Social Media is an integral part of any online reputation management (ORM) strategy. In addition to being a great outlet to communicate and promote strong, compelling brand attributes, optimized, active social media properties rank high in search, primarily because search engines trust and value them for delivering quality content.
Armed with this knowledge, there are so many different things you can do to leverage social media to position your brand in a positive light. A well thought out strategy using photos, video, header images, and engaging posts can tell a fantastic story! And because social properties rank high, this often leads to a strong first impression. As the saying goes, first impressions tend to be the most lasting.
Herein lies the challenge: There are millions of people, particularly GenX and older, that simply don’t like social media. It’s not ingrained in them, and was not a part of their youth. For one reason or another they don’t gravitate towards it. Others claim they don’t mind it, but simply don’t have the time to participate. Because they are not active, their social profiles (if they even exist) do not rank. If they do exist, they are often bland and lifeless, with no activity. Not exactly compelling results for people doing searches.
Can you have a solid ORM strategy without a social presence? Not really. One client came to us begrudgingly with this compromise: “OK, I’ll focus my attention on ONE social media outlet. Which one do you recommend?” Not exactly an optimal scenario, but if we’re forced to answer the question and guide our client strategically, the answer is simple: If you focus your efforts on one social media property, it should be LinkedIn.
Unlike other social media properties, emphasis on LinkedIn serves a dual benefit. Remember, LinkedIn, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, is also a massive search engine. Every day there are billions of people doing searches on LinkedIn for myriad of reasons. By optimizing your profile and being active, you bring your strongest professional attributes to the forefront of attention, and are more likely to take advantage of career opportunities. More people will find you for any given reason, and this can lead to significant opportunities.
When you optimize your LinkedIn profile, it not only helps your personal brand within LinkedIn itself; over time your profile will rank higher in search engines. There is nothing better, more engaging than a solid LinkedIn profile, with a strong summary, headshot, description of experience, recommendations, volunteer experience, etc. A good profile paints an amazing picture – one that often gives the person searching for you everything she/he needs to know.
And then we go back to the concept of making a strong first impression. Imagine a person doing a Google search for you: He enters your name and comes up with your LinkedIn profile at the very top of the screen. He clicks through to a wealth of information; a professional summary, video bio, references – it’s all there. There’s no need to look any further. He’s got all the information he was looking for – and it’s great content!
In conclusion – we encourage everyone to be as active as possible on social media, always being cognizant of the potential repercussions of the content. Hopefully this is not the case, but if you have to pick one property to focus your energy on, we recommend LinkedIn.
For more information on this topic, check the video below to watch Mike Kresch, Repceptional Principal and Co-Founder, speak more about the benefits of LinkedIn.