Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are a complete waste of time to business professionals! I remember hearing this statement a few months ago from a branding expert. I immediately looked around the room and felt sorry for all the businesses who might actually follow this advice. It’s shocking when you realize just how many supposed marketing and business experts still turn their head at the value of social media. Clearly they just do not understand or do not want to take the time to understand the benefits of social media for business.
One of the most important benefits in creating social media profiles for your personal brand or business is the ability to control what potential clients learn about you when searching online. The reality is with very little effort you can control the top 5 to 10 Google or Yahoo search results for your personal brand or business.
Here are the top 5 social media profiles you should consider keeping up to date:
- LinkedIn – Known as the business social network yet many have no idea how to use LinkedIn to generate business. The most common mistake I see with LinkedIn profiles is they are not complete or up to date. Many times your LinkedIn profile is the number one search result for your name.
- Twitter – A confusing social media tool for many but rest assured it’s really quite simple. You can learn more about using Twitter for business from out past posts. Twitter is the number two Bing search result for my name.
- Facebook – Almost everyone has a Facebook profile! But you must know that your Facebook profile is an extension of your personal brand and business. What is shared and said on Facebook does not just stay on Facebook and many people are using Facebook as a reference tool. My personal Facebook profile is the third result for my name on a Yahoo! search.
- Plaxo – An online address book that is widely used by business professionals and also has a social network component called Plaxo Pulse. My public Plaxo profile is the sixth listing in a Google Search.
- Google Profile – Creating a Google Profile will allow you to control how you will appear in Google. Your Google Profile will typically be the last result on the first page of Google.
You can create profiles on many more social networking sites but at a minimum take the time to create these five and keep them up to date with your current business and contact information. Taking the time to do this will insure people will find you or your business when they are ready to buy!
And remember, I didn’t say you have to be actively participating on each of these networks to be found on search engines. Of course, you’ll always get back what you put into each one. But to ensure you’re solidly anchoring your personal brand, taking the minimal step of setting up a profile is an investment worth making.