Success Tips for Using Social Media

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) communication skills; and 4) becoming interpersonally competent.

If you want to create positive personal impact, you need to do three things.  First, develop, nurture and constantly promote your personal brand.  Figure out the two or three things for which you want to be known.  Consistently act in a manner that will get you known that way.  Second, be impeccable in your presentation of self.  Dress for success.  Look in the mirror on your way out the door.  Make sure that your appearance shows that you respect not only yourself, but the people you will meet that day. And, make sure that your on line presentation of self is just as impeccable as your in person appearance.  Third, learn and follow the basic rules of etiquette.  If you know the rules for a given social situation, you can concentrate on the conversation without having to worry about if you are acting appropriately.  Remember the most important etiquette rule of all is simple – make the people around you feel comfortable.

The September 2009 issue of Fortune Small Business has an article called “HR by Twitter.”  It tells the story of how Kyle Flaherty applied for and got a job at a company called Bearing Point by engaging the VP of HR via a series of Twitter tweets.  The whole process wasn’t done via Twitter.  Kyle did have a formal interview at Bearing Point’s headquarters.  However, he was able to generate the interview not by sending a resume by via Direct Message tweets.

This story goes to my common sense point about creating positive personal impact by making sure that your on line presence is as impeccable as your in person appearance.  The web can be a powerful self promotion tool for you – or it can hurt you.  Make sure that your web presence reinforces your personal brand.

In 42 Rule to Jumpstart Your Professional Success, I say…

I’m a big believer in social networking sites to help you build your brand online.  LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are great places to build relationships with like-minded people.  Choose the social network where you have the greatest affinity with the people who are on it.  For my money, LinkedIn is the best social network for professional success.

Leaving comments on targeted blogs is another good way to build your brand on line.  This means that you read blogs that are tied to your field or area of expertise and comment on posts that interest you.  I used to be bad about this.  I read quite a few blogs, but commented very infrequently.  I set a goal to leave at least five comments on blogs per day.  That’s 25 comments a week.  I’ve stuck to it, and it has paid off.  I have raised my web presence by commenting on other people’s blogs.  Of course, I am in business for myself, and my web presence is very important to me.  You don’t have to do 25 comments a week.  Start small, one comment a day is a reasonable goal if you have limited time. It is a good way to build your brand online.

Starting your own blog and posting two or three times a week is another good way to build your on line presence and enhance your personal brand.  This assumes, of course, that you have something to say.  And, in my opinion, everyone has something to say.

On line book reviews are another way to build your brand.  When you read a book related to your area of professional expertise, take a few minutes and review books that you like on  Because I blog about books quite a bit, I have started to receive complimentary review copies from major publishing houses – a real bonus and money saver.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people create positive personal impact.  Being impeccable in your presentation of self is a key to creating positive personal impact.  Make sure that your on line image promotes you as well as your in person appearance does.  Get active on social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter.  Make thoughtful and helpful posts on both sites and you will not only increase your visibility, you will enhance your personal impact.

That’s my take on the internet, social media and creating 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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  1. What an excellent article on presenting yourself with polish and professionalism online and in person. Too may people have forgotten that the “devil is in the details” and that it is the little things that count in business. You are right on target when you say that the most important etiquette rule of all is simple – make the people around you feel comfortable. People do business with people they know, they like and who make them feel at ease. You make a great case for business etiquette—my work and my passion.

    Lydia Ramsey (Manners That Sell)

  2. Thomas Kalladan says:

    I like your advice today. Thanks for the good recommendation.

  3. Thaks Lydia:
    I appreciate your comment.

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