Unless your name is John Smith, Li Nguyen, Jose Fernandez, Rajesh Kumar or Mary Jones, don’t be too confident people won't be sure which you is YOU when they try to connect on social media. Actually, if that's what you are hoping, then stop reading.
Your goal for clients, potential prospects and strategic partners is for them to EASILY find you, and be positive they have found the correct YOU. Next, people will want to see you have helpful, credible, supporting information on your profile so they will want to connect with you.
Here's my story and rant today.
This morning I received an email from a Social Media Marketing EXPERT - the "E" word - yes! He was asking for a piece of information I had. I replied, gave him the information within seconds. He did the normal, and very good thing - he found me on LinkedIn and requested to connect. Nicely done! It was not a personal email request, but the stock one. Since we had just spoken via email, that was fine by me. (See video on how to send a PERSONALIZED connect request through LinkedIn here.)
I looked at his resume and realized we did some similar things, focused in similar spaces and I was happy to connect. I clicked "ACCEPT." Then, I read his profile, resume in more detail and noticed he mentioned Google+ and all other venues. Since I'm a G+ fan, I hopped over and looked for his UNIQUE name to circle him in THAT venue.
This EXPERT who mentioned he made plans that included Google+ had what is known as a BLUEHEAD on Google+ - no profile image. On LinkedIn, it's a GRAYHEAD avatar. (or GREYHEAD for those in the UK). Also, his about tab was virtually EMPTY, he had only 10 people in his circles, and never posted. He basically has nothing to do with Google+, yet he lists it on his resume as though it is something he is familiar with.
Social Media and Marketing Consultants:
NOW HEAR THIS!
If you teach your clients about these venues, teach them how to develop relationships, connect and engage, they will look for you EVERYWHERE and attempt to check you out, read about you, connect, circle, follow, etc.
If you do not have a profile that is filled out, have no image, have crickets chirping on your Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook pages and you only mess with LinkedIn and rarely tweet, retweet, or reply to tweets - you lose credibility.
You look like a fool and your clients, or even department heads may ask themselves, "Why is he telling ME to do this when he doesn't even practice what I'm paying him to teach me?" You are taking their money to teach them, yet you do not do it?
This is like the McDonald's franchise owner who is seen at the table of their location with a box from In-N-Out, or better yet, a sack lunch and eating it at the table in the restaurant.
Who does that? What kind of brand credibility is that?
This is not the Macy's-Gimble issue of "We don't have it, so we'll send you somewhere that does." This is, "Hey you need to pay me to teach you to do this or to do it for you, but I'm not doing it myself because I don't believe in it strongly enough to waste my time."
PLEASE go through the list of all social media venues every other month. Check your profiles, logos/avatar images.Then make sure you still agree with what you have in your about or bio tabs.
Do a search for yourself on Bing, Google and Yahoo. See what comes up for results, and check the IMAGES! Did you know that photos of you by others will display in the results? Or perhaps it's NOT you, Susan M Finch - online marketing whizbang person and instead it's Susan E. Finch, Voice Coach extraordinaire in New York. We are actually part of the mutual admiration club and have become friends. She's pretty, doggone talented.
Check for mentions of you or your profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and other venues. What if someone got confused and thought THAT person was YOU and it's not? I've made some pretty hilarious mistakes with photos when someone I was interviewing refused to provide a headshot. They usually came through within minutes after seeing my selection - except one guy who liked the "other" version of him better because he had a full head of hair.
Practice what you preach. Better yet, practice what methods, tools and practiced you charge others for due to your level of expertise and professionalism.
I contacted my new connection via LinkedIn to clarify if I was looking at the correct G+ profile.
He replied that YES it was him but that he hadn't thought about filling in all of the blanks - too busy helping clients do the same thing. He's a bluehead no more! YAY!