How many times have you heard, “If you’re not on [semi-popular social media site], you are missing out! You need to create a profile ASAP!”? How many times have we then navigated to that social media site, downloaded the app on our mobile devices and then checked in periodically – but never on a regular basis? I’m guessing that, if you’re like me, you’ve probably done this a lot. You may even be doing this now because of what I told you last week about LinkedIn.
If so, consider these three ways that will help you improve your social media presence.
#1: Be deliberate about your social media usage and don’t overdo it.
Breaking news: you do not have to be on every single social media site in order to be relevant, contribute to a conversation or network with your friends, family and professional contacts. In fact, being on too many social media sites and neglecting to give the sites you really care about any attention will do more to hurt you in the end than it will ever help you. Consider all of the hackers who get into Twitter accounts and send private contacts sketchy links with viruses and spam via Direct Message. If you’re not using Twitter on a regular basis, you may not know that your account has been hacked. In the same way, your Facebook wall and profile that still offers up your favorite quotes from “Old School” probably won’t do much to help you land that interview you’ve been gunning for.
It’s ok to delete an account if you’re not using it. In fact, I’d recommend considering this at least once a year. I used to have numerous accounts promoting music I recorded in college online. While I still love to play music, those songs aren’t a very good representation of my current offerings. Last year, I deleted a number of those accounts in order to improve my personal online presence.
If you want to hold on to the account, but still don’t want to use it very often, take the time to keep your profile updated so that if someone searches for you, they’ll receive accurate information (i.e. changing your current city, profession, etc.).
#2: Don’t link all of your accounts together.
This is one that I assume will “convict” a lot of you. Unlink those accounts, y’all. If I’m scrolling through my Twitter feed and I see a tweet exported from a Facebook wall, I can’t see it unless I’m also logged in to Facebook. If what was said needs to be on both social media sites, take the time to reword the content to fit the site it’s being posted to. In the same way, whenever hash tags are placed on Facebook, the poster loses credibility. Instagram pictures look great. They really do. But hash tags are not searchable on Facebook. In addition, the point of social media sites is engagement. If you don’t have the time to engage in all of the sites you have an account for, it might be time to refer to #1 and get rid of some of the ones you’re not using as much.
#3: Learn about privacy settings for your accounts and use them.
I don’t see any reason for folks to protect their tweets. If your tweets are that bad, you probably shouldn’t be tweeting. Twitter is really not made for you, you vulgar kid. However, you may have a reason to protect your tweets that I do not know about. You may need to keep your Facebook account completely private and unsearchable. You may not want to put your picture on your public profile on LinkedIn. Whatever your preference, make yourself aware of how people that you do not know see you Google or Bing. Find out how your boss, potential boss and co-workers see you on Facebook and Twitter. If changes to your content are necessary, make the change. If you need to get more private or less private, do it. Just make sure that you’re aware of what you look like to friends and foes. And recruiters. Because all three are important.