Done correctly, social media can often appear high in search results, pushing negative results out of sight. They can also make you appear more human. Handled incorrectly they can be disastrous.
The first and most important rule to remember about social media is not to post anything that could reflect negatively on you.
Here is the problem you will constantly be grappling with: you are what search engines and social networks say you are, and a bad online reputation can cost you a lot of business.
This is why you need to work to cultivate the right social profiles in the right ways. You don’t need to be in a lot, just a couple of the big ones and those that are relevant to your industry.
The biggest mistake that people make is registering social profiles at dozens or hundreds of sites and pointing links to as many as possible, hoping that some will take over those top rankings. In fact, this actually dilutes the effectiveness of the strategy. Instead, those links should be consolidated across a few powerful profiles. The sites you should focus on are:
- Additionally, you should register on all the respected relevant industry-related social media sites.
But just registering a profile is not enough to take over the rankings. My experience has been that participating heavily in the sites – for example, uploading lots of photos and sets on Flickr, making lots of friends, getting others to comment on your photos, etc. – is much more valuable and the profiles rank much higher than just earning external links.
Be passionate and active in you niche. Regular, authentic participation is key.