A week into my job hunting, something came across to me like an epiphany;
Social Media Presence. What exactly is this thing called a ‘Social Media Presence’? Most people would relate ‘social media’ to popular web applications such as Facebook or Twitter. Half true. It doesn’t just stop there. Your social media presence is actually your footprint on the World Wide Web a.k.a. The Internet.
The more socially involved you are on the Internet (i.e. signing up on several social sites), the bigger your footprint. Why does this benefit me? You ask. Why, don’t you wanna be famous?
I think so too.
The moment you decide to sign up for Facebook for instance, you’ve also automatically decided to share your life (or maybe fun parts of it) within your network. Then as your network expands, so does what you’ve shared. But I DON’T share anything online with anyone. No? What would be the purpose of joining Facebook then? Surely it’s NOT just about stalking your friends’ profiles and photos right? What about your own personal input? Is there a milestone that you would like to share? 90% of social media involvement works by participation. Every single user of social media creates that little input that they would like to let other people know of thus creating an online community with like interests. It could be that song that you’re listening to or that new book that you’re reading or maybe even recipes and cooking tips.
There is however, an inevitable pressure on social media enthusiasts to be connected in more than one way. It’s not enough to just have a Facebook page, you need a Twitter account as well because your friends are all communicating there, and when you meet new people and they ask you if you’re on LinkedIn, you say “no”. Wait, what? You’re not on LinkedIn? Well, at least you have a blog on WordPress or Tumblr, right?
There is no obvious requirement as to how extensively you have to spread yourself widely over the Internet. But it is definitely no question that many of us are juggling at least three social platforms at the same time (Instagram being the latest as the popular app finally made its way to the Android world).
The next question begets; how often do we update our ‘presence’ online?
Painstakingly, one conversation at a time.
Are you crazy? I have LOTS of time to update my statuses, change my profile pictures for the hundredth time and upload photos I took in front of the bathroom mirror…. duh!
No, in fact, we don’t really have that kind of dedicated time. Fortunately, a new crop of social media tools known as social media management dashboard applications such as the popular Hootsuite, help users monitor, manage and maintain several communication outlets at once.
Help! I can’t remember what (or how many) I’ve signed up for!
That was the realisation that hit me when Morgan told me that he found me listed on Mobango. My immediate response was, “Mobango? What the hell is that?”.
After much research, I finally remembered why I signed up on Mobango, I was trying to see if I could upload an unsigned iPhone app for a client in Australia back in 2010. After that process failed to deliver, that profile was naturally forgotten until I was made known to it and that’s when I wondered how many of these things have I signed up for?
The first thing I did was to make a list of all the known profiles that I am actively using.
for people active on social websites, you could have several dozen social media profiles, half of them using a really old picture of you. Heck, some of them probably have inboxes filled with strange messages from some girl named “Leota” who wants you to visit her sexy singles website. – Mashable
But then my gut feeling tells me that I’ve signed up for more that what I’ve written down, so I went to my email inbox, just to sniff out a few emails from these sites that I’ve signed up on.
These are just some of the profiles I never knew (or forgot) I signed up for:
- Formspring – it was fun answering questions on Facebook, until it got boring.
- Flickr – What did I use it for again?
- Photobucket – It was used to upload and share photos before Facebook.
And a string of other miscellaneous sites that I haven’t used for over 5 years, also discovering that I have multiple Amazon accounts and surprisingly, encountering an old blog with nearly 10 years of embarrassing (gasp!) old posts of ex-boyfriends (which led me to start re-blogging on WordPress again).
Choosing your applications realistically
So since this week, I’ve started the process of ‘spring cleaning’ my social media footprint, by deleting profiles and newsletter subscriptions that I don’t use or I really don’t need anymore. I’ve also started cleaning out email inboxes and deleting old email accounts that I’ve stopped using. I find that it helps keep track of my public profiles and accounts better (and not be in the situation where I have multiple online shopping accounts). Tip: The most important thing to remember is to find a system and stick to it. These are the profiles that need your attention consistently; keep them free of spam and outdated information which is also for the benefit of future employers who try to find out more about you online.
Long gone were days when the only notification we used to receive was,
“You’ve got mail” and the only means of networking was only through email newsgroups.