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5 Ways to Show Up in Your Profile – SPR Social Series 4 of 8

Read the previous post in the series, 4 roads to Success in Enterprise Social, or start from the beginning.

Profile Pages are the point of origin for participating in Enterprise Social. They represent home base; the bottom line on who you are and what you’re interested in. Here’s where folks should create and strengthen a personal brand; it’s you, when you’re physically absent. Though branding is a big part of what profile pages are about, they also offer the opportunity for seamless access to topics, documents and people of interest. While these Enterprise Social thresholds should be taken seriously, showing up dull, stiff and without personality is, well…not the most effective approach.

  1. Be comprehensive (and appealing) in the About You section.
    First, you must add a photo. Must! The shaded angular silhouette in the upper left hand corner is an immediate turn off. Why? Because no one looks like that. And if that’s how you present yourself, then it kind of feels like you’re no one. Choose a current pic that’s not too corporate and not too casual. For guys, a collared shirt without a tie is fine. And while T-shirts are not really recommended, it depends on the role you have in the company. Either way, make it pleasant.

    Next, fully populate the options when sharing your interests, skills and expertise. Include some of your relevant accomplishments. Tell a bit about your history, but not too much. And most importantly, give details regarding your immediate focus and what it means. The profile below offers a great example of this. My focus is on making the most of SharePoint’s out-of-the-box capabilities. Instantly, we know the focus and why it’s important. Keep in mind that some of the information in a profile will be auto-populated from other corporate systems, such as HR or Active Directory. That’s a good thing. It leaves you to concentrate on the more compelling aspects of who you are and what you do.

    SharePoint Newsfeed
    Bing. SharePoint profile pictures. cmswire.com

  1. Take full advantage of the content storage capabilities.

    Most Profile Pages have fairly rich content storage and sharing capabilities. For example, Office 2013 (as a default) will save files to an individual’s profile page with an option to sync to a local drive as well. This feature gives the gift of continuous access, even when disconnected. What’s more, you can designate who you want to share docs with and set exact permissions, (like read, edit, and so on) all from your profile page. Content that was once housed in email and hard drives is now managed and governed from a single pane of glass. This can go a long towards promoting productive workflow.

  1. Be a blogger!

    If you claim to be an expert, then show me. Demonstrate what you have to offer by speaking about it on a regular basis. If Business Intelligence is your claim to fame, then blog about it at least twice a month. It’s not necessary to wax on for hundreds of words during every post. Mix it up. Find a way to create short, engaging entries that offer something new on how to use a feature or process. Or share an informed opinion about how one of your customers or colleagues is using BI. Work to bring real value to your peers. You’ll also want to use different visual elements to illustrate your points and break up the text. Maybe add a video one week with only a brief comment; or graphs that underscore what you’re trying to say. And no matter how techy or corporate your topic is, make sure you offer more than just dry information. Add some juice, like humor or a story. Make it pop!

  1. Give credit where credit is due.

    As you interact on your profile page; with individuals or elements of content, go the extra mile in recognizing peers, contributors and participants. This is the real value of Enterprise Social; people coming together. It’s about the collective. Two heads are better than one and all that jazz. But don’t be gratuitous. When we rightly highlight the contributions of others, the community becomes stronger. Because we are building on a foundation of trust and appreciation. The extent of the value this creates cannot be overemphasized.

    Bing. Profile pictures. S3.amazonaws.com

  1. Be diligent about keeping your page up-to-date.

    Keeping your Profile Page fresh and current doesn’t have to be a laborious task. Set aside a block of time once a month to scan your page for the following things:

  1. Is there old content that’s no longer viable? Delete or archive it.
  2. Check shared docs to make sure those associations still make sense. If not simply end sharing and alter permissions.
  3. Is your role evolving? Think about how to express those changes.
  4. Does your picture need to be refreshed? Changing the pic after 3-4 months can help keep you top of mind. People always notice an updated profile picture.
  5. Are the documents, people, and sites you follow bringing value? If not, switch them out and seek new associations.

The bottom-line on creating Profiles is this – take the time to make it great. It’s intended to be an image of you, who you are and what you brilliantly bring to the table. An excellent Profile Page sets the stage for the value of your participation in the enterprise, socially speaking. And this value will easily extend beyond the social platforms, increasing your stock and differentiating YOUR brand across the organization. To bring the point home, I’ll make a request. Go to your LinkedIn profile and consider how well it’s constructed. How can you improve it to strengthen your identity in that important social arena? If you have a few minutes, do it now,  it’s a good way to see exactly what I’m talking about.

Don’t forget to come back in two weeks to learn more. Up next in the series, 4 keys to successful Community Sites. It’s my take on what community is all about.

Questions and comments can be addressed directly to:

Melissa McElroy
User Experience & Social Collaboration Evangelist – Senior Manager
e. melissa.mcelroy@spr.com
LinkedIn http://linkedin.com/in/melissamcelroy