You guys see that photo, that was me in my junior year of college, living my best life and posting every moment of it on social media. Back then, I didn’t think twice about posting a photo. In fact, I had no real guideline as to what was deemed appropriate to post and what was not. So I posted it all for the world to see. I posted:
  • In bars
  • The aftermaths of drinking (barrrfff)
  • And to many others to name
The point is. Back then, I didn’t know that by doing a simple task like posting inappropriate photos and questionable statuses that I was subconsciously painting a picture of myself before even being introduced. Back then, I had no idea that my social media footprint mattered and that those photos could potentially come back to haunt me one day.
So what is your Social Media Footprint?
According to socialmediatoday.com, your social media footprint is the trail that you leave behind for others to find every time you upload a photo to Instagram, check in on Foursquare, share anything on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, pin on Pinterest boards, publish videos of yourself on YouTube, get tagged in a Flickr photo, add jobs and education info on LinkedIn, and so on.
To sum it up. Your Social Media Footprint is ANYTHING YOU PUT ONLINE.
You may be reading this and saying ok Monica, but why does this matter? I’ll tell you why. WE ARE LIVING IN A WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA, which means, your social media oftentimes is the thing that speaks for you without you even knowing. Here’s an example:
  • How many times have someone told you about a restaurant, beautician, or industry expert and the first thing you’ve done is check them out on social media?  Now when you check them out, and you don’t see pictures or post that point to that thing they claim to be, how do you feel? (like you’ve been lied to)
  • Or, how many times have you subconsciously prejudged a person based on what they post? (raises hand because we all do it)
And for my friends that are job applying, according to an article produced by Career Builder.com last year 70 percent of employers used social media to screen candidates before hiring, which is up significantly from 60 percent in 2016.
And what were they looking for?
  • Information that supports your qualifications for the job
  • If the candidate has a professional online persona at all
  • What other people are posting about the candidates
I say all this to say, this social media thing matters! If you were to tell me years ago that those same photos would appear in a Google search of my name, I would have done things differently, but you live and you learn.
Here are 4 ways to manage your social media footprint today:
    1.  Perform a Social Media Audit- Google yourself and see what comes up
  1. Fix your social media profile bios- No more baby girl or Jay’s girl in your bio people. Make sure your social media bio reflect the person you are or want to become.
  1. Limit your profile searchability- Facebook's default settings allow anyone to find your profile online. You can disable this so that search engines won't link to your profile. Go to Account - Privacy Settings - Apps and Websites - Public Search (Edit Settings) and uncheck "Enable Public Search.” Also, you can control what you’re  tagged in (because guilty by association) with a new Timeline Review feature. This feature will allow you to approve a photo before it’s posted on your Facebook feed.
  • On Instagram and Twitter, you also have the ability to make your account private which is a great feature. Please keep in mind, although this is a good feature, photos posted still may appear in Google searches so practice some discretion.
  1. Watch Your Words
Once you've set your limitations, simply watch what you say. Don't post status updates that you know you are going to regret later. As a general rule of thumb, if you're posting something in a moment of anger or impulsivity, or if you have doubts, abstain. Social media posts and updates are all about emotions and sharing them but it's important to have some measure of self-control.

Talk Soon

Monica

 

 

 

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