When you are interested in building a name for yourself or some awareness for your business online, it’s very important that you understand how everything that you do on the web, every update, every blog post, and every comment adds value (good or bad) to your digital footprint.

If you are already in the digital marketing space, you should know the importance of putting your best foot forward on the web and you most likely follow a couple of rules that you live by. If you don’t, you can miss out on some great opportunities online. Here’s a couple of rules that I follow on the social web so that all my social media effort adds value to my digital footprint.

Be genuine

This is one of the most important rules that you should follow. Be yourself and be genuine in everything that you do online. This means being truthful, real, and transparent about what you believe in and who you are. Never go out with only self promotion and share in an honest way. Networking online is very similar to networking offline. If you are genuine and yourself with others, they will trust you and long term relationships can be created.

Respond in time

Online it’s good practice to respond to emails with a personal tone and promptly. If anyone is sending a direct message to you, respond to them. On Twitter, respond publicly and positively to any mentions you might receive. It is also good practice to mention others in your social circles. The more you mention and interact with others, the more likely they will mention you in a public and positive way.

Sharing is key

By being present, participating, and commenting, rather than just being a troll online, you can build quite a lot of credibility online.  When you like other peoples status updates, comment on posts, like Business Facebook Pages, retweet, Reddit or stumble interesting articles, you are giving people a give. And trust me, it will come back to you. Ever saw the movie pay it forward?

Acknowledge other people

When you refer someone or mention them on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, link to them and acknowledge them. Everyone is trying hard to build a name for themselves online, whether it’s through networking, writing or curating content. It’s a fact that everyone wants to be recognised for what they are doing.

Helping others

The more helpful you are the more you are adding to making a difference. Share good content, and answer questions. When you do this, the more willing others will be to help you. It does sound easier than it is, but there is no better way to get the ball rolling than right now. What problems are your customers experiencing? What questions do they have? How can you help them?

One of the first rules you learned when you were young was to say thank you and please. Manners online works the same as they do offline. Thank people for acknowledging you and for sharing your content along to their own social circles. Thank people by using their name and do it publicly. When you value others efforts they will feel appreciated.

What you do and who you are online says a great deal about you and how you do business.

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