Whether you’re a business, brand, professional or amateur blogger, or simply an individual looking to have their voice heard on social networking, one of the most important steps you can take in the realm of social media is to establish your public image and maintain it on networking sites. Take a look at these four steps for getting started.
Step One: Who are you? Who do you want to be?

This involves not only your public image, but your public voice, as well. If you’re starting from scratch, now’s the time to define who you are and what type of “voice” you want to have online. This goes from what you choose to “say” on Twitter, Facebook statuses and Google+ all the way to the images you display on your networks. The saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true in this case. If your business/brand is professional and wants to be taken seriously in all aspects, you’re probably going to pass on sharing that funny meme you saw on your news feed today. However, if you want your image to be more casual and light-hearted, you might share a few “conversation starter” images on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Step Two: Keep it classy.

This may just be my personal opinion, but it’s a societal norm that one can be funny without being rude. This factor is extremely important to businesses and brands, especially those that want to have a laidback, “friendly” vibe on social networks. Before sharing a picture or quote that can be seen as insensitive to a particular niche, really think about whether or not your business can afford to lose that community.

Similarly, remember to be cautious of the personal photos you upload and the personal statuses you create. All I have to do is direct your attention to the one of tweets sent out by actress Amanda Bynes (like this one) or country singer Miranda Lambert (like this one), who are negatively known for being a little (too) open about their personal views on Twitter.
Step Three: Brand Synergy.

A key to search success is repetition. No, this doesn’t mean to post the same updates over and over. To be successfully repetitious in social media means to have the same username across all networks and be recognizable on each platform. For instance, if your company/brand/blog was titled “Adam’s Apples,” you would want your Facebook name to be “Adam’s Apples,” your Facebook url to be www.facebook.com/adamsapples, your Twitter handle and Instagram username to be @AdamsApples, and so on. Having this repetition builds your image by making it easier for the public to find you on any given platform. My suggestion would be to go out and make sure each handle is available for ownership before finalizing your brand’s name.
Step Four: Remember Your Goals.

Wanting to get out there in the social networking world is great, and highly encouraged in today’s society. There’s a whole new audience out there that would otherwise not be reached. However, be sure to make and keep goals of what you’re trying to accomplish by being online. Don’t just get out there simply to be out there; get into social media for a specific reason and make sure to focus on that reasoning when you’re posting/networking. For example, if your company goal is to inform the public on the cause it is trying to benefit, focus on updating your networks with that information in a fun and innovative way.

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