In our latest blog, we discussed the importance (and benefits) of spring cleaning your company’s social media accounts. Now that you have that taken care of, you should turn your focus to your personal profiles – especially if these are linked to your business pages.
It can be easy to neglect your profiles, but given that they represent your personal brand, you want to make sure that your information is up-to-date and, depending on the social networking site, professional. It’s also a good time to check out the newest features on each platform and consider if they are useful to you.
Check out our tips below to get started.
Take a scroll through your past Facebook profile pictures. If you see a progression of photos from your pre-teen years all the way to present day, you may want to do something about it. While these can be funny reminders of the past, they may no longer be appropriate or convey who you are today. The same may be true of past photos or videos you’ve shared (or been tagged in).
If you don’t want to delete these photos from your profile, you can go into your privacy settings and hide certain individuals – co-workers, friends of friends, etc. from being able to see them. Keep in mind that your current profile picture can be seen by everyone, including those who you are not friends with on Facebook (this is true on all social channels).
For social media channels that only allow one profile photo, choose a high-quality image that you’re comfortable with your followers viewing and potentially commenting on. On different platforms, you may have a different type of audience, so consider that before making a selection.
While we don’t advise that you share every last detail about yourself on social media, identifying your educational background, current city, and a few other personal details can increase your networking opportunities on channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn. On platforms with shorter character counts for profile sections (like Twitter and Instagram), try to insert some personality into your description. Remember, you may not often read your own profile information, but other people likely read it on a regular basis.
When it comes to LinkedIn specifically, we recommend updating your profile more frequently, especially the sections regarding experience, education, and accomplishments – you never know when someone is looking for an individual with your skillset.
This is also a good time to review who you’re following on your profiles – people, groups, and pages. Quickly evaluate who you’re following and add/delete people as you see fit. This will help curate what you see in your feeds on a daily basis – and maybe you’ve recently made some new connections in real life that you need to carry over to the digital world.
Liking and following groups and pages is a good way to share your interests, while being kept in the loop about your favorite organizations. But, you may have followed groups/pages in the past that are no longer relevant to your interests. Go through any groups/pages you’re following and consider if they are still worth your time.
Once you’ve sharpened up the basics of your social profiles, take a look at your past content – is there anything that is no longer on-brand? Now is the perfect time to delete anything offensive or, again, unfollow pages that no longer align with your interests and values.
Keep in mind that as you add more friends or create a larger following, more people will be able to see your content. While a personal profile should speak to who you are as an individual, you should be smart about what you’re posting.
Social networks are always adding new features, including new privacy options. During your clean-up, give your privacy settings a thorough check. Rather than letting everyone on the social networking site see your information, you may want to give access strictly to friends or “friends of friends.”
Millions of individuals use social networking channels, but the key to protecting your personal brand lies in investing the time necessary to maintain quality profiles on each of those channels. Share the best version of yourself with regularly updated information and content that reflects your interests and values, and take the time to evaluate and use new features and functions that will help you more successfully use the platform and protect your brand.