Friday, 11 January 2013

Social networking: how to portray yourself positively

It’s the beginning of a New Year and we all want 2013 to bring us something exciting. Whether you wish to get in touch with old friends, look for a new job or are looking for love, social networking is a good first step.

Fortunately modern technology means you can now do this from your sofa! According to recent statistics, 59% of us are now using some form of social networking. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn, social networking is a powerful tool to help you manage and expand both your personal and professional life. It is therefore crucial to portray yourself in a positive way. Here are some hints and tips to becoming social networking savvy.

  • Unfortunately, it is impossible to separate your professional and personal life on the Internet. One simple Google search and your boss could see photos of you dancing on the desk at last year's Christmas party… so be very careful what you upload. 
  • Show off your personality. There is no point trying to portray somebody you are not. Post photos of yourself doing the things that you enjoy with the people you love, rather than staged photos of you doing something you think others would find impressive. 
  • Be careful with sarcastic or jokey comments. They often don’t translate in writing and people could get offended. 
  • If you're feeling emotional, social media is probably not the best place to blow off steam. Your outburst will remain on the Internet long after you calm down and can portray you as a negative person. Call a friend to rant instead. 
  • Know who you are and portray yourself consistently. Potential employees or dates will see straight through someone who changes their profile constantly. 
  • Use an up to date profile photo. You want people to be able to recognise you in the real world. 
  • If you are using social networking for dating it gives you the opportunity to have a good snoop before your commit to a date. Search through lots of profiles, read their interests and look through their photos, you can be picky later on. 
  • Studies have shown that people like someone better if they have seen their face before, even just briefly. So get yours out there! Join conversations and debates and add value to them. After all social networking is about engaging with other people. 
  • Be active on your profile. Try to strike a balance so people don’t forget about you but don't annoy others with constant and irrelevant comments. 
  • The best rule of thumb for social networking is to use the same policies that you implement in your face-to-face conversations and interactions. That way you are unlikely to offend others. 
Ultimately your profile is about you. It is your online persona that the world can see, so be smart with it and you can use this powerful tool to enhance your social, profession and romantic life…while watching Coronation Street!

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