Companies spend a lot of time, money and effort on effectively managing their company’s public profile. But with easy online access to background checks, personal, academic and employment history it is becoming more and more common practice for prospective customers and employers to look into your personal brand before making a decision to contact you.
The correct use of information and the proper management of your personal brand could as easily negatively as positively impact both you personally and the organization you represent.
Guard Your (digital) ‘Mouth’
Derogatory comments by Justine Sacco, a former PR executive, made in her personal capacity on her Twitter account resulted in her employers; the British media company IAC, firing her. The company was unwilling to be associated with the media storm caused by their employee’s Twitter post:
“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get Aids. Just kidding. I’m white!”
Sacco was sacked on the spot. The golden rule: the anonymity of social media does not exclude the normal social graces associated with face to face encounters.
Give Your Image a Face
The psychology of brand loyalty has shown that companies who connect an actual human face to their brand are experiencing a favorable return on this commitment. Using professional quality photos instead of company logos depicting a friendly person creates a sense of trust and assists your audience’s bonding process with you and the brand you are associated with. In addition, using photos builds your face recognition, and sets your online presence up to better represent you.
Give Your Brand a Voice
Using tools like blogging and contributing to online discussion groups will add to your online personality and will soon turn you into a name associated with contributing valuable content. By participating online you will be utilizing the opportunity to become a leader in your field of expertise while also growing your online following.
Increasing your digital footprint as positively as possible is probably the most effective way to introduce yourself to prospective clients, employers and industry role players – and it is all within your power!