When providing social media education to a group or department, the length of the session usually does not allow for a detailed overview of each network. (Oh how I wish it did!) Every social site functions so differently and allows you to reach a different target audience. But there are some common threads and methods for managing more than one profile. So here are seven handy tips to manage multiple social networks and your personal brand that I often share with my students:
1. Create a content plan.
The big brands do it, and you should do. Do you plan to write blog weekly? Twice a week? How often will you post to Facebook? Will you schedule your Tweets in advance or plan times each day to be live? Most importantly, what content are you sharing? What message do you want to communicate? Get organized and create a plan that will help you strategize your delivery and save you time on a regular basis.
2. Understand your settings, functions and features.
If you have never taken the time to go through the settings on each platform and understand how they work, now is the time to do so. If you adjust setting X, how does it change your profile? Do you read the pop-up windows when the network adds a new feature? Do you understand how each and every function can enhance your profile? It’s time to learn what these platforms do with your information and how you can take advantage of their features to make your personal brand shine.
3. Schedule time each month to review settings, functions and features.
In the digital age, big things happen in the blink of an eye. And some networks add new features without even telling you (Facebook). Take 10 minutes each month to make sure your settings are the way you left them and check if there are any new features you can use to build your profile. LinkedIn just added a bunch of fun settings. Go through each one and see if there is some value for you. Facebook seems to get a kick out of randomly resetting your settings to default just to keep you on your toes. So stay a step ahead and on top of your settings. Otherwise, you might be sharing content with people you don’t intend to share with.
4. Make your bio work for you.
You’ve probably heard this before, but it is essential, especially for job hunters. Use the same photo for all your profile pictures so that people know it’s you. Craft one short and strong bio that you can use in whole or in part across all your networks. Make sure it reflects who you are and why you want to connect. If you aren’t getting some of the results you think you should, or you are all of a sudden attracting a stange crowd on Twitter, change it up. Your bio and your photo are the first impression. How do you want to be perceived?
5. Be strategic about posting photos.
You might really be enjoying that tropical vacation. However, your professional connections do not need to see you at the beach in your bikini, proudly holding up that adult beverage. There is nothing wrong in posting fun and social photos, but how does that photo represent your brand? If viewed out of context, what impression with that photo make? Think a little bit about the photos you post. How will they help you in the long run? Do they enhance your image? What impact that photo make? If there’s the slightest chance that that one photo could embarrass you later, don’t post it.
6. Use lists to manage your connections.
I’ve written about the Facebook and Twitter lists functions before. Leverage this feature to your advantage. On Facebook, using lists can help you with custom privacy settings. And if you have a lot of friends, it will help you check in with some folks who may not be appearing in your Timeline as often as you would like. On Twitter, you can subscribe to other people’s lists and create up to 20 of your own. You can use the list function to separate Tweeps by topic or industry. You can create a leads or contact list. And what’s really helpful is that you don’t have to follow someone to put them on one of your lists. I have a news list and while the list is long, I follow less than a handful of accounts. But it serves as a great resource and good content to share with my followers.
7. Take care with who you friend and follow.
It might seem really cool to have 5,000 friends or followers, but if 80% of those are spammers, bots and porn stars, what good does that really do? If you friend someone on Facebook, Link with a connection on LinkedIn or follow someone on Twitter, you are associated with that person. So it might seem cool that RoxyXXX is following you, and in the spirit of #TeamFollowBack you might give an automatic follow to all who follow you, but when your potential employer finds you on Twitter and sees who follows you, it’s pretty certain that they won’t think you’re all that cool if your friends and followers are less than respectable accounts and people. Be strict with who you friend and link with and make sure to manage your followers. It’s better to have connections with substance than large numbers of fluff. (Note: Pinterest has yet to enable the feature of managing followers, so be careful. They have not responded to requests as to when they will allow people to block followers.)
Ultimately, take a pause before you post anything anywhere and determine whether that comment will benefit you and your brand. Determine if your content will make a positive impact on your viewers or if you leave yourself open to interpretation. Good question to ask yourself – What’s the point? If you can’t find one, don’t post it.