Clean Up Your Social Media Before 2015

12-22-14 Spruce Up Your Social Media by Frances CaballoWhen was the last time you changed your password on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest?

In fact, when was the last time you updated your profile on LinkedIn or checked the about section on your Facebook page?

Once we set up our social media profiles we have a tendency to neglect them.

We instead turn our focus to finding content to post and schedule every day, not to mention writing the next book.

Before the New Year rolls in, take time to spiff up your profiles and change your passwords. Yes, you should periodically change your passwords to ward off hackers.

How to Create Hacker-Proof Passwords

I was listening to NPR one day and heard a program about how to create hacker-proof passwords.

Here’s the formula. Think of your two favorite authors or leaders. Let’s use Hemingway and Faulkner in this example.

Use the first few (or last) letters of their names, stick a numeral sequence in the middle, and add one or more characters.

For example, you could create the following passwords:

  • Hem357Fau*&
  • Way731Ner*^
  • Ing259Ulk%@

These types of passwords would take a computer program decades to crack.

Basic Rules About Passwords

Here are some of my most basic rules for passwords.

  1. Do you use the same password for multiple social media accounts? Don’t. Create separate passwords for every social media network you use and every application you try. I know this can be a hassle but if you use the same password across the web think about how easy it will for a hacker to get into all of your accounts.
  2. Keep your passwords in a safe place. Do not keep them on sheets of paper and do not keep them on e-files labeled passwords. Consider keeping them on an online program such as LastPass https://lastpass.com.
  3. Share your passwords with as few people as possible and only if you absolutely have to, such as a virtual assistant.
  4. Use a complicated password with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  5. Never use the word “password” or the numbers 123 for your online programs or ATM cards.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

When you sign into LinkedIn, make sure you turn off notifications to your network if you plan to make a lot of changes. Just click Edit Profile and in the right column you’ll have an opportunity to turn off notifications. Or you can do this in your settings.

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Review your profile. Are you volunteering for new organizations and have you left others?

Would you l like to add new skills to your profile? Under publications, is there a new book you’d like to add? Have you received any awards or honors you’d like to post?

Does your headline still make sense?

Are you taking advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing platform and adding blog posts to your profile?

Update Your Facebook Page 

Do you need to update information under the About section? Would you like to add a Milestone or two or three?

Now is also a good time to look at your Insights, Facebook’s free analytics feature for pages with at least 35 Likes.

What are the circumstances that trigger engagement on your page? Does it occur with certain types of posts, images or specific times of the day?

Do you know whether more men or women like your page? Do you know their ages? Check out this section and start planning an editorial calendar for the first three months of 2015.

Review Your Twitter Account

First, look at your following and follower numbers and use a program such as ManageFlitter to fine-tune the balance. I use ManageFlitter to unfollow some users who don’t follow back, to whitelist users I never want to unfollow, and to unfollow users who have fake accounts or who are inactive.

Remember, once you follow 2,000 account Twitter’s 10% rule comes into play. Here is Twitter’s official explanation:

“… every user can follow 2000 people total. Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following. When you hit this limit, we’ll tell you by showing an error message in your browser. You’ll need to wait until you have more followers in order to follow more users—for example, you can’t follow 10,000 people if only 100 people follow you. When you reach a daily or total limit, and we show you an error message, you’ve hit a technical limit imposed to limit egregious behavior by spam accounts and to prevent strain on the site. These are just the technical limits for your account; in addition, you are prohibited from aggressive following behaviors. These behaviors may result in account suspension, regardless of your account’s technical ratio.”

While you’re here, click Edit Profile and determine whether you want to update your avatar (your picture), the banner or your bio.

Spruce Up Your Google+ Account

When was the last time you reviewed your G+ account? I recommend navigating to your profile and clicking on About.

Is your tagline still current? Have you added all of your social media profiles under Links? Have you checked the apps you use with a Google+ sign-in? Do you still use those apps?

If you don’t, click Edit > Change App Settings > Edit > Disconnect.

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Now, click the ribbon and navigate to Communities. Are you still active in all these Communities? Would you like to delete a few? Follow these directions:

  1. Select the community you wish to leave by clicking on it.
  2. Click the gear shift.
  3. Click on Leave Community.

When was the last time you retooled one of your social media profiles?

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Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

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