You’ve been active in social media for a while now and you know it’s important to your freelancing business. Maybe you’ve even experienced some success at finding new clients or getting job offers through social media.
But, along with the success comes the failures…those social media experiments that just didn’t work at. Perhaps you have some social media accounts that you opened, but have long since abandoned. Or, maybe you have some friends or followers you know nothing about. Perhaps you opened your first social media account for fun during your school days and now you need to project a more businesslike image.
In short, your social media image has spiraled out of control.
In this post, we’ll discuss some steps that you can take to regain control of your social media participation and help your freelancing business along the way.
Step No. 1 Taking Stock
Do you really know every social media account that you have? Are you sure?
Of course you know about the social media accounts that you are active in every day, but many freelancers have social media accounts that they have opened and abandoned. Perhaps you have an account at a social media site that used to be popular, but has since diminished in popularity. Or, perhaps you opened an account at a site as an experiment, but never really did anything with it.
Either way, you need to get a handle on all of those accounts. Start by creating a list of each social media site where you have an account and your user name there.
Here is a list of common social media sites to check, but don’t stop here. If you have joined any interest specific or industry specific sites, be sure to check those as well:
- Google Buzz
I’m sure that you can think of other sites as well.
Step No. 2. What About Those Abandoned Accounts?
Once you rediscover your abandoned accounts you have a decision to make: delete or keep. There are compelling arguments for either decision.
Some experts suggest that you remove any accounts that you do not use. The advantage of this is that you no longer have to worry about whether or not your information is current on that site. A disadvantage is that you lose a means of connecting with potential clients that may be using that site.
Other experts suggest that you save your username or business name on popular social networking sites. This prevents anyone else from getting your username and potentially using it to harm your business image.
Step No 3. Your Profile Information
Once you have decided which accounts to keep, it is time to take a look at your profile in each social media account. Is it up to date? Does it link to your current website or blog? Are the materials you have posted to that site consistent with your professional brand? Does your bio reflect the fact that you are a freelancer? Is your image on the site professional and current?
If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, take immediate action to update your accounts.
Step No. 4. Too Many Friends and Followers
It is common for social media beginners to friend or follow everyone who friends or follows them, or even anyone you come in contact with. This can lead to you having friends or followers on your account that you really have no interest in knowing.
Fortunately, there are some tools that can help, at least with Twitter:
- FriendorFollow will quickly generate a list of users on Twitter who you are following who aren’t following you back.
- TwitCleaner scans your followers and identifies those who are spammers or inactive.
- Tweepi helps you decide who to unfollow.
Step No. 5. Review Your Strategy
Finally, it is time to review your social media strategy. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I expect to get from social media participation?
- How much time do I spend on social media?
- What social media platform do I use the most?
- Where I have gotten results?
Depending on your answer, you may want to adjust how you use social media.
Learn More About Social Media
At Freelance Folder we’ve written literally dozens of posts on how freelancers can use social media. In no particular order, here are just a few of them:
- 35+ Social Media Tools That Make Life Easier
- Embracing Social Media as Freelance Job Search Tool
- How Freelance Businesses Can Measure Social Media Results
- How to Monitor Your Brand on Social Media
- Twitter For Freelancers (A Basic Overview)
- The Freelancer’s Guide to Getting Started on LinkedIn
- The Facebook Fan Page Recipe – 0 to 1000 Fans In 35 Days
- Use Geolocation Services to Promote Your Freelance Business
- Freelancing Opportunities in Social Media
- 5 Misuses of Social Media That Could Kill Your Freelance Business
What About You?
Do you take a regular inventory of your social media use? What steps do you follow? Did you use any tools or applications to do it?
Leave your answers in the comments.