Dos and Don’ts: Social Media Best Practices

Some of the most common social media mistakes are also the easiest to avoid.  Here are some tips to bear in mind during your next social media visit:


Be Consistent and Authentic:
Your social media profiles should be consistent across all platforms.  Assuming different characteristics via different profiles muddles your image and distorts your brand!

Clean Up Dirty Laundry:
Google your name and address any malfeasance that you find head-on.  Unflattering results that are attached to your name or your image will not disappear on their own.

Grab Your Handle and URL:
Even if you don’t intend to have your own website or a Twitter account, reserve your name now or someone else with your name will.  When I joined Twitter several years ago, every reasonable variation of my name had already been taken.  Who knows what the person(s) who shares your name will post online!  Proactively manage your brand by reserving your account name – even if you don’t plan to use it.

Establish a LinkedIn Profile:
Everyone should have a profile on LinkedIn.  One chief reason for securing an account is because your online profile will raise your brand visibility in search engine rankings.  Other than vanity URLs (, for example), LinkedIn profiles achieve some of the highest results in search engine rankings.

Evaluate and Monitor:
Your brand is akin to your credit report score:  treat it with the same care.  Take this opportunity to review and update your current social media profiles.  Determine which platforms are the most effective for you.


Burn Bridges:
Ours is a very small industry with a particularly long memory.  Treat others as you wish to be treated – especially online.

Be One-Dimensional:
A quite common social media misstep is to develop a profile that’s flat.  Show your creativity or demonstrate your sense of adventure – but do it professionally.

Too Many Things to Too Many People:
We can’t be all things to all people in real life:  your social media presence shouldn’t be any different.  Be selective in choosing LinkedIn profile skills and emphasize your strengths.

Be Dumb on the Web:
Think twice, even three times before you post something online.  It is far easier to post something unwise than it is to restore your brand when the fallout occurs.  And it will occur.

Sell Yourself Short:
Social media is a perfect opportunity for shameless and yet appropriate self-promotion.  Talking about yourself and your achievements can sometimes be uncomfortable, especially in such a public venue.  Share your accomplishments with humility.  If you don’t, no one else will.

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