5 Ways for Job-Seeking Millennials to Clean Up Their Social Media Profiles Today

by Christie Carton and first published on Recruiter.com

Graduation has come and gone. If you’re like so many young people today who were unable to secure professional employment in the field of their choice before leaving college, you’re likely still hunting for those ideal job postings, submitting applications, and going on as many interviews as possible.

Resume in order? Check. Networking events attended? Check. Social media accounts cleaned up? Hmm.

If you haven’t done so already, you might want to seriously rethink what you’ve put out into the social media universe as well. This, believe it or not, is a critical part of the job search.

A recent survey conducted by my nonprofit, the 1,000 Dreams Fund, via Toluna Quicksurveys found that half of job seekers polled between the ages of 18 and 25 don’t plan to clean up their social media profiles before applying for jobs. This is a big mistake, especially given that employers say they use social media to screen and possibly eliminate candidates, according to another recent survey.

The bottom line is this: Don’t let some social media goof overpower your stellar application and prevent you from becoming the next promising employee at the company of your dreams!

Here are five tried-and-true tips from other successful grads about cleaning up your social media profile during the all-important job hunt!

1. Google Yourself

Search yourself to see what comes up. Be sure to dig deep and see what each page contains. What you see may surprise you – and it’s the quickest way for you to gauge what employers are seeing.

2. Keep It Private!

Depending on what you find during your Google search, it may be a good idea to make your Facebook profile private so that only those in your network of friends can see all the fun you had in school.

3. Delete, Delete, Delete!

Your employer can access pretty much anything online. If you wouldn’t want them to see a specific post, tweet, or picture, delete it. If you find something on a third-party site you don’t want out there, reach out to the publisher or editor to see if they’ll remove the post. In most cases, they will, especially if you are clear that it could impact your ability to find a job.

4. Keep it PG

Getting ready to post an update, or maybe a pic from that girls’ night out? If it’s something you wouldn’t want your teenage cousin or grandmother to see, you should probably reconsider! At the end of the day, there’s no way to gauge who is looking at your pictures or posts, so you should be sure to avoid posting anything controversial.

5. Leave It to the Pros

Cleaning up your social media presence can be a time-consuming process, so it’s important to know that there are professional “scrubbing” services you can lean on. These services are especially useful when you’re dealing with something that’s hard to remove, because they pride themselves on cleaning up messy digital footprints.

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Christie Garton is an award-winning social entrepreneur, author, and creator of the 1,000 Dreams Fund.

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Going Local on Facebook in 2013 – What’s Nearby?

This article first appeared in Websites Magazines January 2, 2012 issue.

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As the social Web continues to expand with more ways for brands to connect with their customers, there is still one network that outperforms the rest – Facebook.

This is because the world’s largest social network allows brands of all sizes to reach a user base that includes 1 billion active members. However, in order to reap the benefits of such a large user base, businesses must first foster a community of fans and then work hard to stay visible within users’ newsfeeds and the search results.

However, the strategies for becoming more visible on Facebook vary greatly depending on the size of your business. For example, global brands need to focus on providing relevant information to fans around the world, while small businesses should be more interested in engaging their loyal consumers and attracting a larger number of local fans. Luckily, Website Magazine has put together a guide to help both large- and small-sized businesses find Facebook success with a local audience in 2013:

Big Businesses

Facebook made the localization process much easier for international businesses back in October when the company launched Global Pages. The Global Pages structure allows brands to provide a better-localized experience to their customers because fans are automatically directed to the best version of a Page based on the country where those users reside. In fact, Global Pages enable brands to offer localized cover photos, apps, milestones and “about” information to their audience members without taking them away from the brand’s global community.

Each brand’s Global Pages structure includes local Pages for specific markets and a default Page for all other markets. Users from all countries see the same Page name translated in their local language, and each brand uses only one URL to promote in off-Facebook campaigns. Furthermore, Global Pages provide businesses with global insights for fans in all countries. Moreover, brands that currently use a multi-page strategy are able to transition their existing Pages to the new Global Pages framework. Companies like Kit-Kat and the Holiday Inn are two companies that already leveraged this capability.

However, it is important to note that the Global Pages structure currently only works for countries and not for the state or city level. This means that businesses with multiple locations in one country, such as the United States, will need to continue using other strategies to reach local customers within various regions. These strategies could include posting geo-targeted status updates, launching region-specific advertisements, occasionally including a placemark within posts and maintaining updated location information for all brick-and-mortar stores within the “Map” app on Brand Pages.

Small Businesses

While Facebook made the localization process easier for global businesses in October, the company helped level the playing field for all brands in December. This is because Facebook updated its “Nearby” feature within the company’s iOS and Android applications to make it easier for users to discover nearby places while on the go.

The updates enable users to discover local destinations that friends recommended, checked in at or liked when they tap the Nearby tab within the app’s vertical menu bar. After checking in to a location, users can share information about their experience by rating or recommending places. This is good news for businesses with an active social following because results become more personalized based on the amount of people who rate, recommend and check in to places – meaning that local businesses can move up in the search results with positive reviews, ratings and frequent check-in activity.

Local business owners can optimize their brand’s visibility within the Nearby search results by maintaining a Page that includes updated location information and the correct category listing. Furthermore, Page owners should encourage or incentivize their fans to like, check in, rate and recommend their places on Facebook. It is important to note, however, that even though optimizing your Page to show up in the Nearby search results should prove to be profitable, small businesses can also implement some of the aforementioned big business strategies to attract local customers, such as posting geo-targeted status updates and advertisements.

Mobile, Social and Local in 2013

Due to mobile’s rising popularity and use, expect localization to be among the top trends of 2013. That said, many consumers leverage social networks on their mobile devices, which means that appearing in the local search results on networks like Facebook will be more important than ever for businesses of all sizes. This is why it is vital for brands to maintain a presence on social networks to not only communicate with customers, but also to be found.

This Is Google Changing All of Information Sharing

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This post originally appeared on gizmodo.com

Google announced a new social sharing project today called Google+. It’s among the company’s most ambitious ventures to date, up there with Gmail, Android, Chrome and, yes, Search. It represents Google’s very future. It’s going to be huge.

Google+ is a concerted effort meant to turn the ship around. Google famously has a poor social track record. Buzz and Wave were failures, so it needs to get this right. But Google+ goes far beyond just sharing status updates or photos with friends: It aims to change the very way we share and communicate. As it notes in a new blog post today, “We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests.”

While there is much more to come, there are three major pieces announced today:

Circles

Circles let you share selectively with certain groups of people. You create a new circle, add contacts to it, and can share with just those selected people. As Google says “[t]he problem is that today’s online services turn friendship into fast food—wrapping everyone in friend paper—and sharing really suffers.” This seems to be somewhat like Facebook’s friends lists. But the big difference is that it isn’t a walled garden. You don’t have to opt into Google+ to be included in a circle. If I want to add someone to it who’s not a Google+user, I can do so via email and they can still take see the things I want to share with them.

Sparks

Sparks is essentially a topical section that delivers news videos and blog posts on subjects you define. But moreover it lets you discuss those things with other people, or as Google puts it, “nerding out and exploring subjects together.” This is something that Google is almost uniquely positioned to deliver. If you think about your Facebook feed, or, say a Tumblr tagged feed, they contain items placed there by humans. Google can deliver an endless supply of newly relevant items using an algorithm.

Hangouts

Hangouts is an online meetup space with live video that includes up to ten people. But it’s designed to let people come and go, dropping by at will, rather than be locked into scheduled meetings. It sounds a bit like Campfire with video.

Mobile

Mobile is the last major component announced today, and it has several moving parts. The table stakes are that you can always add your location (or not). Instant Upload automatically adds your photos to a private album online. Finally, Huddle is a group messaging tool that lets you communicate with a self-selected circle on your mobile device.

But these are just the beginning stages, the initial rollouts that are part of a much larger project led by Vic Gundotra. Wired’s Steven Levy followed Google+ from the inside for more than a year, and has the inside scoop. As he notes, it’s a huge drive by Google. In fact it is, more or less, Google’s future—an internal Manhattan Project meets moon shot.

Developed under the codename Emerald Sea, it is a result of a lengthy and urgent effort involving almost all of the company’s products. Hundreds of engineers were involved in the effort. It has been a key focus for new CEO Larry Page.

The parts announced Tuesday represent only a portion of Google’s plans. In an approach the company refers to as “rolling thunder,” Google has been quietly been pushing out pieces of its ambitious social strategy—there are well over 100 launches on its calendar. When some launches were greeted by yawns, the Emerald Sea team leaders weren’t ruffled at all—lack of drama is part of the plan. Google has consciously refrained from contextualizing those products into its overall strategy.

That overall strategy will begin now, with the announcement of the two centerpieces of Google+. But even this moment—revealed in a blog post that marks the first limited “field tests” outside the company—will be muted, because it marks just one more milestone in a long slog to remake Google into something more “people centric.”

“We’re transforming Google itself into a social destination at a level and scale that we’ve never attempted – orders of magnitude more investment in terms of people than any previous project,” says Vic Gundotra, who leads Google’s social efforts.

The entire story is worth a read, complete with outsized personalities, massive stakes, and secret murals. But the takeaway is that this isn’t just about social networking. As Levy notes, it’s much bigger than that: It’s about organizing information around people.

As Tim Carmody points out on Twitter, “Google doesn’t actually care about social. Google cares about identity. Social (such as it is) is a means to an end.” And: “Not accidental that social, identity, apps, & browser are all linked. This is Google’s play to control the whole stack like Apple does.”

I agree. Google’s biggest screwup wasn’t ceding social space to Facebook. It was ceding identity.

Google wants to get to know you, and help you to get to know yourself. It wants to be the go-to place where you show who you are and what you care about to your friends, your family, your coworkers and the entire world. It wants to be the key you use to unlock the Web and the internet as a whole, the passageway through which all your interactions flow. Today is a big step in that direction.

Do We Still Need Websites?

by Pete Blackshaw

This article first appeared on AdAge.

Given Our Obsession With Social Media, It’s a Timely Question

Pete Blackshaw

So with all this relentless talk about Twitter accounts, Facebook fan pages and cool new apps, I have a serious and timely question. Do brand websites still matter?

Yes, I know — even asking this question is a bit digitally sacrilegious. Websites are to digital strategy as models are to fashion, but do we really need them?

I mean, didn’t things seem a tad curious during the World Cup when brands like Adidas and Nike actively promoted their Facebook page — not their primary website — at the end of their TV spots? Just this weekend, I saw a similar cross-feed to Facebook for Kohls. Talk about kicking the ball into a different goal.

Read more . . .

40 of the Most Useful Social Media Posts for 2010 (So far)

by Adam Vincenzini

This article was originally posted on SocialMediaToday

Late last year, I published my picks for the 99 most useful social media posts of 2009, a collection which was received really well.

This year, I’ve been publishing 10 of the best posts from around the web each week as part of the ’10 out of 10 in 2010’series.

Now that the first quarter of the year has been completed, I thought it was worth bringing together 40 of my favorites from 2010 (so far)…and, here they are…

I’ve broken the collection into the following categories: Tools, Social Networks, PR, Blogs / Blogging, Content, and General / Other.

The 40 Most Useful Social Media Posts of Q1, 2010:

Read the entire article here.