Not Using Social Media? Sign Up Anyway

Social media sites are proliferating like crazy. You can’t possibly need all of them, which is why you should sign up for each and every one. In today’s Northwest Herald, I explain why you should sign up for social media sites even if you don’t intend to use them.

When your name is your brand, reputation management is vital. But even those of us who don’t hobnob with the stars need to keep an eye on our online identities. A simple solution is to create profiles that contain your name and correct contact information. Again, you don’t have to use these sites if you don’t want to, but at least you are findable, and findable is a necessity in an age of digital overload.

In the article I mentioned the example of someone who has vowed never to use LinkedIn, only to discover they have a LinkedIn profile. Usually such orphaned profiles have incorrect or outdated contact information. It’s up to you to find out what’s already on the Internet in your name and make sure it’s correct.

Google Maps is another one I mentioned in the article. I frequently hear from people who are stunned to learn their businesses are on Google Maps – especially those who run their businesses from home. You would not believe how much stuff is out there about all of us. It gets aggregated from various sources of content that are beyond our control, and before we know it our entire lives are online.

But you can use this to your advantage. Whether you are running a business or maintaining your career, we all need to market ourselves. All you need to do is make sure you have profiles on the major social media sites, and point those profiles to your web site or blog.

(And if you don’t have a web site or blog… this is WHY you need a web site or blog. You need an online brochure, one consolidated place that says, “This is me.” And, I might add, one that you can control yourself, unlike social media sites which will come and go over time.)

You don’t have to use these sites, although I encourage you to explore them. The point is, you should sign up whether or not you intend to use them. If you don’t, someone else will.

At minimum, you should be on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You should also have a Google account (although if I were you, I wouldn’t go sharing everything I do with them) and also an Apple ID if you use any iDevices. It wouldn’t hurt to have a Yahoo! account either. Other sites include YouTube and Google+ (you’ll connect to these with your Google account), Flickr (connect with Yahoo!), and Pinterest. Of course there are many others, but this is a good starting point.

In April look for my brand-new seminar, Social Media Marketing On The Go! We’ll talk about how to combine social media and mobile devices to pack some punch into your online marketing. See my News and Events page for details and registration info.

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