Six Steps for Cleaning Up Your Social Media Accounts

By: Alexis Scaffidi

Do you remember the first time you posted on Facebook? How about the first photo you shared on Instagram or your initial Tweets on Twitter? Social media has been around for over a decade, so there’s a good chance you’ve posted a few things that no longer fit with (or could damage) your personal brand.


It’s time to incorporate a new type of cleaning into your annual routine, but luckily, this one doesn’t involve any physical labor. Instead, you’ll want to grab your cell phone, iPad or laptop for an electronic social media scrub. In just six simple steps, you can tackle this task and ensure your online personal brand is as clean as a whistle!


STEP 1: If you’re someone who’s been using social media since its infancy, then this project will take some time. Start by setting aside a few hours to dedicate to examining your social media platforms.


STEP 2: Choose one platform at a time to examine, starting with the oldest. On each account, scroll back to the first post you’ve ever made. While it may take time for older photos to load, please be patient, since these posts likely pose the biggest threat to your reputation


STEP 3: Once you’ve made it to the beginning, closely examine each image AND caption. Even a seemingly harmless photo can be highly offensive when the wrong words are attached to it. Likewise, a great photo can be ruined by a vulgar or insensitive caption.


STEP 4: If changes need to be made, you can choose to either edit the post OR to delete it entirely. As a rule of thumb, if you have to think about whether or not it’s appropriate, then the safest bet is to remove it entirely. 


STEP 5: After you’ve deleted any potentially damaging content, scroll through your account from the beginning as if you were a boss finding your account for the first time. If anything sticks out as “off brand” or “off putting” then delete that content as well. 


STEP 6: Finally, after you’ve cleaned up your ALL your social media accounts, ask a few friends to judge you based solely off these accounts. If their assessments fit with your ideal personal brand, then you’ve succeeded! If not, then it’s time to start creating new content that will leave a great first impression.


I realize that this is certainly not an easy task, but trust me, it’s well worth your time. Social media is highly utilized for job searches and candidate assessments, so your accounts must match your personal brand. Countless people have had their careers destroyed by social media. Don’t let it happen to you!


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