There is no requirement to spread your digital self thin, but many of us are still juggling more than one online profile. Each of these profiles offers us a chance to connect with new communities in different ways, but each network needs to be managed and updated. With so many online profiles, questions are bound to arise. Is your bio page the same across all platforms? Should it be?
There are few hard and fast rules when navigating social media; a lot comes down to preference. For those starting out or just looking to make sense of their profiles, we’ve culled advice from five social media experts in a range of backgrounds. Now, here are five ways to manage, consolidate, and clean up your online identity.
Keep it Consistent
One of the best things you can do is to make sure your profiles are consistent. This includes your bio page, your profile pic, and your tone of voice. “Consistency is important,” said Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding, “If you’re “Matt” on one site, you better be “Matt” on every other site.” That similarity can help viewers keep track of you across different platforms. Start by scooping up vanity URLs on sites like Facebook and Twitter and buying your domain name. Similar fonts and font sizes can also help create a congruous online identity.
Find Your Brand
Put some forethought into what your want your digital reputation to be and build towards that. “You don’t want to have carbon copies because you’re talking to different audiences. Your paragraph bio on LinkedIn isn’t going to make sense on your Twitter page and neither of those is going to make sense on your Facebook page.” Benton recommends making a basic bio that can be tailored for each network. “Think about how the image you want to present sits in with the audience.”
Own Your Name
One of the best ways to track your progress is a simple Google search. “I’m conscious that I’m writing about the things I’d liked to be found for,” Naslund said. “If I’m going to post a tweet about a drunken bender with my sister from last night, it might pop up on Google.” Make sure you’re updating your social networks on news and events that you want to be known for. Part of managing your online identity is understanding your professional profiles (like LinkedIn) can very well get mixed up with personal profiles (like Facebook). “You can’t keep the peas from touching the mashed potatoes,” Naslund added. “The Internet doesn’t distinguish between profiles. That’s a human distinction, not a technical one. It all gets lumped into the same basket.”