No, that’s not a mistake in the headline. Do you have a Twitter account with blank space where your photo should be alongside one or two lonely tweets? That’s not good for your brand.
I just read an article in The When Publicists Say ‘Shh!’ recounting the recent flaps over Charlie Sheen’s Twitter rants, and the series of tsunami jokes by Gilbert Gottfried that promptly lost him his job as the voice of the Aflac duck. Many other celebrities have similarly found themselves in hot water with their fans – and their publicists – over inappropriate tweets.
Not Your Problem
But that’s not your problem. Your problem may be you that don’t post often enough to Twitter and your other social media accounts. This matters because potential clients and employers are all over social media these days searching for more information about you. Even your own company may be monitoring your activity, for compliance reasons.
It doesn’t make a good impression when they see an account that looks to be abandoned. You wouldn’t go to a job interview without sprucing up your appearance first. But your social media presence represents you in cyber space. As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Social Media Checklist
Schedule an hour or two to complete these initial steps so that your social media sites don’t look like abandoned orphans:
- Include a photo of yourself. You don’t need a professional to take one. Just a nice head shot. (Incidentally, once you choose a photo, go to Gravatar where you can upload it so that it follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog).
- Include a new background for your Twitter page. You could use a background from Twitter’s limited selection. But for more choices of free backgrounds go to twitrounds or TwitrBackgrounds. There are dozens to choose from.
- Fill out your profile. This is especially important on LinkedIn, one of the first stops for employers and prospects. Make sure it’s complete. It does NOT need to be perfect. You can always tweak it later. I do.
- Set up a weekly schedule. This article is not for social media addicts who are posting several times daily. It’s for ordinary folks who want their visitors to see recent activity. Set a goal: I will tweet, share an update on LinkedIn and post to Facebook at least X times a week. They don’t need to be original – you can tweet a story you read, and include a link to an article for Facebook. When you post on LinkedIn you’ll see a box to check if you want the update to appear on Twitter. Two for one.
- Check up on yourself. On Friday, review your activity. If you’ve been a laggard, then do a couple of updates to your sites — retweeting other people’s content or posting a link to an interesting article. That’s your assignment for yourself before the weekend.
I could devote an entire article about your social media strategy: are you posting primarily for friends or to build your professional brand? If you’re on my site you know my point of view. If you’re working, then every post should offer value to your business readers. Don’t tweet anything that you will be embarrassed by later.
Also, no one wants to know what you ate for breakfast. And this goes for friends and business associates.