Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Strategy for Managing Social Media Profiles

I’ve spent a lot of time on social media sites over the years. That said, I recognized in late 2016 that my efforts lacked discipline. Two things jumped out at me:

  1. The accuracy and comprehensiveness of my profiles varied. Some were current; others were not. Several offered little more than an email address and phone number. I used several different photos. The profiles also lacked details on work projects, articles, and other information I consider important.
  2. I had included information on many more sites than I had realized. The sheer number complicated my efforts to keep them all updated. 
I began 2017 with an inventory of all social media sites where I had registered. In the process, I divided the list of sites into the following categories:

  • Primary: These are sites where I interact a lot with people who are important to me (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook)
  • Secondary: These professional and academic organization sites (e.g., ResearchGate, International Leadership Association) are important. But I don’t interact with as many people there.
  • Tertiary: I rarely frequent these sites (e.g., Brandeis University Alumni Association, Speakerpedia). Nonetheless, they provide opportunities to connect. 

I'll move sites from category to category as their relative importance changes. 

I completed this process over a period of weeks. I started by updating the primary sites. I provided as much professional information as allowed. I revisit the content on these sites every month to ensure it remains accurate.

Next, I turned to the secondary sites. I updated these sites to make sure the information was current. Participation in these sites overlaps the ones I included in my primary list. I thus spent most of my time providing links to my primary sites and less on providing the same or similar content. My goal here is to be efficient and effective. I revisit content on these sites once a quarter. 

I visit the tertiary sites at most twice a year. I update information and provide links to my primary sites.

I'm now clear on the relative importance of my social media profiles. I also know they're accurate, updated, and comprehensive. And I have a process to ensure they remain so.

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