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HOW TO: Manage Multiple Social Media Profiles


Start counting the number of social media websites you have a profile with, right now. Out of fingers yet? Facebook (Facebook), Twitter (Twitter), Flickr (Flickr), and YouTube (YouTube) are just the start of it – for people active on social websites, you could have several dozen social media profiles, half of them using a really old picture of you.

Heck, some of them probably have inboxes filled with strange messages from some girl named “Leota” who wants you to visit her sexy singles website.

While inbox spam and old pictures may not be the end of the world, keeping up a consistent image across the web and keeping your content fresh is vital to good business and strong relationships. With a little upfront effort, the task of maintaining multiple profiles can be less tedious, freeing up time to better connect with other people.

Step 1. Understand your Current Position

The first step is to exactly know where you have a social media profile and where you do not. Start by checking with Check User Names, which will search dozens of popular social media websites to see if your username is active. Check any you normally use. If any don’t ring any bells, see if it’s yours or if somebody already owns.

Tip: Always keep note of other people using your most common username. Making sure people don’t confuse you for somebody else is important for friends and potential employers alike.

Step 2. Choose Your Platforms Realistically

People may disagree with me, but I believe you should sign up for the most popular social networks regardless of whether you are going to use them all. This prevents someone else being mistaken for you and protects an account that you may want to use later.

This doesn’t mean you should be active on all of these services. Take a long, hard look at all of the services available and your time constraints and choose the ones that pique your interest the most. Keep some focus when choosing platforms. For the rest, place a note on your profile with contact information and links to your favorite social profiles.

Step 3. Organize!

This is the most important step! Don’t be satisfied with a disarray of bookmarks and email notifications. Organize a bookmarks folder or two for the social media services you are using. Filter your email so that all of your notifications fall into their own inbox/label. Schedule time to log into these accounts and make sure they are in order.

Tip: The most important thing to remember is to find a system and stick to it. These are the profiles that need your attention consistently; keep them free of spam and outdated information.

Step 4. Automate and Combine Your Profiles

No, I am not suggesting using a bot or having autoresponders. Instead, I am talking about grouping similar tasks together. One of the most common actions on social media is sending an update that you have updated your blog. Normally, you would have to copy and paste this type of message into Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace (MySpace), not to mention Plurk (Plurk), Brightkite (Brightkite), or FriendFeed (FriendFeed).
However, with services such as Ping.fm and Twitterfeed, this can be done without any work on your end. Find tools that can help you spread you reach without eating up your time.

Tip: Atomkeep is a cool tool for updating all of your social media profiles at once – it connects to your Twitter, LinkedIn (LinkedIn), Facebook, and other accounts and allows you to change bios and profile pictures with one action.

Step 5. Keep it Fresh

It’s easy to tell if someone has abandoned an account and left it to grow weeds. If you intend to use a service, keep adding new content! You can’t expect to meet new people on Digg (Digg) or Stumbleupon (StumbleUpon) accounts without digging or stumbling. And it can be confusing for other people if your profile has an old email address or says you’re still in a relationship with your high school sweetheart.

Tip: Use a Firefox (Firefox) extension like Shareaholic to help make adding new content to your profile easier.

Go for it and Network!

Once you’re organized and understand where you really want to spend your time, managing multiple social media profiles becomes less of a chore and more about sharing experiences, discovering new content, and building new relationships. That is why you made these profiles in the first place, right?

Have more tips on managing multiple profiles? Be sure to share them in the comments.

Heide Holtz
SmarterSites.net

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