Seven Thanksgiving Social Media Housekeeping Tips


We’re heading into the Thanksgiving weekend in the US. Here are seven activities that you may want to consider if you’ve got a spare hour or so over the weekend, wherever you are in the world, to get your social media profiles and networks in order.

1. Secure your networks

Tighten up your personal security by implementing two-factor authentication on your social networks. This requires you to enter a code, typically accessed via a third-party app, or sent via SMS to a mobile phone associated with the account each time you log on via a new account of browser. It takes an additional few seconds to access your account when you’re asked for an authentication code. Here’s a blog post that you may find useful about how to implement two-factor authentication on Facebook, Google services, LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress.

Action: implement two-factor authentication on your social networks.

2. Disconnect old apps

Related to security, check which third-party apps each of your social networks is connected to. Remember that a Facebook or Twitter app will typically have access to your personal data as a minimum, and may be able to post on your behalf. Consider removing any apps that have permission to post to your timeline or send direct messages on your behalf.

Action: review the apps that are connected to your social network profiles.

3. Automate with care

People with multiple networks often syndicate their content. For example, I post photos from Instagram variously to Facebook and Twitter. Syndicating news updates between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is also commonplace. Your content should ideally be tailored for each network and multiple posting risks causing offense to users that follow you across multiple networks.

Action: Review your use of automated syndication.

4. Delete old networks and try new ones

If you’re not using a network consider deleting your account. It’s hard work maintaining multiple social networks – I’ve let my Flickr and Pinterest accounts wane lately, simply because my attention is elsewhere. Focus your effort on those networks where your audiences are and where you have the best conversations. And if there’s a network you haven’t tried, try it out.

Action: consider deleting social networks that you don’t use and trying new ones.

5. Update your profiles

When did you last refresh your biography? You should do it every six months or so. Add details of recent assignments, experience or qualifications. I maintain a standard biography on my blog that I edit for Facebook, Google+ LinkedIn and Twitter. Similarly update your photo and use one that looks like you rather than an abstract image. It makes it much easier when you meet people in real life.

Action: update your biography and photo on each of your social networks.

6. Make new friends and lose some old ones

Social networks are organic, or at least they should be. Prune your networks and seek out new relationships. A potential downside of social media is that networks self-organize and form cliques. Break out. This isn’t really a one-off task but should be an ongoing activity. I frequently prune my Twitter network and seek out new people.

Action: refresh your networks.

7. Go mobile

Finally, if you aren’t using mobile versions of your social networks on your mobile device, whether phone or tablet, consider adding accounts. The apps are all free and will add an additional dimension to your experience. Mobile provides the opportunity for context based on location and enables you to be connected throughout the day. That can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view but I’d suggest that it’s worth trying.

Action: investigate the mobile versions of your favorite social networks.


A longer version of this post first appeared on Stephen’s personal blog Two-way Street.

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