Reviewing Your Social Media Presence – Facebook

New Year 2012I recently wrote about how to re-evaluate your LinkedIn profile for the new year. In this second post in the series, I am providing tips for cleaning up your Facebook profile.

Reviewing your Facebook profile is especially important because many of us post so much personal information to the site. We are talking online with our friends and family and many times we aren’t considering the impact to our personal brands.

The new year provides the perfect opportunity to review the content that we have posted to Facebook over the last year and clean up any problems. It also is a chance to determine how we are going to use the site over the coming year.

Review Past Posts
Take a few minutes to look over the content that you have posted on your Facebook timeline. Does the content reflect your true personality and the personality you would like to project to the world?

Even if your Facebook profile is locked down so that only friends can see your posts, remember that your personal brand is in the mind of the person observing you. Your friend on Facebook today might be a future coworker, boss, subordinate, or client.

If someone is observing your Facebook profile, what are they seeing? Are you a personal who is generally positive or negative? Do you talk about work or your personal life? Do you and your friends share too many details about parties and bars that you are visiting?

Facebook is a personal social network and I strongly believe that it is a place where you should be yourself and share personal information about yourself with your close network of friends, but sharing on Facebook can be taken too far if you aren’t careful.

Don’t hesitate to remove posts that you don’t feel reflect your personality in a positive light. Untag yourself from unflattering photos. Now is the time to clean up.

Make a Plan for This Year
Now that you have given some thought to how you want to be perceived, you will want to make a plan for what you will be posting this year.

Do you want to be seen as negative? If not, commit to being more positive in your Facebook posts. Do your best not to complain about work, your family, and random drivers. An occasional rant isn’t the end of the world, but if you do it all the time, your friends see you as being a negative person.

You want to be seen as more professional? While Facebook is primarily a social network for person use, it is not unacceptable to share business news that interests you. Update your friends on what you are doing in school or in your job. Share interesting business articles or blog articles.

Your Privacy Settings
While Facebook has given us many tools for controlling how we share information on the service, it isn’t always easy to sort out. Even so, it is incredibly important that you know how your profile or timeline looks your friends and those who haven’t friend you.

If you are a job seeker employers are Googling your name and looking for you on Facebook. What are they seeing? On your timeline, you can see what they see by using the “View profile as…” option. If you leave the name blank, you are viewing your profile as someone who is not a friend. You can also type in a friend’s name to see how it looks to him.

Are you Facebook wall posts visible? What about your photos?



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  • Shona

    My Facebook profile is set to “private” with only my name and photo visible to those who are not friends. However I have heard it mentioned that potential employers have a “back door” to see your Facebook profile anyway (even if it is private). Although I have yet to discover any exact details on how they would be able to do this (perhaps a 3rd party site…like Repplr I’m thinking).

    Bottom line…you shouldn’t be posting anything atrocious on Facebook — regardless of your privacy settings!