Top 10: Tips for using social networking sites

By Matt Cornock

This list looks at ways in which you can better use social networking sites, including things to consider before you post to protect yourself against professional vs. personal boundary issues.

  1. Set yourself up on different social networking platforms. Use each platform for a specific purpose: e.g. Facebook for personal networking, LinkedIn for professional networking.
  2. Lock down your personal profile using whatever privacy settings and options you can so that it is only available to trusted friends.
  3. Stop listing your personal profile in Google. This option is normally available through privacy settings. People who search for you should still be able to get your professional profile and contact you from there. Any friends can use the professional profile and you can then accept them onto your personal profile as and when.
  4. Create multiple levels of ‘friends’ so that you separate real friends, from family, from colleagues, from acquaintances, etc. Decide what content is applicable to each group through privacy settings.
  5. Don’t be afraid to refuse access to personal content to people you don’t really know. It’s not rude, it’s protecting your identity. If you wouldn’t have these people round for a cup of tea, then they probably don’t need to know every bit of info about you.
  6. Don’t be afraid to untag yourself from photos you do not wish to be associated with, limit who is able to tag you in photos, or don’t get caught doing stupid things.
  7. Think before you speak/tag. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, or post it on a bill-board, don’t status it, tweet it, or tag it. Respect other’s privacy and don’t destroy your own or your friend’s credibility in one small action.
  8. Do make first contact with people you think may share interests. Social networks depend on first contacts in order to build connections, don’t wait for people to contact you if you think that there may be mutual benefit in getting to know each other.
  9. Do post regularly. There’s nothing worse than an out-of-date or forgotten-about profile.
  10. Do social network. In the age where the Internet is the world and the world is the Internet, not having a presence online could seriously damage your career!

Feel free to comment on this list. This list ties in with this blog post.

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