What’s Your Digital Footprint?

I’m no Mark Cuban fan, and he’s clearly trying to sell his app in this video, but he does give solid advice about being in control of your digital footprint, which, in basic terms, your online “permanent record”. I’ve mentioned in a previous post how your old profiles, accounts, and journals persist long after you’ve forgotten about them, and that’s exactly the type of digital footprint that can lead to your personal information being leaked or stolen. We tend to think we’re relatively safe online. For the most part we are, but only due to the fact that there are millions of netizens online, making your information arbitrary or unappealing by way of obscurity. That’s no reason to be careless.

While our governments and systems aren’t as dystopian as Cuban suggests (at least not yet), you can seize control of your digital footprint. Potential employers and other interested parties will be looking for your online, especially on social media. Armed with this knowledge, you can shape the way people view you by being mindful of what you post, when you post, and where you post on social media sites. Remember the old mantra about making a first impression? Your digital footprint is your first impression for everyone who cares enough to look for you; it is up to you to put your best foot forward. While you’re not around, your online profiles are your stand-ins. Here are a few things to be mindful of:

1. Usernames: Pick something appropriate. If you want your online social life and work life to be separate, use different usernames.
2. Language: Use proper communication, be respectful, and don’t assume no one’s looking. Someone is always looking.

3. Privacy Settings: Yes, it’s a hassle, and yes, it takes time, but a little but of time invested goes a long way. Are there pictures you don’t want strangers looking at? Check your privacy settings!

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To Survive in Social Media, Learn New Skills!

So you’re good at social media. No, let’s take this a step further and say you’re great at social media. It’s your job, your career, your passion, and your life. You’re on top of your game, reading and studying the newest trends and tools to help you excel in your industry, you learn from your colleagues, and you’re always looking to learn more about what the future holds for this growing online business world. But it’s not enough. Pure social media expertise is wonderful, but it’s no longer just about being the best at engaging followers and analyzing the statistics to formulate new marketing strategies; you need to be creative!

For you to survive in the social media industry, you need to wear many hats and take on multiple roles. Not only will this make you a more appealing candidate, but it will take the monotony out of your daily responsibilities. Let’s face it, if you don’t have multiple accounts on which to work, you’re probably not going to be able to fill your day with work and end up bored and going on Reddit to pass the time. Then there are slow days where you’re just not getting the activity you want, which leaves you in an anxious mindset where you think you’re doing something wrong. No, the slow days are a part of the game, and these are the days where your other skills will make you shine as a valuable asset to any company. Let’s discuss a few of the things you can improve on (if you haven’t already).

Copywriting

You need to know how to write well. Social media’s all about communication, so if you cannot string together a complex concept in 140 characters or fewer, you need to brush up on your writing skills. Become an expert in whatever you’re marketing and learn to write and communicate as though you are the CEO of the company. Learn to write with a passionate voice. Look at how others in your industry communicate with words and emulate their language and word choice. Write about why people should care rather than what they should care about.

Photoshop

The most popular posts in social media include images. More importantly, they include original content. Many social media marketers have the benefit of a photography and graphics team to help them out with post content, but for those who don’t have the luxury of a separate department at their disposal, you need to learn how to use Photoshop to the extent of basic color manipulation and retouching. This will stretch your imagination and allow you to come up with concepts for larger projects later on (even if they are produced by a third-party). You’ll want to be at the forefront of content production at all times, not just the person who pushes a button and posts something from time to time.

HTML

Not everything you post will look the way you want it to, be it an error on your part or not. Being able to resolve simple HTML issues is an invaluable skill for every social media marketer, especially if you’re dealing with a CMS. The less time you take away from other departments, the more efficiently the company will run as a whole. Your job is on the web, and the be able to read and manipulate the web at its most basic level will make your life that much simpler.