Tell The World Who You Are

Published January 04, 2009   permalink

Suppose we were meeting for the first time. What would you think of me if I handed you a blank business card?

Yet, that is exactly what happens when you follow someone on Twitter and you haven't taken the time to properly complete your own Twitter profile. You've handed me a blank business card and in the process wasted an opportunity to make a favorable impression.

How do I define "properly completed profile?" Start with the basics: A current photo or avatar along with the basic pieces of data that will be displayed. For Twitter, this is your name, location, a URL that points to more information about you, and a brief, meaningful bio. I recognize that not everyone wants to divulge this much info: In this case, something like "Montana, USA" is fine.

Here's the point: I review each new follow personally, and a lot of other people do too. The value of connecting on Twitter (or any other social network) goes well beyond assembling a megaposse. It's about understanding who I am adding to my network so that I am able to tap *your unique skills* and then share with you my unique skills as they apply to your situation. I can't live up to my end of the deal if the only thing I have to go on from you is a blank profile.

In "Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day" I emphasize the importance of completing social profiles. On Linked In, they have a little bar graph that shows you how complete your profile is. When we build social applications we include this type of feature, precisely to encourage completing enough of your profile so that others who find you can learn about what makes you special.

Take a minute today and review your profiles, across your networks. You'll be amazed at how many more people "friend" or "follow" you as a result. It may well be the most important minutes you spend investing in yourself and how others see you.



Reader's Comments

Totally agree with a Profile’s value proposition. It is difficult to influence others when you’re invisible. I like your comment about tapping and sharing ‘unique skills’. Does anyone know of a PIM that harvests profiles of Friends, Followers, Links, etc and consolidates their profile information into one easy to search database?

By Scott Ahlsmith

Regarding the social friends PIM, check out Minggl. (http://www.minggl.com/) It is oriented at exactly the problem you are talking about, namely, organization, management, and cross-site visibility of friends. DISCLOSURE: I am a current shareholder in Minggl.

By evansdave