Free Social Media Tools to Build Your Online Profile and Start Networking

Every day it seems there are more tools, widgets and apps to keep up with. Technology is changing at a faster pace than we have ever witnessed in the past. Social media is now a part of our professional and personal lives. It gives us insight into the way customers and friends live their lives and shares their views much more than any focus group could gather.

Have you googled yourself lately? How you appear online has become as important as writing a solid resume. Human resource professionals and universities are looking at social media profiles for job and college applicants. There are many other reasons for having an online profile, but you get the picture. You need to be there, and be sure what appears is the real you.

As you build your online profile, here are a few neat tools to share your social media contact information and build your presence online.

Have a blog? If not, start a free one with WordPress.com. This is the best way to show up in the search engines. Fresh content is king and you can blog about your industry, expertise, hobbies, whatever you would like to write about.

If you aren’t ready to blog, create a Google Profile. It is a one page profile that lists your social media contact information and a brief profile and picture if you want to post it.

Join Linkedin for business and discover a networking community waiting to help you with industry and work related questions. Set up your online resume and ask fellow colleagues for references. Add a picture and join some industry groups. Join in the conversation and answer questions in the Q&A section. Build your network every day.

Join Facebook for finding long lost friends and keeping up with new ones. Share photos of your family and send status updates on what is going on in your life (once a day is a good amount.) Share links and videos to your friends in one post instead of emailing your entire address book. Be sure to set your privacy settings to friends only.

Twitter is a microblogging platform. In 140 characters or less, you can converse with other people on any type of topics. Find and follow people with like interests using Twitter search. Create a full profile and use a photo of yourself – closeups work best. Include keywords in your bio so people can find you. Learn the lingo and how to retweet, send direct messages and @ messages. Hashtags (#+word) help you find other people discussing a current event like the Olympics as they occur. Tweetgrid can help you monitor keywords and topics. Use Twhirl on the desktop to track conversations (tweets.)

Delicious is a social bookmarking service where you can bookmark and tag articles for later review. It a great place to store research, reference information, statistics, anything that you might need to reference later in your personal or professional life. Create one for your business and one for personal bookmarking. Share the business link on your web site and in your emails. Add industry links and interesting articles for your customers and prospects.

When you have your profiles set up, add a Wisestamp signature to your web mail address. It contains links to your social media profiles and blog if you have one.

If you like to comment on other blogs, set up a Gravatar to enhance your profile and it will add a picture and even a link to your last blog post with your comments.

Building your online presence is something only you can do. And it can only help you – whether you want to contact old friends or find a new job. More adults are using social media sites as part of their internet experience. Social media is here to stay. And who knows what future the internet will bring.

Join the conversation and meet new friends and colleagues online today!

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Posted on February 24, 2010, in social media, social networks, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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