AFKI Corporate: Effective Social Media Use For African Professionals

AFKI Corporate: Effective Social Media Use For African Professionals

Over the next few weeks and months, the ‘AFKI Corporate’  column will bring readers a range of business insights, trends, news and tips exclusively for corporations and people conducting business in the African Market. Each week column will provide readers with international business strategies, tips, tools and insights customized for the continent.

‘AFKI Corporate’ will also feature exclusive Q&A’s with influencers, business leaders and entrepreneurs from across Africa, and the African diaspora sharing their business tips, vision and ideas for continued accelerated growth on the continent.

For this inaugural column AFKInsider provides you with some tips and tools in how to leverage online and social media platforms to elevate one of the most important assets we all have as business professionals … our personal reputation.

With the advancement of the internet, and the growth of social media especially during the last five years, personal and corporate reputation management is primarily an issue of search results. The first place we all go to when seeking information on anyone is the internet. Whether we use Google, Bing, Yahoo or another search engine, we immediately look online to find out more. The question to ask yourself is this…

If someone was to conduct an online search using my name what would they discover?

With the unprecedented growth across Africa comes a variety of attention including attention in the form of companies and brands searching for the best talent to work with on the continent. This is truly an exciting time for African executives as opportunities abound like never before, and elevating your personal reputation is essential to ensure you stand out amongst your peers and competitors.

Thankfully, there are a host of simple yet effective online and social media strategies you can adopt to enable you to elevate and manage your personal reputation. Here is a list of tools and strategies to get you started:

1) Buy your own domain name

Everyone should own the URL of their name, and create a website that effectively presents who you are to the world. This website should include a professionally written bio and headshot alongside samples of your work. If you have a blog, this should also be part of your website along with links to your social media platforms and an email address for people to easily get in contact with you.

Even if you do not plan on launching your own website anytime soon, save the URL of your name so no one else can.

2)  Clean up your online presence

Erase some of the current information about you from the internet by using a tool
such as www.justdelete.me This website ranks the process of erasing yourself from
easy to impossible, and highlights the next steps you need to take to remove the
necessary information.

3) Leverage free tools

Consider creating your own personal website that lists all of your social networks with free tools such as about.me or brandyourself.com

4) Claim your social media profiles
Protect yourself from cyber-squatters on your social media profiles especially on the most heavily used platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, by securing your name even if you do not intend on using the platform.

5) Set up an ongoing monitoring alert system

Set up Google alerts on your name, as well as companies and organizations associated with your name.

6) Share content on a regular basis

If you don’t have the time (or the inclination) to blog then share. Share business and industry articles and news items across all your social media platforms. This has the  double benefit of keeping others informed while allowing them to see that you are constantly informed and up to date on your industry and wider business news around you.

8) LinkedIn is the new Facebook

By far the best social media platform to convey who you are as a professional or executive is LinkedIn. I tell attendees during master classes “…if you don’t have more than 500 contacts on LinkedIn you are not using the tool effectively…”.

LinkedIn is rapidly becoming the go to place for journalists as well as potential business partners, when seeking expert opinions or specific talent to work with, so you have to ensure you are using this platform in the best way.

Your profile should include a professional headshot of yourself alongside a robust and detailed description of your career up to a maximum of 15 years ago. You should also ensure hyperlinks and attachment to websites, press coverage and your work is included, as well as written references from people you have worked with throughout your career.

Africa’s growing significance on the international stage as a major player in global economic development is set to rise, and to the uber optimistic African enthusiasts among us, the continent’s position for global economic development will become key.

It is imperative that executives across the continent effectively adopt the online and social media tools and strategies leveraged internationally, to ensure they create and maintain a positive personal reputation.

Personal reputation is everything and personal reputation management is something all savvy African business people should be both aware of and actively managing.

This article is an edited version of the proprietary master class ‘Leveraging Social Media to Create a Positive Personal and/or Corporate Reputation’ that Claudine Moore first presented in February during the Social Media Week, Lagos 2014.


Claudine Moore (@ClaudineMoore) is the founder of C Moore Media headquartered in New York City with a growing African division. Claudine is also a columnist with top media outlets including CNN and specializes in Africa topics and news. Claudine spends a significant amount of her time traveling across Africa for both business and pleasure.