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Social Networking: Things to Consider When Creating Your Profile

Jinger Jarrett
Oct 9, 2007
Online social networks are not only popular, they continue to increase in popularity all the time. There are plenty of both general and special interest social networks you can join, and these sites do get a lot of traffic. It's a great way to make friends, as well as promote your products and services.

Your first step in joining a social network is to create your profile. This is how others will decide if they want to become "friends" with you. This is also how you will advertise your products and services or show your latest offer.

Your profile is crucial because, in most cases, other networkers will consider your goals, views, beliefs, and other information on your profile to decide whether they want to network with you. This is also especially important in business, because your profile is a way for you to target your market. You can have all of the traffic in the world, but if it's not targeted to your products and services, most of your visitors will simply click away rather than join your list or buy your product. Again, this makes your profile crucial for developing the right friends, as well as the right network.

A lot of focus is placed on what you should include in your profile, including your photo. Profiles with photos tend to get a lot more traffic than profiles that don't have this. As a business networker, you do want to put a face to your name. It makes it more personal. However, you should put a photo that demonstrates a certain amount of professionalism, while showing that you're human.

The downside is that, with the extra traffic, there will be those who see your profile that you have no interest in, as well as those who will only ask to be your friend so that they can spam you with their offers. This is a problem I've had. Additionally, I've also had those who wanted to be my friend simply for the purpose of posting foul language or adult content on my profile. These comments get quickly deleted, and the individual in question is permanently banned from ever being my friend again.

So, when you're creating your profile, you shouldn't just consider what to put on your profile but also not only what not to put. Exercise caution here. Certain information about you should never be made public, like credit card numbers, birthdays, or any information you want to keep private. Any sensitive information about you that you don't want others to know should always be kept private. After all, these days, all someone needs to run a background check on you is your name and birthday. Keep these things private.

As previously mentioned, pictures are often recommended with social networking websites. If you want to post a personal picture of yourself in your profile you should do so. Just make sure that you carefully choose the picture you use. You should look your best, but pictures that are too revealing can get you in trouble. Some people will look at this photos with the wrong intent, and this could spell trouble for you.

When deciding what other information you post, you should again exercise caution. Things like phone numbers and addresses allow others to contact you offline. If you work at home, like I do, this can mean interruptions at any time of the day or night, as well as weekends, because most people wont' bother to check the time zone. I've actually had people contact me from other countries, in the middle of the night, wanting to talk about business. Nevermind these freebie hunters drug me out of bed and didn't want to do anything to compensate me for my time.

You should also consider your location. If you live in a small town, it can make it too easy for others to track you down. This is especially important if an online predator decides to track you down. You may want to consider using a town or city nearby instead, or if you live near a large city, just use the larger city instead. This way, others have a general idea of where you live, or where you're at, but they can't track you down so easily. Only use both city and state if the site requires it. Better to use just your state.

Finally, caution should be exercised in the personal information you use, like detailed information on your children, where you live, your income, or if you're going on vacation. Better just to blog about your vacation after you're home.

There's nothing wrong with posting information about yourself to help you connect with others who have the same interests. Just use caution when posting your information.
About the Author
Want to learn how top marketers use social networking to expand their businesses? "Social Marketing" teaches you how to easily bring in more profits in just a few minutes a day. Meet me on MySpace.

Jinger Jarrett is the author of "Internet Marketing for Free: The GUIDE." (On Amazon).
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