Developing some ideas here and would love some feedback. This is part of an email I wrote to a friend interested in developing an online presence.
Here’s the best strategy I’ve discovered –
1. “Own” your name on as many platforms as you can (start profiles on everything) and then fool around with then until you find a combination that works for you. I still believe pretty firmly that you should use your real name for things, like twitter.com/micahvandegrift or formspring.me/micahvandegrift.
2. Have a unified “About me” and “Interests” section on all your profiles. Helps people get an accurate picture of your interests, ect. and reassures them that you are the same person across many platforms. (I even go so far to have the same profile avatar on all sites. Gives a sense of cohesiveness to your ‘brand.’)
3. Develop a schedule and practice blogging. Peers and future supervisors want to know that you are not only working in the field, but that you are contributing and creating your own thoughts and content.
4. Find and connect with professionals in your field. Follow them on twitter and @reply or retweet them. Comment on blogs that interest you and always link your comment to your blog or twitter. Once you get your name into the rut of the field you are interested in, people will start to be interested in what you have to say also.
5. Stay up with the next wave. Subscribe to blogs using an RSS reader (ex. Google Reader) and scan your personal curated ‘news’ feeds daily. Follow Mashable on Twitter. Follow/read articles in journalism, PR/communications, higher ed, business and other fields who are already using this media well.
6. Decide how public/private you want each network to be. Act accordingly and with good common sense. If you use Facebook to connect with just friends, use the privacy controls to generate other traffic to your LinkedIn account, or your professional blog.
7. Google yourself. What shows up? Adjust accordingly.
Sites of interest:http://namechk.com/ – use this to check if your chosen ‘handle’ is available as a user name on abunch of different platforms. I do this once every few months and then “own” a few new ones that look like they might be useful in the near future. http://www.formspring.me – q&a meets social media http://flavors.me – “personal brand” aggregator. So cool. http://mashable.com/social-media/ – The Bible of Social Media