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Our representation on social media networks forms our social media image. Generally speaking, social networks are valuable for by two things:

1. Social media profiles we create.

2. The content we share in each of our social media networks.

Regarding our social media profiles, these are individual and/or company profiles that we create in each of the social media networks we are part of (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn etc.).

Let’s assume that you are a food exporter looking for importers for your products as well as forming strategic collaborations with key parties from all over the world, and you choose LinkedIn (the worlds largest Social Media Network for professionals) as the channel to identify importers and collaborators who will help you achieve your professional goals.

You create a LinkedIn Profile, throw in some information from your resume and your website, and start connecting and approaching potential customers. What will those prospects do the minute they receive your message or they find you via LinkedIn Search?

You guessed it right! They will visit your LinkedIn Profile.

But guess what they would think if your LinkedIn Profile is not filled out 100%, or if it is not written in a way appropriate for the largest international network of professionals?
What if you have not uploaded a LinkedIn Profile Image? Or if you have uploaded one, but it does not look professional, representing you as approachable, trustworthy and competent? Exactly — they will have seconds thoughts of doing business with you or getting in touch with you in the first place.

The materials we post in each of our Social Media Networks include updates, comments, posts, images, videos, presentations etc. that we decide to showcase to our circles of contacts.

Even the material we share from other social media users should be included in this category. Depending on relevant settings configurations, and depending on each Social Media Network’s specifics, this material can be seen by the followers of each of our Social Media Networks, or can have the potential to be seen by the Universe of Internet users.

Another scenario — assume you are a job seeker, looking for your next employment opportunity, and you approach several potential employers, provide them with your resume and cover letters and are waiting to be invited for an interview.

What will the potential employers do the minute they receive your CV? They will start checking your Social Media Profiles and check out your latest updates on each of those. The moment there is a misfit between your CV and resume, the chances are your application will end up in a trash can.

After reviewing the two examples above, it is safe to state that a solid social media image can be a stepping stone into both one’s career as well as one’s professional success.

So what can I do, you may ask yourself? There are two things you can do and although it may not seem so at first glance, they can be rather time consuming:

1. Clean up your existing social media profile

Visit each of the Social Media Networks you belong to, identify material that is inappropriate either for your Social Media Profiles or for your Social Media updates, and edit or delete it accordingly. And my suggestion is, don’t do this only once! You should regularly monitor your Social Media Profiles and Updates to ensure everything is running smoothly and of course take corrective action where appropriate.

2. Fill out your social media profiles 100%

You can do this either by yourself or by having a professional help you with this task if you feel you do not have the time nor the skills to do so. Don’t forget to use appropriate language for each social media network, perform a spelling & grammar check and make sure you are portrayed as an approachable, trustworthy and competent individual.

3. Think twice before you post something online

Do you have any further tips to effectively maintain your social media image? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
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