Refresh your social media accounts

Have You Refreshed Your Social Media Accounts Lately?

How long have you had your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook accounts? Probably more than a few years. In social media time, these social networks are entering middle age. LinkedIn is 12 years old (practically ancient), Facebook launched in 2004, and Twitter in 2006.

Have you refreshed the descriptions, content and images in your social media accounts lately?

It’s off putting when you go to someone’s account on Twitter, for example, and see a couple of tweets and then nothing. Or there is a big fat egg where the person’s image should be.

Update Your Profiles

The social networks are constantly adding new features. For example, you can now install a customized LinkedIn Profile Header in your Profile. LinkedIn rolled out that new design element just last year and many members still haven’t changed from the default blue background. Have you?

While writing this post, I decided to review my own social media accounts. I’ve belonged to LinkedIn since 2005 (!) and created a Company Page when they were launched a few years ago. For some dumb reason I haven’t been posting my blogs to my Company Page, only to my Profile. So that’s something I need to do going forward.

By the way, you can’t turn off updates in your LinkedIn Page when you’re editing as you can when you edit your Profile. I searched everywhere to find out how and learned that other Page administrators are flummoxed, too. Get with it, LinkedIn!

When I refreshed my website at the end of last year, I formatted my new masthead for Twitter, my Facebook page and my LinkedIn business account. I like my personal photo and I think it still looks like me so that’s staying.

Updates you might consider:

  1. Include a photo of yourself.  It doesn’t need to be taken by a professional, as long as it’s professional looking. After you pick a photo, go to Gravatar where you can upload your image so that it follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you comment or post on a blog. If your Gravatar is looking a little dated, then replace it. Always use a photo of your face and not an impersonal image. Many people won’t connect with you if you use a weird image to represent you.
  2. Refresh your social media headers. Instead of using the backgrounds from Twitter’s limited selections, you can go to a site such as twittergallery.com that has dozens of free templates. It’s easy to upload a stock photo to use as the header for your other networks.
  3. Update your profiles. This is especially important on LinkedIn, one of the first stops for employers and business prospects. Make sure your Professional Headline and Summary include key words that your targets search. Update it when there are changes in your life, such as a taking new job.
  4. Add a variety of content. Develop a robust profile in all your networks by uploading images, videos, your resume (if that applies), and presentations.
  5. Post updates often. Set a goal: I will tweet, share an update on LinkedIn and post to Facebook and Google+ at least X times a week. The posts don’t need to be original – you can tweet a blog post you like, retweet other people’s tweets and include links to articles.
  6. Respond to comments and mentions. If someone leaves a comment in answer to a question you posted in a LinkedIn Group, be sure to respond. It’s only polite and will keep the discussion going and potentially attract new connections. Do the same when people connect with you on your other social network accounts.
  7. Make it easy to comment. If you have a blog, make it easy for people to comment and provide a back link to their websites. If you’re still using the old version of captcha, then ditch it for Google’s new reCAPTCHA. No more trying to figure out distorted letters and numbers. The new version simply requires visitors to click in a box that they are not robots.

Don’t let a stale profile on your social media networks diminish the presence you’ve worked so hard to create. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Have you refreshed your social media accounts? What else could we do to make our profiles stand out?

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  1. Lovely post and a timely reminder, Jeannette. Once in a while I do update my profiles but I am afraid not as often as I should 🙂

    If I may add one thing to your fabulous tips? I think too many people register on all kind of networks and then rarely, if ever update them. It is of no use to you or your personal brand to have profiles on multiple networks if you don’t actively use them to connect with your audiences. Having said this, I think it’s a good idea to delete the profiles you don’t intend to use and really focus on those which you think will benefit your networking the most.

    (For that same reason I don’t have a LI page, I simply don’t have the time to keep up with it. I am barely making it with my existing accounts…)

    Thanks for a great read, Jeannette!
    ~Diana
    Diana Marinova recently posted..7 Steps How to Handle RejectionMy Profile

    • Diana — you make an excellent point. I agree that it’s a good idea to eliminate the networks you don’t use. That’s why I quit both Pinterest and Tumblr. Don’t miss them a bit!

    • Leora — I also have an Instagram account and that seems to be where the action is. But I have a hard enough time keeping up with my Facebook news feed. I’m on the fence about that one myself.

  2. Thanks again Jeannette, I get the most useful information from you. I don’t have a lot of sites – LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, About.Me (which needs attention as soon as I have time), and I just signed on to Pinterest and Etsy. I found it interesting about keywords on LinkedIn. Do keywords count everywhere?
    Lenie recently posted..Sodium – Retire that Salt ShakerMy Profile

    • Lenie — At one time, Google didn’t include searches from Twitter and Facebook. They do now (I see them in my Google Analytics) but Matt Cutts, when he was still the SEO guru at Google, said on more than one occasion that it is difficult for Google to crawl these social networks because they change so often so I wouldn’t count on too much traffic from Google. Other experts may know better than me. However, these networks have their own search engines so you should include key words to be found by other members.

    • William — this article made me review my own accounts and, as I mentioned, I need to update my LinkedIn Business page with my blog posts. It’s a never-ending process.

    • Jeri — good reason to review your accounts. I feel the same way about Instagram. I opened an account but I’m not active, I have to admit, and I would only use it for personal use anyway. I can hardly keep up with my Facebook news feed!

    • Debra — So I’m assuming you edited your job description so it doesn’t defy description?! I have to go take a look.

    • A.K. — We’re constantly having to make first impressions, especially on our own sites, because we all get so many new visitors. I wish more of them would come back!

  3. Never thought of refreshing personal details on my social network profiles but indeed this can be a good idea to attract more new friends, readers and followers. But I have seen many professionals who have different pictures on different social media sites and this should not be. A consistency of information, pictures and posts across channels is really important. I am going to try your suggestions to see how this works for me and my company.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Soumya Roy recently posted..6 Ways Small Businesses can Leverage Social Media Sites to Market Their Products and ServicesMy Profile

    • Soumya — I agree that it’s important to be consistent with your content and images across all channels. You should also use a real photo of yourself and not an impersonal gravatar.

  4. Hi Jeannette, I’m sure you had a LOT of us immediately running to our social media sites to give them a good freshening up! :). It is so easy to set up our profiles and then forget to update them over the years. I like the idea of closing accounts that we are no longer using anymore too. Too many things to keep current with, without worrying about ones I’m not even using. 🙂

    • Susan — Well, I ran to my sites, too. Easy to just let them sit there. As you said, too many other things to worry about!

  5. Jeannette, I generally update my LinkedIn profile when it needs updating, usually every couple of months. I update my blog pages constantly, especially my Portfolio page.

    So far, I’ve had two logo images created for Wording Well. I recently did a re-design of my blog (which is STILL in progress!) and so updated my social media profiles with the new image.

    I follow the other tips you’ve outlined, too. 🙂

    • Lorraine — When I had my blog/website redesigned I, too, updated my social media platforms with my new banner. Important to maintain that consistency across all your communications channels.

  6. Great reminders, Jeannette. I think most of us have so many profiles on so many different platforms that we forget that we need to update and manage them on a regular basis. There’s nothing worse than going to someone’s profile and seeing all old and outdated info. Why bother to be there if you’re not going to make the effort to keep it vibrant?
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..the importance of a good night’s sleepMy Profile

    • Doreen — I agree about visiting someone’s account and seeing outdated information. I’m still shocked when I visit the site of a LinkedIn member and don’t see an photo of them in their profile. Why would you want to connect with them?

    • Hi Max — Good for you, keeping your social media pages up to date. Of course, with all your business ventures that’s an ongoing task for you!

  7. Great post that I firmly agree with. Have also been a member of Linkedin since 2005 and keep on updating my profile on a continuous basis. Was, for instance, really happy to recently add the certificate I got from Harvard Law school for taking an online course with them.

    Update on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus regularly as well.

    Good idea to add our blog posts to our company pages. Have had one for a long time but honstly had forgotten all about it. Maybe I should add a post right now:-)
    Catarina recently posted..Are leaders told the whole truth?My Profile

    • Catarina — Congratulations on the certificate from Harvard Law School. Interested in what the course was. My LinkedIn business account has also been an orphan and I’m now adding my latest blog posts to my updates.

  8. Hi Jeannette,

    Carolyn just shared this same topic on her blog this week so I’m not running over to check out all my accounts. Actually, I do my best to keep them updated as much as I can along with cleaning them up and making sure all my security features are in place.

    There are some profiles I haven’t touched as often but that’s mainly because I’m not very active on them. I hate to delete them because then I would lose my name on those platforms.

    You are right though, we need to be sure that we remain current and up to date. Thanks for this reminder.

    ~Adrienne

    • Adrienne — I don’t have the definitive answer for this, but I question whether keeping accounts where you aren’t active and haven’t updated the content affects your rankings? I had opened Tumbler and Pinterest accounts to try them out but was totally inactive. Frankly, it was a relief to close them out. Two less social media accounts to worry about!

    • Mitch — I think LinkedIn is where you need to really focus as a consultant. I know I do. People source consultants, job candidates and writers on LinkedIn all the time.

  9. Mark — glad that you were glad for my nudge! Doesn’t take that much time and it’s a worth investment of your time.