Setting up Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon accounts is all good and well for establishing an online presence, but maintaining it is another matter altogether. If you want to maintain your personal brand you need to work at it daily. And you need to make sure that you’re maintaining it with quality content, not just random bits and pieces to keep activity ticking over.
Here are some tips for maintaining your personal brand on a daily basis:
1) Peter Kistler recommends tweeting at least two blog posts relevant to your field. This shows that you read around your topic and care enough to share.
2) Connected to this is retweeting posts, news and links submitted by others. Make a point of reading a few of the links that come your way and retweet the ones that you find particularly interesting or useful.
3) Don’t just focus on the professional impression you make on your industry peers and potential employers. If you never tweet anything personal people won’t be able to get an idea of the person behind the username, which defies the point, really.
Throw a few personal updates into the mix. They don’t have to be deeply personal (don’t talk about your marital problems or the mysterious itch that your doctor hasn’t been able to diagnose), but if you let people know that you really enjoyed Battlefield Earth despite all its Razzies or that you think Stephanie Meyer deserves to be lynched for Twilight. Your followers will get an idea of what goes on in your head.
4) Engage a couple of your followers. Respond to updates that you either agree with or don’t and don’t just say, “I agree”, or “I disagree”. Elaborate on your opinion, give supporting evidence, be a worthwhile communicator.
You could also ask a specific follower a question and hope for some interaction, possibly with other people joining in. You could pose a question and answer it from the perspective of the devil’s advocate to generate some interest.
5) Manage your followers. Get rid of the spam bots and self-promotional and get-rich-quick accounts. Take a look at the real people who follow you and, if they appear interesting, follow them back.
1) Chris Brogan recommends that you spend some time on the fan pages and groups that you like, but don’t just browse add some comments and maybe like a few comments posted by others.
2) As with Twitter, post a few updates every day. Make it worthwhile; don’t just bemoan the cold weather.
3) Keep up to date on what is going on in other people’s lives and show (genuine) interest when you engage them. This includes responding to important updates, like a change from “in a relationship” to “engaged” or “married” to “divorced”.
4) Respond to people who post comments on your wall. You wouldn’t ignore someone talking directly to you in real life would you? It’s just as rude on Facebook.
5) Like some of the links that your friends have chosen to share with you.
1) Stumble or Digg a couple of pages. They don’t have to be related to your specific industry; in fact you shouldn’t only focus on your specific industry. You can be as eclectic as you want, for instance, you can Stumble or Digg stories on Cracked.com, Science Daily, Perez Hilton and Bloomberg Markets.
2) Share some pages with your followers who allow sharing.
3) Stumble or Digg stories submitted by others.
4) Browse through some of your followers’ followers to increase the number of people you follow. Savvy?
1) Take a look at the people LinkedIn recommends and send them invitations if they grab your fancy.
2) Accept invitations from people that grab your fancy.
3) Join groups and participate in the discussions that take place.
4) Start a group and update it with fresh content and/or questions.
5) Provide and ask for recommendations.
Chris Brogan also has some tips for blogs, which include responding to comments (and deleting spam); visiting the blog sites of your commenters; and writing posts that commend the hard work of others in your industry.