Social Networking, Creating Positive Personal Impact and Success

Competence is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success; Your Success GPS; and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to succeed you need to develop four basic, but important competencies: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) becoming a consistently high performer; 3) dynamic communication skills; and 4) becoming interpersonally competent.

You create positive personal impact in three ways: 1) defining and nurturing your unique personal brand; 2) being impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line; and 3) knowing and following the rules of etiquette. 

These days, your on line image is more important than ever.  Because of social networking, many people will be forming first impressions of you before they ever meet you in person.  My friend Lydia Ramsey, author of Manners That Sell says…

“Forrester’s Research says that 51% of online Americans have joined a social network. Another 73% are consuming some form of social content on a regular basis.  Some people are using it for personal reasons. They are sharing their recipes, their photos and their ideas to stay up to date with their friends and family. Business people are using social networking sites to build their careers, promote their business and grow their reputations.”

Lydia has developed 12 Tips for Social Media Success.  Take a look…

#1. Fill out your online profiles completely with information about you and your business. Use your real name and your own photo. Your cat may be adorable, but unless you are a veterinarian specializing in the care and treatment of felines, don’t get cute.

#2. Use a different profile or account for your personal connections. Business and pleasure do not mix in this medium.

#3. Create a section on your main profile detailing who you are seeking to befriend and ask that visitors abide by that information. Everyone need not apply.

#4. Offer information of value. Don’t talk just about yourself and your company.

#5. Don’t approach strangers and ask them to be friends with you just so you can then try to sell them on your products or services. You will quickly lose credibility and your so-called “friends.”

#6. Pick a screen name that represents you and your company well. Don’t call yourself “Loser1” unless you want to be known by that name.

#7. Don’t send out requests for birthdays, invitations to play games or other timewasters for those using the site.

#8. Don’t put anything on the Internet that you don’t want your future boss, current client or potential clients to read.

#9. Check out the people who want to follow you or be your friend. Your mother was right when she said that people will judge you by the company you keep.

#10. If someone does not want to be your friend, accept their decision gracefully. They have the right to make that choice and you have to accept it.

#11. Never post when you’re overly-tired, jet lagged, intoxicated, angry or upset.

#12. Compose your posts, updates or tweets in a word processing document so you can check grammar and spelling before you send them.

Lydia concludes by saying…

“There is little difference in connecting with people online and offline. The same basic tenets hold true. Trust and authenticity remain high on the list.”

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people create positive personal impact.  You create positive personal impact by managing your image – on line and off line.  Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can help you create positive personal impact, but only if you pay attention to how your present yourself.  My best  tip for creating positive personal impact is simple common sense: Don’t put anything on the Internet that you don’t want your future boss, current client or potential clients to read.

That’s my take on using social media to create positive personal impact.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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