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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add a variety of content. Develop a robust profile in all your networks by uploading images, videos, your resume (if that applies), and presentations.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.