Online social networking has taken the internet by storm. The rising popularity of social networking sites has attracted users both young and old. What’s more is that these sites are now being used for more than just socializing. Businesses both big and small have found these online communities to be very effective for marketing purposes.
No matter what your motivation may be the key to your social networking starts with posting an effective online biography. Most social sites require that users post a little information about themselves.
These profiles are basically used as ‘filters’ by site members to determine common interest they may have with any member whose profile they may be viewing. It is important therefore that you put a little thought into the short bio you post on the site.
Whether your goals are for business or social purposes you want to be able to connect with other members who best fulfill your intentions or needs.
Let’s now look 5 key elements you should include in your online biography that will make your interactions at any of the social networking sites all the more effective.
Adopt a Unique Avatar
Most every site has ‘default’ avatars that can be used by the members. Take the time and thought to change this. You want to make yourself noticed and not blend into the crowd so the best start is to choose your own avatar.
Personalize Your Avatar
When selecting the avatar that you want to represent you it is ALWAYS best to simply go with your picture. People can better relate to a picture rather than a symbol or cartoon character. Remember these are ‘social sites’ where you’re interacting with real people so be a real person yourself by posting your own picture.
For those of you who are perhaps a little ‘shy’ or possibly part of the Witness Protection Program you can select a ‘character’ that may best reflect you or your personality.
If your intentions at the site are business your avatar can be something that relates to your line of work.
Keep to the Facts
The short bio you post does not necessarily have to be complete but it should contain nothing but facts. Regardless of your intentions by immediately ‘drifting’ away from the truth in your bio you are starting out on the wrong foot. If you intend to create something meaningful from your membership you are not going to be able to do that by ‘building your foundation in the sky.’
Remember once you’ve compromised your own credibility it takes a lot of effort to restore it if you even can. By lying up front you are ALREADY wasting your time and that of others who attempt to interact with you. Be nice, be truthful, or be gone!
The Bio Outline
Your bio should be brief but it will need to contain certain information in order for it be effective for you.
Let’s look at 2 different types of bios and what we should include in them:
1) Personal – this type bio is for the purpose of socializing. You’ll want to include a little about your background, personal interest, beliefs, and any other ‘experiences’ that may be relative to who you are.
2) Business – your bio information here should be more detailed and include what your business is, what you have to offer, any experience relative to your line of work and what your business goals are.
If your social networking is for the purpose of business restrict the use of any hard sales pitches within your bio. Nothing will turn people away quicker than being met with ‘in your face sales tactics’ while viewing another members’ profile.
Online social networking can be a very effective means in which to conduct business. Originally established for the purpose of serving as social hubs, online communities now cater to both personal and professional needs. What you need to keep in mind is not to overlook the importance of the bio you post. This is usually the other members’ first impression of you. By focusing attention on the 5 key elements that we spoke of above you will insure that your first impression will be accurate and hopefully favorable but certainly not misleading.