Is Your Personal Brand Making a Good First Impression in Social Media?

by Matthew O'Brien on September 24, 2013

One would think that by now we are well versed in social media, from activating new profiles and building our network. What you may not be aware of is that your first impression on a social network or mobile app happens sooner than you may think.

Bad First Impressions in Seconds (No Click Required)

growing influence in Google Plus

How many times do you receive an email and/or status update announcing that somebody has joined Google Plus, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. For many people, if there is no photo in the email preview, what follows is to either to ignore the email or to delete it. If the email includes a photo (unlike the one above), then the likelihood of clicking through to the profile increases significantly. Scanning an email takes a few seconds which is about the same amount of time it takes to make a first impression face-to-face (and it can take a whole career to overcome it).

“Google Plus and LinkedIn profiles are among the top offenders for making bad first impressions.”

When people create a new profile, they don’t realize that if they are using the same email address as they use in other  social networks that this may trigger an announcement via email and/or status update when activating new profiles. The larger your social network is on places such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, the higher the likelihood is that these contacts (and businesses) will be alerted when you join a new social network. Chances are, this smaller network includes the top influencers that you are looking to connect or reconnect with, and you may be blowing it!

What complicates matters even more is when there are multiple email accounts associated with social networks. This can create duplicate profiles. LinkedIn has what I consider the ‘social media profile junkyard.’ This ‘junkyard’ in LinkedIn consists of old, outdated profiles that people have forgotten about, are unaware of and/or have lost access to. The challenge here is that it takes a bit of work to get a ‘junkyard’ profile claimed, especially if you no longer have access to the email account used to create this profile. One way to avoid becoming a ‘junkyard’ casualty is to make sure you have more than one email account associated with a specific social media profile. This is particularly important if your business email address is the primary email being used.

One Email Address May Unlock Your Online Presence and Prowess

good and bad first impressions in social media garyveeFor Chome web browser users, there are free extensions (plugins) like Rapportive that display all the social networks of your email contacts in a handy and convenient sidebar tool. Just like having one phone number that follows and forwards your calls to you, the email address you use for your social media accounts functions very much the same way. If you use the same email account for all your social media profiles, a person using Rapportive can quickly glean your online prowess and have quick access links to your online identity.

first impression social mediaSpeaking of one phone number that follows you around, have you checked out apps like CallApp that displays related social media accounts and search engine directory listings associated with a phone number? This mobile app syncs with your contact list and will display recent texts, emails, Facebook updates, Google Maps and Bing Places information, LinkedIn contacts (that you have in common with this person) and much more. This app also works for displaying this information with incoming calls that are not in your database. This data populates before you answer the phone, so once again, first impressions are happening before you realize it.

Your Social Network Thinks You Are… Savvy – Somewhat Savvy – Lazy?

How you answer the questions below may better define how you and your company are perceived online:

  • What did your last email/status announcement look like when you joined your social networks? 
  • What data is being displayed on you and your business on tools like CallApp?
  • When you build your social network profiles, do you take the time to add high quality images and high resolution logos for your business profile?
  • Are you sharing information on why you (and/or your business) are an expert in your field and most importantly, how you can be of help to a prospective customer?
  • What profiles are associated with your email address and phone numbers?
  • What first impression are you and your business sending to prospects on your existing network?

Consider that a long time may have passed since your existing network has payed attention to you and your business. New aggregation tools like CallApp and Rapportive make it easy to get a snapshot into your online prowess in under 5 seconds. Remember, starting up in a new social network may be helping or hurting your online marketing efforts so make sure your new and your established profiles are tight.

Looking to make a better first impression with your personal or business brand?

Download this personal and business branding worksheet as a guide for organizing and updating your online brand to drive more inbound opportunities. Simply fill out the form and it will be sent to your inbox


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