What is the first thought when you hear digital footprint? Many things may come to mind, however a digital footprint can be described as “one’s overall impact, impression, or effect as manifested on the Internet; online presence or visibility, as of a person or company”. By definition this helps to understand that this is similar to a first impression as a result of a job interview. Knowing this it also helps to understand how and why we should have a “good digital footprint” Then the questions arise “What is a good digital footprint” and “How can you set up this digital footprint”. In the following discussion, we will explore these two questions and see can we come up with action steps to complete the action.
“How can you set up a digital footprint?” To establish this online presence, one must first understand what the purposes for their existence are. If it is to create and reconnect with old classmates then sites such as Facebook and Google + and Twitter are great sites that allow for many social connects. Personally I was able to connect with family members that I had only met once at a funeral. The great part is that we have stayed in touch now since 2009. If your goals are to create opportunities for networking for business and your career, then a different set of websites comes to mind. LinkedIn, Startup Nation, and Meet Up are a few sites that come to mind. Whether you are looking to stay in touch with family, friend, classmates or set up a presence that will allow for networking opportunities that lead to employment, business start-up or other career strategies creating a digital footprint is a must. Now just adding your name on these sites is not enough. In the second part of this discussion we will discuss how to create a “good digital footprint”.
“Good digital footprint”
There is more to creating a footprint than just creating a profile on one of the above websites. The following steps will give you ways that you can enhance your digital footprint whether your purpose is for social or business connections.
· Enhance all your profile with a professional picture. This will allow for employers and friends to recognize if you are the right person they are looking for. This also creates a great first impression than a picture of your dog.
· Keep Private information Private- Private information such as social security numbers or all of your personal information are not needed. This is highly encouraged not to ever share via social sites as this is for the safety of your digital profile as well.
· Ensure that you are active-It is important to check your sites often and stay active. This will help your profile views and the request you receive. It also helps with your profile not becoming spammed as much.
· Clean and Neat-All sites will allow you to add pictures and sometimes videos. Pictures and videos that are x-rated, inappropriate should not be on social sites. This includes drunk drinking photos or anything that would be offensive to others. Also a neat profile with correct spelling and grammar are important as well. Showing these bad qualities on your digital footprint could lead to problems with the image you have created.
· Create a name for your profiles that show you in a positive manner. This is important when employers, colleges and others search for you or find your profile. SillyBilly is not a good name when you are looking to become a potential employee.
These are a few steps to help with creating a “good digital footprint”. In the society will live in it is hard not to have an online life and taking these steps will help with creating a good one. Continue to prosper and I look forward to hearing your opinions.
Tremaine Kwasikpui is a higher education professional and aspiring entrepreneur. He is also currently enrolled in the Masters of Entrepreneurship Degree Program at Western Carolina University. Webmasters and other article publishers are hereby granted article reproduction permission as long as this article in its entirety, author’s information, and any links remain intact. Copyright 2015 by Tremaine Kwasikpui.
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