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The beginning of a year is an ideal time to examine your social media presence and make necessary updates and adjustments. Think of it as a tune-up for Twitter or a facelift for Facebook. Anyway, here are my seven tips to get 2013 off to a good start with your social media accounts:

  1. 2013-social-mediaConsider changing your passwords — This can be tedious, but can be helpful in the long run. Think about the number of computers or mobile devices you’ve logged into your social media accounts over the past year. It might not be a bad idea to reset passwords on your accounts if for no other reason than to know you are less likely to have any security issues (at least any time soon). Oh, and be sure to write down those new passwords. Or you can use 1Password. I highly recommend it.
  2. Update your avatar — This one is simple, but important. We’ve likely all had the same experience of meeting someone we’ve previously only met online who looked nothing like what they did in a profile picture. If you look nothing like what you are saying you look like, what other things should people doubt about you? It doesn’t have to be a professional portait, it simply needs to be tasteful and updated. Just please no self pics of you in your bathroom mirror. You aren’t in middle school.
  3. Make your avatar consistent — Similar to #2, but this is something I find a bit more important. It’s one thing to not look like your avatar. It’s another thing entirely to not look like 13 different profile pics. It’s best to choose one and be consistent so that no matter on what service people come across your pic, they automatically recognize you.
  4. Close any accounts you didn’t use in 2012 — Unless you’re squatting on a username/account for a specific reason, give it up. And if you haven’t used an online service in the past year, delete the account. Is there any history of an online service making a comeback years later? I seriously doubt 2013 will be the resurgent year for ICQ.
  5. Update your bios — Like the avatars, it’s good to have an updated bio. Especially if it includes a job, spouse, or location. We rarely read our own bio online, so it’s good to be intentional to seek them out and update them every so often. Any major life changes (job, move, childbirth, etc.) are good markers to update these, but it’s so easy to get caught up in life that you forget to update things online.
  6. Review app & privacy settings — Terms of service change all the time. An annual review of who is seeing your information online is important. As for the app settings, your social media account settings provide a list of all apps and websites that can access your data. Review these lists and restrict those that you don’t use or don’t want to have accessing your data.
  7. Eliminate clutter on your devices — Are you one of those people who have 18 screens of iPhone apps? Consolidate them. Delete some. I recently asked some other social media professionals how many apps they use on a daily basis. The most any of us came up with was about 15. That’s enough for one home screen of an iPhone. If you have the storage space for the other 158 apps on your iPhone, that’s great. Just put them in folders on a couple of screens. If you have troube finding them, you can always use the spotlight search (swipe right form the home screen) to quickly launch the app.

So those are my seven tips for social media to start 2013. What would you add to the list?

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