08 Jul How to Manage your Social Media Footprint
Your social media footprint is the digital trail you leave behind every time you post, upload, tweet, share or are tagged in something online. As social media integrates itself evermore in our daily lives, many of us forget how easily accessible our personal information can be.
This becomes particularly significant to your professional life as employers begin to search for candidates and employees on the internet. Here are six ways to manage your social media footprint:
- Search Engines
The first step to managing your social media footprint is to know what a prospective employer would see if they looked for it. Try searching your name using search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo and see what comes up. It may surprise you. If you find anything you wouldn’t like your employer to see, find it at the source and remove it.
2. Privacy Settings
Log into your social media accounts and go to the privacy settings. Many people have never done this before but there are several modifications you can make to control who sees what on your Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Look back through the photos and videos on your social media accounts. Pay particular attention to your profile picture, as this is likely to be seen first. Do they present you in a sensible and professional light? Would you want your employer to see them? If the answer to either of these questions is “no”, remove the photo or video.
Think about the opinions you are posting or have posted online. In an increasingly polarised world, it has become common for people to share their views on almost anything online. This can be troublesome if your publicly aired opinions dramatically differ from the values of an organisation you work for or aspire to work for. If your statements are intolerant or harmful to others, this is a serious offence and could result in disciplinary action.
5. Positive Networking
Remember social media can be used to create a positive professional presence. The best platform for this is LinkedIn where it is expected that people can share updates and opinions in a professional manner allowing you to engage with colleagues and your network and demonstrate your professional interests and successes.
6. Inactive Accounts and Tags
Be vigilant! Check any content visible on inactive accounts you may have made and forgotten about a long time ago. Be careful to monitor content you are tagged in and associated with and if this seems problematic, change your privacy settings to stop people from being able to tag you in posts.