In this post we will investigate ‘what online optimisation really means’.
Your online visibility is very important to your professional image, regardless of whether you’re actively looking for a new job or whether you’re just looking to increase your current network of like-minded professionals. What I mean by ‘your online visibility’ is how exactly you appear to people when they search for you online. Whether someone has a direct link (URL) to one of your profiles, or whether they conduct an online search of you on Google, you want to ensure that you are highly visible and that your overall profile is that of a professional nature.
The Key to High Visibility
To be ‘highly visible’, in this instance, is to be easily searchable by your name and job title/ company name/ industry. Whilst it would be great to dominate the first page of the Google search results for just your name this oftentimes isn’t possible for the majority of us. This can be down to the popularity of one’s name or maybe there is a highly searched celebrity with the same name as you who is being talked about online on a daily basis by many of the big news websites, pushing their results to the very top.
However, it is important to remember that recruiters and headhunters are aware of these issues, so when conducting a search of someone they will often use both the name and another search term; such as the company, job title or industry. This will ensure that the search results are more targeted, and if an individual has well optimised online profiles they should appear at the top.
The key to achieving high online visibility is to ensure that you have created profiles on the most popular social networks, including (but not necessarily limited to) Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Owning these properties and ensuring that they are fully optimised and frequently updated will help to build your online professional profile and increase your online visibility.
What’s Professional About Social Networking?
During the early years of social media and online networking there were (relatively) few adopters and many, especially business professionals, viewed social media as a huge waste of time – something that those in the media related industries might use. However, not only have times changed (and very quickly too!), but the social networks have changed and adapted, presenting many great business opportunities to professionals – some networks have even been created especially for professionals, e.g. LinkedIn.
Successful networking is about connecting with like-minded professionals who can help you to achieve a range of business tasks, so anything that allows you to more easily connect with these people and engage with them regardless of their location and time zone is of huge benefit. In recent years, one of the major issues with online networking was that it was difficult to filter out the people and conversations that were not of interest or relevance to you and your task. However, this issue has been addressed and there are many ways to find high-value conversations and individuals, and many of the social networks now have advanced search features built-in to aid in this process.
Whilst social networks are regularly used by people on a social basis they can also be used (now more than ever) as professional networking tools with huge potential.
How Can You Optimise Your Online Visibility?
The first step is to review which of the most popular social networks you currently use and own. The most important social networks are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, and your best bet is to start with those. Below is a roundup of these social networks and why you should consider using them:
Twitter: great for short updates, especially industry specific updates, and reading a news feed from those you follow that is relevant to you
Facebook: great for more personal applications, however can be used professionally. Great opportunity to update with your professional details to increase your visibility
LinkedIn: the best professional network for the majority of professionals. Great for presenting yourself to others, engaging with targeted people and groups, and building a network of relevant, like-minded individuals
Google+: directly links with Google search results improving your online visibility, great blogging platform and forthcoming ‘Google Authorship’ will tie in with this platform – don’t ignore it!
Once you have got these social networks up-and-running it’s time to start engaging with them, updating your status messages on a regular basis (why not start with once a day on Twitter and once every week on LinkedIn?) and connecting with your colleagues, business partners and industry/ like-minded professionals. Below is a link for help guides on how to get started and make the most out of the mentioned platforms.
Twitter support: http://support.twitter.com/
LinkedIn help: http://help.linkedin.com/app/home
Google+ support: https://support.google.com/plus/?hl=en
Be sure to let us know how you’re using social networks in a professional context and share your feedback with us – we’d love to hear from you!
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