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You reap what you sow. We’ve been hearing that phrase our entire lives, but have you really internalized what it means?

Do you have one or more social media accounts? How often do you go on them? Considering we have easily accessible apps on our phones, which we carry everywhere we go, it would be a safe bet to guess that you are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social sites and networks on a daily basis.

Did you know that with every single interaction on social media, you are leaving behind a digital footprint? And if you have a digital trail, you are cultivating your brand, whether you intend to or not. Think about your friends online; chances are, off the top of your head, you’d be able to pinpoint who follows each political party, who is into spiritual development, who would have no problems going to Star Wars conventions dressed up as an ewok, and who thinks a selfie should always be accompanied by a famous quote (whether they penned the quote or not).

What do you want people to think about when they see your name?

If you’re a consulting professional, everything you post sends forth a message that will be associated with your business. Every single action we take online paints a picture of who we are. If the portrait you’ve been working on already makes you proud, congratulations… You’ve been doing things the right way!

How do you raise awareness of your digital footprint?

It’s easy to think that someone who has a million followers is more successful than someone with just a couple hundred, but we need to look beyond the numbers. How often are social media followers becoming engaged with what you post? Do they reply to your comments? Do they share your content?

One way to get your target audience to participate more often in discussions of your product is to make social listening a priority. Taco Bus is really good at this. Leave a message on their Twitter account, and you will get a response and a solution to your issue within minutes.

We get notifications on our phones about how long the commute to work will take based on current traffic conditions. We receive targeted ads every time we log in to our emails or social media accounts. Large corporations are always watching, but so is every single person who is quietly observing you, and forming an opinion of who you are before they reach out to you.

Establishing a brand is as unavoidable as utilizing the Internet. You might as well cultivate those crops well, so that when it’s time to harvest, you receive exactly what you intended.

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