As everyone gears up (or down) for the holidays, this might be a good time to take a step back and perform some housekeeping on your social media activities. Just like other aspects of your business, your social media gets outdated, collects garbage, and needs to get refreshed. I’ll be writing a lot more about social media in the future, so come back and visit.
Social media handbook
If your employees are using any form of social media, it may be a good time to develop a “social media guidelines” handbook for them (especially true for LinkedIn, where work related activity is more pronounced). You need to ensure your company is not misrepresented and your employees keep your image consistent with your goals, but check with an attorney to make sure you’re not stepping over the line.
This is where most business social networking/media occurs, and it has become the de facto networking site to search for information on companies and individuals. Whether you’re cleaning up or catching up, set some time aside to take care of the following:
Company profile. Have you developed new products or technologies? Have you entered new verticals? Have you acquired other companies? Make sure your company profile is up to date.
Personal profile update. Check your personal profile and make sure it still reflects how you’d like to be presented. Did you perform new activities that haven’t been included in your profile? It’s the end of the year. You can review your 2009 activities and update anything that’s worth mentioning.
Contacts. I know so many people who haven’t connected to all their contacts yet. Someone I recently met told me he has so many contacts, he went through all the names up to the letter L, and never finished it (!). Make sure all your contacts are connected to you on LinkedIn. This is a good time to send a “happy holidays” note along with a connection request. Never send a blank request without a note.
Recommendations requests. If you performed a great job with a client, a partner, or a vendor, before they forget about it, make sure to ask for a recommendation. This is another one where a nice “happy holiday” or “nice working with you in 2009” note will come in handy. Once you receive this recommendation, you can also use it on your website, corporate presentations, etc.
Groups. There are new groups being created every day. Go through your groups list and see if you still benefit from all of them. If you don’t, leave the less interesting ones and join newer or more interesting groups.
Applications. LinkedIn occasionally adds new useful applications without announcing them. Check the apps section of LinkedIn and make sure to use the ones that pique your interest.
Q&A ratings. If you asked any questions, go back and rate the responses.
Most companies are still confused about Twitter and how to use it, but if you are a user, make sure you have an informative “background” on your profile with marketing info, contacts, “links” (you can’t really link on them) and pleasing background colors. You can google “twitter background” and find a lot of free or cheap background pages on the web.
If your company has a Facebook page, you can use it for a last push for product promotions during the holidays. But also with your “happy holidays” note, make sure to ask your followers to recommend you to their friends to increase followers.
As I mentioned, I’ll be writing a lot more in the future about specifics of social media. If there are any specific topics you’d like me to write about, feel free to let me know in the “comments” section of this blog.