Social media is a challenging space to navigate. Not having a profile is social suicide, but having one can lead to people of influence seeing what you are up to. Social media is your identity to the world today and whether you are applying to college, applying to competitive fellowships, or a job, its safe to assume that people will be looking your profiles. So with that in mind, here are 9 things that you should be doing in order to make your social media profiles targeted to everyone:
- It might seem obvious, but get rid of any negative posts and pictures, both those you've posted and the ones you're tagged in. Coaches, employers, and deans do judge you by the company you keep.
- Highlight the good stuff. If you’re a volunteer, sing in a choir, are part of an environmental association, or participate in another community activity that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, be sure to write about it online, even if it’s just a couple of Tweets. Post so that Google will pick it up. Make it your Facebook status, or better yet start a blog about how cool the experience was and the interesting people you met.
- Remember what the Internet really is: a giant public record. They say nothing posted to the Web ever truly goes away, and you might be surprised how quickly and easily your personal information can be shared.
- Make a professional profile such as one on LinkedIn. This way you can direct professionals to that site and deter them from snooping on your other properties
- Make a decision to let someone whose opinion you value highly (parents, favorite aunt, mentor, etc.) be connected to you on all of your social media sites. Even if you are saying to yourself, “No way! That is my personal space,” remember these people want you to be successful. This is about having your back, not invading your privacy. I look out for my cousins all the time; it’s often less invasive to them than their parents, and they trust I’ll only send them a (private) message about a post if it’s really inappropriate
- Speaking of privacy, make sure to continue to privatize your social network accounts. You should know exactly what the world can see of your profile and posts. And keep in mind that privacy polices can change at any time and all the time. Being proactive will help you down the road.
- Remember that just because you don’t post pictures of every event or party you go to, it does not mean it wasn’t fun or didn’t happen. Even though we are encouraged to post every detail of our lives online, you have to refrain sometimes. The time is now.
- Download secureme.me, a free app that connects to Facebook and alerts you of what looks less than reputable right now on your profile, pictures, and posts. If you are already in hot water, check out Reputation.com; just be aware that it comes with fees.
- Give your phone a break. This is especially true if you’re upset and feel like you might say something you regret later. You could also benefit from just turning your phone off once a week and giving those texting fingers a rest. It could save you and your family money, and who knows—you just might enjoy being disconnected
If you have any questions, comment below or come on over for a cup of coffee. We will be happy to help!