April showers bring May flowers… so the saying goes. Recognizing the changing season and the promise of fresh new beginnings that will soon arrive. This old adage rings true for so many things and our social media is no exception.
A little bit of work and tidying up now, will prove to reward you with breathing new life into your online presence.
Why should you care about this? Your social media has been fine up to now right? Old, stagnant social media profiles and accounts don’t have the same positive impact that a clean and current one will. Think of an outdated kitchen that needs cupboards, the paint is peeling, and the floor is dull and drab. Everything still works, but you don’t get that warm, welcoming feeling. And you definitely don’t want to spend a lot of time there. That’s how your old social media accounts can feel to visitors.
Having a professional presence online is essential if you’re looking for work (70% of employers use social media to research candidates), looking to hire, want to improve your business, aiming to expand your marketing reach, need to attract new clients or you just want to increase your network and grow your contact list. You need to refresh your social media presence so you can put forth your best professional foot forward – here are 5 ways to do it!
1. Privacy Matters
You may have social media accounts for different purposes. Some are for fun, some are professional, some are for personal interests, etc… Google yourself and see what comes up. If there’s anything that doesn’t reflect how you want to be seen, consider making those accounts private. That way you will only be showing those accounts to those who you give permission, and you won’t be showing anything that would alter your professional presence.
2. Delete Old Accounts
Once you see what comes up after your Google search, consider deleting any accounts that are no longer active or you don’t want to engage in any longer. There are many social media platforms out there and that doesn’t mean you need to be active on all of them. Choose the ones that make the most sense for you and the ones that you enjoy and engage with the most and delete the rest. If you have an account, be sure to be active on it or it will look outdated and abandoned very quickly.
3. Professional Bio & Summary
Review your bio/summary or about section for your public accounts. Ensure they are up to date with current information like industry designation, achievements, interests, skills, business expertise or field and list any new certifications or titles you may have acquired recently. This is where you can mention anything else that is relevant to what you want visitors to know about you or your business in relation to what you want to achieve from your account.
Ensure that you include your full name (or business name), contact information and location. List your specific skills, talents, title, business culture or mission statement.
It’s also a good idea to include a “call to action” here. Let your visitors know you want to engage and connect with them. That you are open to discuss opportunities, network, collaborate, or anything else you hope to accomplish.
4. Update Photos
Make sure that your profile picture is recent, clear and professional. Selfies are fine, just be mindful about using adequate lighting, sharp focus and that you look professional for your industry. You’ll also want to remove any distracting elements from the photo so you show as the main subject.
Some social media platforms require a cover photo in addition to your profile picture. Don’t leave this area empty. Choose something relevant and current and that reflects you, your business, or your mission.
Have a look at any other photos that are on your social media and remove anything that may contradict your professional profile.
5. Posts, Shares & Follows
Only post & share things that are related to your industry, business, goals, mission, what you care about and what you want to say about you. These things will all have an impact on how you are perceived by visitors.
Are you following or posting embarrassing, questionable, offensive or controversial content? Are these things in line with the professional image you want seen? If not, you might want to think about deleting/removing these posts and unfollowing those accounts that may not reflect who you want to portray.
These tips will help you refresh your social media presence and may even help to unlock opportunities that wouldn’t have happened with an old, outdated account.
Evaluate your social media presence every 6 months or so, to ensure things stay current and updated. Keep these practices in mind when moving forward with your social media accounts and your brand, personal presence or business will always be displayed in its best light.
Written by Christine Graham