Make It Happen
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Your car needs a tune-up every once in a while. As individuals, we go to the doctor or dentist on a regular schedule. But how often do we do a social media tune-up? Rarely if ever. We sign up to a number of sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Plaxo, and maybe others), use them freely, and ignore what doesn’t seem relevant. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t ignore anything: each word of every site is indexed on Google, is instantly accessible – often to our detriment.

Social Media is often where we make our first impressions: to new friends, colleagues, prospects, and recruiters. Avoiding a Social Media Tune-up is like avoiding a dental check-up: eventually, something bad will happen. A few minutes preventative work can make all the difference.

Five parts to a September Social Media Tune-up:

1) Remove risky content: Whether it be inappropriate photos, or easily misunderstood comments, content posted by others can sometimes lead to problems. Review your sites and delete anything that doesn’t give others the first impression you want.

2) Make yourself up-to-date: Nothing says “stale” like old content. Make sure that both your personal and professional background information is up-to-date.

3) Connect the dots: Cross-linking between Social Media sites will both increase your traffic from the search engines, and help your connections discover more about you. At the same time, make sure that the links to your web sites (corporate site, personal blog, etc) still work as expected.

4) Add more connections: If you’re like most people, you collect many business cards from new clients, suppliers, and others – and they usually sit in a pile at your desk. For those that you have a real-world relationship with, search for them in the Social Media sites, then ask to connect. For those who already are your connections, look through their connections to see who you know – and ask them too. (Of course, no tune-up would be complete without acknowledging the need to remove those who you no longer have relationships with – or who are pests.)

5) Ask for recommendations: Make a list of all of your “big wins” during the last twelve months, where you went above and beyond the call of duty. Then ask those people to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn (or Plaxo). At the same time, return the favor to those who did a great job for you.

Finally, a bonus recommendation for parents of students starting school: Using Social Media during high school is very different than using it in preparation for a later job search. Forward this tip to your friends and family, with particular attention to tip one, removing risky content.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)