Social media is not really new anymore, but many people still struggle with the subtle things that might help or hurt success within the top social communities. Recently Muhammad Saleem published a great article on the various tips you can follow to help you succeed in most social media communities.
In this article, I’m going to discuss in detail how to best create a profile and persona within the social communities, to help you achieve better success.
Since Digg is currently the largest social community in regards to marketing, I’ll use it as a model for this discussion. However, all the points detailed here apply to all social communities on the web today.
It should also be mentioned that the advice provided in this article is from a marketing point of view and does not always apply to users who want to participate in a social community for entertainment value.
1. To be or not to be… Yourself?
There are two ways you can present yourself through your profile. You can either be yourself or take on a persona. When you choose to be yourself, you limit the freedom and anonymity you can have within any given social community. You have to watch what you say and what you submit, as it will have a bearing on your intentions and reputation. Additionally, you open the door for people to research you and possibly link you to any content or product you might be trying to promote.
However, when you choose to use a persona, you are free of those concerns, for the most part. You are not directly tied to any content, product, or service you may represent, and you are free to participate in any way you see fit.
2. Choose a memorable name
Make sure that you choose a name that is easy and memorable. You want people to be able to say your name aloud and recognize it instantly at a glance. Names like “msaleem, “burento,” and “MrBabyMan” are all names you can easily recognize and speak aloud to a friend in conversation.
3. Choose an avatar that works in all sizes
Digg uses three different sizes for your avatar image, depending on the section and way it is used. Often a picture can look very recognizable and clear when it is in full size, but look bad when in smaller form. Choose an avatar that is easy to recognize and memorable at all sizes and try to make your image represent your chosen name whenever possible.
4. Be careful what you link to
Avoid linking to sites that could identify you or products and services you provide. You do not want to portray yourself as someone that is on Digg for profit or gain. Think about the links you add and what they end up saying about you as a user.
5. Be active
Digg sorts friends by recent activity and tracks the last time you logged into your account. All your recent submissions, diggs, and comments are also logged in the recent activity section of your profile. Make sure that you log in to your account as much as possible and perform various actions to keep your account looking fresh and active.
6. Be a good user, statistically
Digg’s profile pages display a lot of your user stats for other users to see. Everything from how many stories you dugg in the last 30 days, which categories your diggs where in, how many submissions you have made, and how many total diggs your account has is visible to anyone who’s viewing your profile.
It is important to make sure those statistics tell other users how good of a friend you would be to them.
Make sure that you are voting on other people’s submissions and not just your own. You do not want your stats to show that you have submitted 100 articles and only voted on those same 100 submissions.
Also make sure you vote multiple stories in various categories to have a diverse and high level of votes per month. I normally like to see double digits in 3 or more categories in a potential friend.
Try to make comments on posts from time to time. Don’t leave silly “good post” comments–take a minute or two and actually give a real comment. It is always better to avoid having a 0 statistic field in a profile.
7. Don’t be too friendly
Digg shows all the friends you add under your recent activity section on your profile page. It never looks good to have 300 newly added friends at one time. All the people you added will visit your profile and see that they were not individually added but rather as a part of a mass friend adding campaign.
8. Be natural
You want to grow out your profile slowly, like a natural account would. You should not have 400 friends after just joining Digg 2 days earlier.
Users have been banned from Digg for having unnatural account activities and growth. Profiles are something you should really put the time and thought into doing correctly. Many social community users will review profiles before choosing to friend you or avoid you like the plague.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.