I’ll begin this post with a question. How many profiles do you maintain across multiple social media channels? List them down.
I thought I maintain seven profiles, one each at:
- My Blogs (Social Media Notebook, Spring Rainbow)
How many does your list have?
As a next step, I headed over to Google and searched for my name. Now my name is definitely unique, so I do enjoy the benefit of being sure that the search results pages definitely refer to me. You might not be so lucky – but still this exercise would be instructive – by modifying and filtering the search results.
I discovered many more social media profiles that I was not aware of by googling my name. Some of them were my own creations, some of them were computed.
Here’re the one’s that I had forgotten about:
Here are the one’s that surprised me – and are computed/derived, based on publicly available data about me:
- Profiles from discussion forums I no longer use or frequent
How many did your search result yield in? I’m sure it uncovered a lot more profiles that you thought you had.
And if you happen to be a celebrity, you might even have a Wikipedia page, that doubles up as a profile. Point in example is Darren Rowse, of Problogger – and by no yardstick is this his most accurate (or comprehensive) profile.
I wanted to drive home three important points through this exercise:
- You have more than one social media profile. At the end of the day, your personal “Brand Me” is – at least in part – a reflection of your social media profiles.
- You might not even be aware of some of your social media profiles – let alone being able to modify and/or control them.
- When something changes in your life that needs a profile change (like a new photograph), the change needs to be done at many more places than you think.
This post isn’t about how to create killer social media profiles – that’s a separate topic by itself – and something I will talk about pretty soon on these pages. Nor is this post about the best practices – or anything else for that matter.
This post is about making you aware of the depth and breadth of your “Brand Me” profile in social media – and make it consistent. So how do you make the “Brand Me” consistent?
Here are four steps that can help you with this:
- Photograph: Do you have a standard set of photographs that you use? These need not necessarily be identical – but surely should complement each other – if they are different. Is this how you really look today?
- Location: Is your location correct? Or are you “In Shanghai” in one profile, and “In San Francisco” in another?
- Bio: You profile bio can definitely be different across your profiles, but story should add up – and make sense. Don’t fake it – the details which cannot be corroborated will come back and bite you – sooner or later.
- Website: Everything you do on your social media profiles should go back to your primary website – ideally your blog. I covered this in detail in one of my earlier posts here, Where’s Your Social Media Basecamp.
As a side step, you might also want to maintain an inventory of your multiple social profiles and review/update it at periodic intervals. This audit will help you maintain sanctity (and sanity) in your own profile world.
What else do you do to keep your social media profiles in sync – and in the best possible condition for your audience? I’d love to hear your secrets as well!
(Image Credit: privatenobby http://www.flickr.com/photos/privatenobby/)