The above title may induce a couple of eye rolls and seem redundant to some, but the truth is (especially with recent social media related blunders like this and (yikes!) this) it is pretty clear that there are many social media novices out there who still aren’t utilizing these platforms the right way. We’ve previously touched on scandals related to social media, as well as tips on using social media to (properly) build your brand, so for this post, we are going to use an infographic to show you the importance of managing your social media presence.
The infographic and the bold points below are from BestMastersPrograms.org and they bring up some key ways to manage your social media presence. This may have been intended for graduates but everyone should take note of this:
See For Yourself
It is vital that you make yourself aware of your own social media presence. Do a quick Google check of yourself and see what pops up. There is a high possibility that whatever you find, your boss or future employer will too, so make sure there’s nothing incriminating. According to BestMastersPrograms.org, 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social media profile.
Get Rid of What You Don’t Like
So you performed the Google search and found a Facebook photo tag from that wild night out last Saturday and discovered that angry, expletive filled tweet you posted when you found that dent on your car. Don’t fret. Simply remove the tag from your wall, delete that tweet from your feed and call your auto insurance agent. BestMastersPrograms.org says that “…40% of recent job-seekers have modified their social media presence. 17% have deleted their accounts.”
Okay, so you are a determined free spirit and insist on letting your freak flag fly. Here’s how you can, at least at half mast. Almost all social media tools have privacy settings that allows you to customize who can and can’t view your posts and can hide some of your profile details hence disabling it from surfacing in a Google search.
Have a Second Thought
Just because you are now able to keep parts of your postings private, doesn’t mean you should go nuts. To quote BestMastersPrograms.org, “…being mindful of your social media footprint doesn’t just mean cleaning up your past messes–it also means being more careful going forward.” With that in mind, if you acknowledge that you are the type that drunk tweets, drunk Instagrams or drunk Snapchats on a night out, try your hardest to keep yourself from doing so. Better yet, leave your phone at home and unfriend that frenemy that posts everything on Facebook.
Get Rid of Dead Accounts
BestMastersPrograms.org said it bests: “Having too many accounts with long periods of inactivity can make potential employers think you’re the kind of person who won’t stick around.” And they are absolutely right. Keeping inactive accounts around is like letting the world know you are that person who can’t commit to a relationship. Remove those accounts, now.
What’s in a Name?
Keep your email addresses simple, professional and short. No one needs to know that you are “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com.” BestMastersPrograms.org states that 42% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social media profile, whether good or bad.
Go Off the Grid
We know it’s hard, and we’re not saying we would be good about doing this ourselves, but we agree with BestMastersPrograms.org‘s suggestion to shut the phone off for a night or a weekend. And no, we don’t mean switching your phone to airplane mode. We mean a full, zero-contact-with-the-outside-world, hard shut down. It will help increase productivity which allows you to focus your attention on your work and the people around you. Not to mention restricting all irrational social media postings. Don’t worry: your followers will understand.
Set Google Alerts
Did you know you can set up a Google Alert so every time your name or something specific to you is mentioned on a search, Google will notify you? Here’s how.
Paint a Picture
First impressions count, and the same goes for your social media profile. Your profile picture is the first thing people who search you will see and it is imperative that you keep it nice and classy. Save your pouty-mouth duck-faces and Miley Cyrus tongue selfies for SnapChat–or when you meet Miley Cyrus. Also, besides your pictures, employers may peruse your interests page. So if you have an active extracurricular life, make sure to highlight those posts on your personal social media profiles. BestMastersPrograms.org advises that 80% of hiring managers like seeing that candidates were members of professional organizations. 66% like to see volunteering or nonprofit donations mentioned on candidates’ profiles.
Don’t Be a Comedian — Unless You Are a Comedian
Let’s be real. We’ve all done it before. You see something. Your brain comes up with a clever quip. You tell it to a roommate/friend/spouse. They laugh and say “you should post that.” And so you do and then an onslaught of 15 friends retweet it. You immediately beam with pride. There is nothing wrong with that scenario we just oh-so vividly illustrated, but make sure your “joke” isn’t going to offend anyone. Everyone appreciates a good laugh, but pause and think about it for a moment: “Would I want my boss (present or future) to see it? Is it too off-color? Is it too controversial? Do I really need to use expletives? Does the world need yet another tweet about Kanye West? Is this going to land me a feature on Buzzfeed or the Huffington Post in a negative way?” If you find yourself asking this many questions before hitting the post button, chances are the joke already got old and you should probably just give it one final chuckle and let it retire. Also, BestMastersPrograms.org say recruiters react more negatively to profanity (65%) and grammar errors (61%) than to alcohol references (47%).
Source: BestMastersPrograms.org: Your Online Guide to the Top Master’s Degree Programs.