Your Facebook profile should be carefully hidden from all employers, colleges, and bosses- concealing your personal life and covering up your wild and crazy college years, right? Wrong. You can use Facebook and Google to make yourself more marketable if you use them in the right ways. Exposing and publicizing your Facebook allows you to show a more personal side to your employers, seem more well rounded, and prove that you aren’t hiding anything from them. Best of all, Facebook profiles are perfect pieces of content to easily boost up to the top of Google- a great way to bolster your online reputation. Let's get down to business:
Let's face it, your Facebook profile isn't exactly the cleanest thing in the world (as in, it doesn't exactly put you in the best light)- you're going to have to do a little work to get it up to snuff. Go ahead and remove those harming pictures, curse-word-filled status updates, and videos of you at 5AM signing "Small Town Girl". Trust me, these are necessary measures on your quest to conquer Facebook and Google.
If your friends can't find you, how can search engines? It's very simple to go into your Facebook settings and make your profile "Public". You can still restrict some of your content, but in order for search engines to find your profile you need to make the content publicly accessible.
Do your friends call you "J-Money" or Mike “The Hammer”? That should probably stay an inside joke and shouldn't make it's way to the Internet. Using your real name on social networks like Facebook allows potential employers, customers, and even dates to easily find you when they search for you on Facebook and Google. Your nickname may give you and your friends a few laughs but the public won’t be in on the joke and won’t understand. With this step, make sure you keep your name consistent as well! Even though Trevor Elwell and Trevor R. Elwell are very similar, in the eyes of search engines they are very different- use the name that people will be searching for you with.
A simple way to boost up your Facebook page on Google is to get your vanity URL. If you go to your account settings you will easily be able to change this. A vanity URL is a URL with your name in it (for instance facebook.com/AboutTrevorElwell) . If facebook.com/YourName isn't available then make sure that you use some variation of it like I did. The important thing is keeping your name in the URL and in the same order (as in nothing in between your first and last name). This is probably the single most powerful way to get your Facebook page to rank on Google.
You have a Twitter and a LinkedIn on top of your Facebook and Google profiles, but are you linking between your profiles? Google loves to see inbound links- and a very easy way to get them is to utilize the profiles that you already have set up! Link to your now-public Facebook profile from all of your other social networks and make sure to include your name in the link text (for instance Trevor Elwell on Facebook would be a good link but Trevor Elwell on Facebook would not).
I hope that following these tips helps get your Facebook profile up to the top of Google! If you have any questions about your online reputation or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.