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My Biggest Social Media Mistake

As an early adopter of social media, I have enjoyed my fair share of ups and downs, trials and tribulations. (But more so, joy and success!) I share with you best practices and strategic advice, but I don’t often share my biggest mistakes. Well, this week, you are in luck! I’m sharing with you my biggest social media mistake. Read More

3 LinkedIn Updates to Encourage You to Update Your Profile


While there has been a lot of fuss about Facebook lately, LinkedIn is quietly updating and upgrading its platform and is becoming incredibly valuable to its Members.

In this week’s video, I share with you three LinkedIn updates that should encourage you to check in with your profile and make some updates.

Click here to watch the video:

These updates are super helpful for those of us who want to keep an updated profile and make sure we are appealing to and connecting with the right people. The updates I discuss are:

1. Who’s Viewed Your Profile

This is the most viewed section of LinkedIn, and now they are giving us more information about who is finding you and more importantly – how people are finding you. Use this data to tweak your profile headline, summary and experience to make sure you are discovered by the people you want to connect with.

The snapshot looks something like this (will vary based on your own profile results):


You can now learn more within categories:

Industries of your viewers

What your viewers do

Where your viewers came from (how they found you, i.e. in a Group or via Search)

Keywords that led to you

Where they work

Where they live

My results definitely encouraged me to adjust my summary section! Please remember that your headline, summary and experience section should be peppered with your keywords, as these sections play in the search function and help you get discovered.

2. LinkedIn Opens Publishing Platform

LinkedIn has now opened their publishing platform to its membership. This provides all of us greater opportunity for exposure and to offer greater value to our network. If our articles consistently receive many views, likes, comments and shares, they we have the chance to become a LinkedIn influencer.

This is being rolled out over the next few months, but if you’d like to send in an application for early release (I did) then you can fill out a short form, provide two examples of the type of content you’d be publishing, and cross your fingers.

Apply early: http://specialedition.linkedin.com/publishing/

3. Encouraging Professionalism in High School Students

In August, LinkedIn dropped it’s minimum age for Members to fourteen. This was done in an effort to encourage students to begin thinking about their future, the moment they enter high school. LinkedIn wants to provide an advantage to ambitious students, recommending they follow university pages to connect with admissions and alumni.

One high school student wrote for the LinkedIn blog,

“I’ve discovered that the sooner you put yourself in the professional community, the better your chances of finding the opportunity you want.” – Rutha Nuguse

Perhaps this attitude will spill over into behavior on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, too. That’s why I love this push from LinkedIn. It reinforces that you are never too young to build your professional profile, polish your personal brand and manage your reputation.

This news has really made me think twice as to how I use LinkedIn and inspires me to be more proactive with my account. I hope it encourages you to do the same!


Facebook Likes and Reputation Management

image building

When I have the opportunity to speak with college students – student-athletes, Greeks or graduate students – I am always curious which point of the presentation will resonate most. Of course, college students believe they already know everything they need to know about social media and assume they are “doing it right.” So when I use examples from their own profiles, posts which are embarrassingly bad, they do tend to perk up and realize they have room to improve their communication skills.

This week, I was so pleased to speak with student-athletes at Cal State San Marcos. Athletic and Club Sport athletes joined me to learn how they can use social media and communication to achieve their goals.

During the presentation, I pointed out that one’s reputation also stands upon the types of posts and things you like and the people you associate yourself with online. Some of the students have liked more than 1000 Facebook Pages. I cannot even fathom what these Pages are, but with a quick glance over many profiles, they are not Pages which work to build a good reputation.

We also discussed the accounts they were retweeting. When Twitter handles like @ReallyStonedPanda and @WeedReport pop up in someone’s news feed, it’s a clear indication that they enjoy the content these accounts produce. Retweeting them is associating yourself with them and their content. And as you can gather from these two examples, this type of association does not work to build a good reputation.

Wouldn’t we love to believe that it’s just college students who do not take care with what they like and who they retweet? Many seasoned professionals have room to improve their skills, as well. So in this week’s video, I mention a few social networks and what you need to take care of to maintain a positive profile and manage your reputation.


A quick breakdown:

Facebook – Be mindful of the Pages you like and the posts you like, comment on, and share. Make sure your “friends” are people you actually know.

Twitter – Take care with who you follow AND who follows you. You are associated with both. Double check the Twitter handle and content of the accounts you retweet.

Pinterest – Follow people and businesses who have good content and who are reputable. Repinning pictures which are linked to “spammy” sites is not a good practice.

LinkedIn – Accept invitations from people you know, have done business with and who add value to your contact base. Remember my advice from my networking video – You want to be able to connect the people in your network. Help them in their business so they will help you with yours. (You can also check out the blog post on networking, too.)

YouTube and Blog Comments – Often overlooked, your comments on blogs and videos says a lot about you. What videos are you watching? What types of blogs do you interact with? If they are controversial on any level, your interaction with them paints you in a negative light. Your comments are discoverable online.

Finally, please remember that NOTHING online is private. It doesn’t take much to learn about a person with a simple Google search and a bit of browsing through social sites. When the recruiter or admissions officer, the media or your colleagues take a tour of your online profile, what will they find? And what will the things you like and the people you associate with say about you?


Tell me in the comments if you are a person who is diligent about managing your reputation. Do you already take care with what you like and who you follow? What other things do you do to protect your brand? Share your advice in the comments! Thank you!


Leveraging LinkedIn – Graduates


If you are a senior in college, and you have yet to set-up a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to do so! There are so many features LinkedIn has built in, specifically for recent grads (or about to be grads in your case). You can take advantage of sections like Test Scores, Honors & Awards, even a Courses section so that you can share your areas of expertise, without feeling the pressure to have a lengthy “Experience” section.

A few things you want to pay attention to in LinkedIn:

1. Your headline (what appears under your name), the summary section and your work experience are all key-word rich and searchable. Pay attention to key words used in your industry and pepper these sections with the right words so your profile is discoverable. Fill these sections out, add your Skills & Expertise and other sections (like Projects) to “beef up” your profile.

2. Start connecting with your professors or university staff you know well. Think about who you know who is working in the industry you want to go into, even if it is your parents’ friends or colleagues. Connect with any professionals you met during internships or summer jobs. Start building your contact base.

3. If you’ve completed internships or held relatable summer jobs, connect with and get recommendations from your supervisors, as well as others who worked directly with you. If you worked at the ice-cream stand for two summers, don’t bother getting recommended by the owner, unless you have a desire to work for Ben & Jerry’s. If your career path is in marketing, and you helped boost sales for the ice cream stand, then go ahead and ask for the recommendation. That’s what I mean by relatable.

4. Join groups focused on the field you are interested in and jump into the discussions. Comment professionally and on the topics where you actually have knowledge or experience. You don’t need to participate in ever discussion in your groups. Filter out the discussions that aren’t related to your career or won’t move you forward.

5. Keep an eye on the companies you are interested in working for, as often times they post jobs to LinkedIn before other sources. If you start applying for jobs prior to graduation, you are likely to graduate with a job, versus being at the start of your search.

6. Make sure you are behaving yourself on other social sites! If a recruiter or hiring manager finds you on LinkedIn, they will likely check out your other accounts. Every post, photo, tweet and video should work to make you look good! Don’t let one tweet ruin your chances of getting your dream job. You are what you tweet!

7. While you are on other channels, be sure to share the link to your LinkedIn account so that you increase your visibility. Good way to invite others to connect with you, too. Don’t be embarrassed to promote yourself. Do you want to get an interview with that company? Do you want the job? Humble self-promotion will also help you stand-out from your peers, as there are few who will take this advice to heart. I hope you are one of them.

While I originally posted this (below the next photo) in April 2013, I wanted to update this post now – it’s good timing for YOU! While there have been only a few changes to LinkedIn since then, I hope to see a major shift in the number of seniors who raise their hands in my seminars who say they HAVE a LinkedIn profile. Those will be the students and student-atheltes I know who are on the road to success.

If you are a college student and have a LinkedIn account, please share with us in the comments how this has helped you. Who have you connected with that helped pave your career path? How have you made LinkedIn work for you?

If you want more helpful tips like this in your inbox every Friday – just subscribe in the box on the right.


In the last few weeks, I spoke with a handful of undergraduate student groups. I nearly fell flat on the floor when I learned that most of the students do not have a LinkedIn account. (Many of them have neglected Twitter, too.) One class I spoke with were all seniors and business majors, to boot. They are graduating, and they are job hunting! Thank goodness I could give them a bit of a nudge with advice to nurture their personal brand and tips to take advantage of social media, where a good 92% of companies are looking to find talent.


LinkedIn’s newest features, like the Skills & Expertise, Honors & Awards, Organizations, Test Scores and Projects sections were created specifically for college graduates. While the soon-to-be grad’s Experience section may be a bit slim, these other areas can paint the student in a positive light and help tell the story of the past four years.


For those of us who do have a healthy amount of work experience under our belt, these sections can also be used to highlight career achievements and extracurricular activities that show we have a healthy work-life balance. The information provided in these sections can also perk the interest of hiring managers if they see that you share the same core values are a good fit with the brand culture.


If you are the parent of a college student, or know a friend or family member who is graduating, please – Please! – encourage and help them get set-up on LinkedIn. This is a must in the digital age. You are helping your student get found and giving the gift of employment, come graduation. If you need help, of course, I am available to consult with you privately. Contact me at 619.244.2400 or [email protected]

Conan O’Brien on LinkedIn

This video clip from the CONAN show landed on Youtube and other parts of the web today. Host Conan O’Brien talks about having a ‘digital presence’ and social media sites, as well as his digital team’s insistence that he have a LinkedIn account. What he says about LinkedIn is pretty funny. Have a look and then view my notes after the video:

I looked Conan up on LinkedIn and sure enough, he had a profile listed. My request to connect was accepted and I am now an official connection. Not sure the process his digital team went through to accept or deny all contact requests.  LinkedIn has been the one space where there’s not so many hallow or spammy accounts, so it’s likely that at this early stage, all of the folks who have requested to connect with Conan are, indeed, really people.

However, it made me think that LinkedIn may need to set up a verification system for high profile people, as Twitter and then Facebook has have. Soon after I connected with Conan, I saw a Jimmy Fallon profile. I’d love to connect with Jimmy Fallon, but I had no way to tell if it was an official profile.

I wonder, is this really the right space for celebrities and superstars to grow their fan base? Is LinkedIn prepared to somehow verify high profile accounts? Will the attention Conan gave to LinkedIn on his show have a lasting effect or just be a quick sizzle?

It will be interesting to see what happens in the weeks following. It’s funny – we are so used to talking about Twitter and Facebook on television. But when does LinkedIn ever get three minutes of air time? What are your thoughts?

It’s Also What You Like


Last night I spoke with another group of undergrads, this time at UCLA. I was, again, surprised with the small numbers of students who have LinkedIn accounts, especially students who are graduating. We have got to get these young adults up to speed on better use of social media!

When I conduct these seminars, I provide students with both the good and the bad of social media. It’s important to show them how easy it is to make a major mistake, but also give them some good examples to follow. They need inspiration as much as they do a wake up call.

One of the things that stuck with my group last night, was the lesson that it’s not just about what you say, but also what you like. Facebook’s search has become much more powerful with the release of Open Graph. You can search for things like “My friends who like dogs,” or “People who live in San Diego who go to SDSU and like surfing.”  These searches will produce results with a list of profiles. At UCLA, I targeted the search for members of the group who like “partying”and “Drinking” and such.

Luckily enough, one of the audience members popped up in my search results. He was amazed, as well as all of his friends. But it is terrific when this happens in real time. This young man ‘Liked’ almost 300 pages on Facebook. He admitted that he could not remember everything he liked and had no idea that he could be found by non-friends via the search function.

As I’ve said many times, Beaming Bohemian exists to infuse communication with positivity and purpose. In the case of these students, I enjoy to helping them find their positive purpose and new approach for using social media. If they begin to see how the professional world is using tools like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to conduct business, market, communicate and recruit employees, they begin to look at how they can take advantage of these platforms, versus just socializing. Students easily pick up how they need to fix and build their image and manage their reputation.


Social Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and yet all of the magazines have feature articles telling you what products you need to use to thoroughly clean every dusty, little corner of your home. There are a zillion suggestions for organizing your clothes, the kids’ toys, the dog’s house and the tools in the garage. Before you grab the scrub brush and gloves, you might want to pick up your computer. One area you should definitely clean up – your social media accounts. Your laptop can go with you out onto the patio, so this task doesn’t require you to miss out on all the lovely, spring sunshine!
Your data and connections, just like those bookcases, need a bit of dusting.  Let’s start with your login information. When was the last time you updated your passwords? Several social sites have had security breaches in this past year, including LinkedIn. Take a moment to change your passwords and better protect your accounts. While it is ill-advised by most digital gurus, I do actually keep a file hidden within my computer which lists my passwords, as I do not have the same one for each account (and my memory isn’t that stellar). This is a good first item to cross off on your social spring cleaning list.
I will also suggest that you review your accounts’ security/privacy settings. Social media sites are continually evolving and often release new features. When they do, it’s possible that some settings revert to default. This is more often the case with Facebook. Go through your account and privacy settings and make sure that you understand how the site functions. Refresh your profile data and make sure it reflects you accurately. Coordinate your bio/about me/profile sections so that you are branded across each channel where you are active.
Now it’s time to do a little gardening within your contacts. Follow this 3-step spring cleaning program to improve the health of your networks:
1. Weed
If you don’t actually know the folks you are friends with on Facebook, not sure why you follow some of the Tweeps you do, or cannot find value in your LinkedIn connections, this is a time to unfriend, unfollow and disconnect. Be certain about who you are interacting with on any of the social sites. It is significant to recognize that you and your personal brand are associated with the people in your digital networks. You would not allow unsightly plants grow wild in your manicured garden. Don’t allow inappropriate contacts to influence your network and image. Remove the weeds.
2. Organize
Both Facebook and Twitter offer a list function which is amazingly helpful in organizing your contacts. I have created lists on Facebook around how I know people. So, I have a high school list, one from UCSB and then the places I lived where I met a large number of people. On Twitter, I organize Tweeps by category/profession or topics they tweet about. A fabulous tip for the Twitter lists – you don’t have to follow people to put them on a list. My “News” list, for example is filled with all the major news sources, but I follow less that a handful. I can still reply and retweet with the accounts. Public lists can also be subscribed to, so don’t forget to Tweet out the link of your well-curated lists so that others can see how awesome and organized you are!
3. Grow
Have a look through the “People you may know” section on your social media accounts. Friend, follow and connect with those who will add value to your news feed and your network. Take some time on LinkedIn to endorse your connections for their skills. It’s a nice way to let them know you’ve remembered them and might spark a beneficial reconnection. They will likely return the endorsements and help you build your profile. Tweet to someone you haven’t conversed with in awhile or send a private message to an old friend on Facebook. Social media is designed to help you stay connected to family, friends and professional contacts. Take advantage of these features to allow your garden of networks to bloom.
Lastly, take out your calendar and schedule 30 minutes each month to go through your social media settings. This will allow you to stay on top of new features, keep those weeds at bay and enjoy social networks which are active, vibrant and productive.  Now you can pick up that dust cloth and tackle those other cleaning duties. Happy spring cleaning!

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