Curating A Digital Footprint
Cultivate your digital reputation to work for you not against you! It’s vital to get your digital identities intact.
Earlier this month, I co-authored a perspectives article on “Is Your Digital Reputation A Smokin’ Gun?” – Click here to read. Today, I am presenting a series of follow-up thoughts, based on extensive research, listing the best practices to sustain a healthy online presence and build trust with your clients and peers.
Let’s figure out if you are in control of your digital narrative.
Steps to curate your digital footprint
The first and foremost step is to discover what the internet says about you using Google and/ or other search engines.
Your online identity ranges from the content you post on Facebook to your photographs and opinions on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, blogs, publishing platforms like Medium, and LinkedIn, amongst others. Sharing this allows people to build perceptions of whom you are without ever having met with you.
Reflect on what you find and whom you want to be perceived as and delete what you dislike in your posts. It may even be a good idea to put a google alert for your name. That allows you to approach Google to remove irrelevant information and results from their database and search listings. Google considers such requests based on merits. (Ref: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/general/managing-online-presence.html.)
Secondly, identify your goal and understand what you would like to accomplish with your digital presence.
Put in enough thought to choose the right platforms to be present on. Then, ensure that you keep your public profile professional. As a rule of thumb, it is best to keep from sharing any sensitive information, be it political, personal, or financial!
Lastly, you may want to double-check your privacy settings across your various social media accounts to ensure only your friends are allowed to see your ‘social’ accounts & allow access to your professional accounts after you assess the credibility.
Enhancing your professional profile:
With remote work and virtual interactions quickly becoming the new norm, you may want to enhance your professional digital identity by developing your own unique style. This can be achieved through consistent, relevant, and engaging content in the form of shares, blogs, and articles.
Here are some simple tips that are useful:
- Upload a profile that is complete, with dates and a professional photograph in place.
- When you share your posts, ensure that you time it well. Identify and focus on your target audience and share content across multiple relevant social media.
- Respond to questions and comments when people mention you or share your content, don’t just retweet /share or like it.
- Social media listening allows you to engage in topics that are relevant to you. Join conversations with comments or viewpoints which may be worth a share. Remember, it is an opportunity to engage productively.
- Sometimes, a simple ‘Thank you’ or a genuine expression of concern for an unfortunate event are just as important virtually as they are when you interact in person!
- Follow’ and ‘like’ organizations and companies that you identify with.
Your digital reputation today is your real-world reputation. It is prudent that you take the time to periodically assess your image and gauge how people react to your posts. Once done, you can protect your identity, nurture it, and avoid missteps that can potentially ruin it. Your social media presence is a powerful tool. If used well, it holds the potential to define you as a thought leader within the industry—further aligning your strategy towards achieving a professional digital reputation.