell Check
    It’s just unbelievable the number of spelling mistakes I see on people’s online profiles, CVs, blog posts, headlines, comments and more. A simple visiual “skim” spell check before you hit the “Submit Comment” or “Publish Post” button can take you less than 1 minute. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but while you won’t get brownie points for perfect spelling, you will definitely lose a few if you writing is consistently atrocious. (Did I spell that correctly?)
  6. Design a Twitter Background
    If you’re on twitter, customize your background on your profile page to say something useful about yourself. It’s a 15 minute job tops to create something simple and makes you look like you care.
  7. Don’t follow, or “friend”, by default
    On the subject of Twitter, there’s a tendency to just “follow” back somebody who’s following you simply to return the favour. Well, that’s stupid. All it will do is get you a bunch of junk in your Twitter stream. Before you follow or “friend” someone, at least take a cursory glance at their profile to see whether they’re worth following. Of course, this applies to Facebook, Friendfeed, etc…
  8. Don’t suck up
    Yeah. If you think commenting on celebrity blog posts, or replying to Robert Scoble’s tweets will get you any street cred, think again. You’ll just come across as a suck up to anybody viewing your content stream and that’s never a good thing to be.
  9. Write Content, not Rubbish
    This simply follows from #8. If you’re going to write stuff – comments, blog posts – write something that can be considered Content with a capital C. The litmus test is simple: re-read before you post and check whether you feel like a fool or whether you enjoyed it.
  10. Purge and Clean
    Finally, every now and then, take a couple of minutes to go through some service you use and do some Spring cleaning. Just update your profile details, contact details, friends lists, etc. Simply to filter out the noise and ensure a more meaningful presence to your followers and yourself.

There you go. Hope somebody finds something useful.

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