We all know it. It doesn’t really need to be said, but I’m going to say it anyway. These days if you want to be seen and heard you have to be online. And in a day and age when being online is no longer an option, being socially aware is more important than ever.
What do I mean by socially aware?
In this context being socially aware means being conscious of what information is available about you online and how people find and access that information. It might not be the best part of your business, but it is a very important one.
So what can you do to be more socially aware? Where do you start? Below are five tips on how to stay aware and protect yourself.
1. Google yourself.
Go on. Type your name or your business’s name in the search bar and see what Google has to say about you. A few years ago I would Google myself and find all of my race results from forever. Well, I haven’t been running much over the past decade, and have certainly been active online in a plethora of other ways.
Recently, I found out their are more people out there that spell my name the same way (Nickole). Who knew?! Google did. And that picture I posted of me on my Facebook page where I was sitting at the cafe in San Francisco? Yep, Google likes that one a lot.
What do you find when you Google yourself?
2. Manage your privacy settings.
Doug’s dad’s uncle’s mother should not be able to see your Facebook profile unless you guys are actually friends. It’s pretty easy to manage who sees your content on Facebook, as long as you take the time to manage it. For me, only approved friends and family can see my personal page. Which brings us to #3.
3. Decide who your friends should be.
Yes, you can be picky about who gets to view your profile. You do not have to accept Doug’s dad’s uncle’s mother as your friend unless you really want to. And there is NO GUILT there. I receive 3-4 friend requests each week. Sometimes I know the person, trust them, and accept their request immediately. Other times I have no idea who the person is, so I go check out their profile, see how many friends we have in common, and figure out if I do actually know them or if it is a totally random request before making a decision.
Here’s the deal. Whomever I accept to be my friend on Facebook gets access to all my posts, gets to see all my pictures, gets to like and comment and interact. I have pics of me, my husband, my kids, my pets, my hikes…. they get access to all of that.
You get to choose who gets access. You have ever right to be picky about who gets access. There is no obligation to accept. There is no guilt not to accept.
Same goes for all of your other social accounts as well. Monitor and be choosy about who gets access to your information.
4. Review, Purge, Protect
It is a good idea to sit down and have a heart to heart with your social network accounts from time to time. Think of it as spring cleaning, but for your online accounts instead of your house.
Review your privacy settings for each account and a make adjustments accordingly. The networks will make updates to their policies periodically, so be sure to go in and make sure your settings are still to your liking.
Purge your list. I know it sounds anti-social and icky and you don’t want people to hate you. I know that for me, there are a few people on my list that I accepted because we were friends in high school or because they were coworkers at a corporate job I had three jobs ago. Turns out that we have nothing in common now. And they are still seeing pictures of my kids and pets. No bueno. Take a look at your list of connections across your social networks and make sure you still want everyone on that list to continue to have access to your online accounts. Again, there is no guilt in removing someone from your social network if it is not longer a mutually beneficial relationship.
Protect your personal/professional image. By taking the time to review who you let have access and periodically purging people from your list you will be taking a big step toward protecting your personal and professional image – both online and off.
5. Accept that the Internet is forever.
My racing scores from ten years ago are still online. Today, I found a picture of myself running (mostly walking) the Seattle half-marathon from two years ago. The first thing I ever posted to Google Plus is on the first page of Google. That crazy picture of you drunk at the lake with your friends that you posted three years ago. Yep, your new boss can go online and search and find it. Embarrassing!
What you put out into the interwebs stays on the interwebs!
All this to say, be picky about what you put out there. Think before you post. I’m not saying everything you put out into the world has to be sunshine and rainbows. We all know nobody is always sunshine and rainbows. Yes, you can post that you are having a shitty day or that you are partying at the lake or that you are at the basecamp at Mt. Everest (they have wifi, right?). But when you post or comment or like or share make sure you take the time to think, “Is this a true reflection of me and how I feel or what I believe? Is this part of the image I want to project to the world?” And if the answer is yes, then go for it!
Would you like help developing a strategy for your business’s social media? Let’s set up a time to chat and see how Wahine Creative can help.
You’ve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and update this old adage for our modern times:
A visual is worth more clicks, shares and tweets.
I manage a few different Facebook groups. We recently asked our Facebook peeps over at Soulful Aligned Entrepreneur, “What is your favorite communication vehicle to use that you feel gives you more connection + engagement with your audience?”
Overwhelmingly, the answer was visuals: images, video, and the new kid on the block – Periscope.
People engage better with visual content. Period. It’s easier to understand. It tells a story. It evokes emotions. Our busy lives, our modern brains – for better or worse – like to skim over words and go right for the juicy stuff – the images.
So here are a few ways you can use visuals to engage your audience, increase engagement and ramp up social sharing.
#1: Use Videos
How many times have you stopped to watch that cat video just because it is already rolling as your scroll through your feed? Facebook peeps love video. Eight of the top 10 most shared posts in 2015 were videos. And Facebook (the company) loves videos, too. Their algorithms seem to favor them over text and link only posts. So if you haven’t considered using video to engage your audience, I encourage you to rethink your choice. There are several options out there to help you out. And they don’t have to be professional quality (remember those cat videos?). They just need to be engaging and informative.
#2: Create Quote or Testimonial Graphics
I love sharing inspiring quotes. And by turning them into an image they have the potential to reach a larger audience. And people are more likely to share your quote or testimonials if it is an image instead of just text or a link. Also, try to add your logo or website address to the graphic. If it blows up and is shared worldwide, you want to make sure people know where it came from originally.
#3: Use Personal Photos
Engage your audience with a personal photo of you, your employees, your office…. Whether you are attending an event or showing off your new, cute office space, let your followers know there is a real person behind everything that you do. Remember, people do business with people. Make sure you take the time to show the face, space, activities behind the magical work you do for the world.
#4: Create a Seasonal Post
Every day is a day to celebrate. Celebrate with your followers by posting a season post. Add a caption to share why you’re celebrating, too. But you don’t wait for the usual holidays. Don’t know what to celebrating today? Check here for a list of national holidays.
#5: Say Thank You to Your Followers
Never forget that your audience is taking time out of their busy day to engage with you, to provide feedback, to share what it is you’re sharing. My mama always said, “You catch more flies with honey.” A simple expression of gratitude when you hit milestones in your journey makes you and your brand more accessible. It will also encourage people to leave comments about their personal experiences.
These types of posts tend to attract high engagement, so be sure to add your logo and use your fonts to brand the image. Let make sure everyone knows who is saying Thank You.
How do you use visuals to engage your audience? Share in the comments below and let us know!