With 2018 barreling down on us, 'tis the season for year-end planning. You're probably already using the holiday period to ponder your progress towards your goals and figure out the milestones you're aiming to hit next year. But there's another essential type of year-end review that you might be missing--a review of your online presence.
As the pace of business slows down over the holidays (sorry retail folks, you're obviously excepted), this is an ideal time to reflect on and update your digital footprint, writes Allison Durazzi, a digital marketing instructor at Seattle Central College, on Fast Company.
In the piece, Durazzi explains in detail the steps to take to polish up your presence on social media and search so you can put your best foot forward online next year. Here are her suggestions in brief:
1. Update your accolades
"Look back through old files and emails, and make note of the good work you've done," Durazzi instructs. But don't keep these accomplishments to yourself.
"Add a mention of an award you've won to your bio on Twitter, or use clients' remarks (with their permission) as testimonials on your website. On LinkedIn, update your summary, add new portfolio projects and delete outdated ones, and add any pro bono or volunteer projects you did this year," she adds.
2. Check your privacy settings
Durazzi mentions a few things worth considering on LinkedIn--consider whether you want people to be notified when you view their profile, for instance--but here's a more complete guide to the full range of platforms. Now's a great time to make sure nothing gets shared to the wrong person in the new year.
3. Update your profile photos
Unless you're a frequent updater, a new year calls for a new image.
4. Polish up your website
"You don't need to undertake a complete website redesign. But you do need to make sure your links are still good and your images still display. And if you don't have a website, now's a good time to create one," notes Durazzi, who suggests About.me, WordPress, or Square for those with fewer tech skills and shallower pockets.
5. Google yourself
"Recruiters, employers, and prospective clients will all run searches for your name, so you'll want to find out what the internet says about you. Search yourself on Google and Bing, and also within Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Consider how the publicly available information portrays you, and adjust the privacy settings of your social-media accounts if you need to," instructs Durazzi.
"If you run a small business, perform these searches on your company name," she adds.
6. Set up automation
"Automation helps keep your profiles active while you're away. You can schedule posts across all your social-media platforms with freemium tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or RecurPost," advises Durazzi.
7. Start a content habit.
All these tweaks and improvements are great, but they'll only be of minimal value to you and your business in the coming year if you don't also actually get in the habit of putting out compelling content. If you work in one of the many industries that are quiet around the holidays, now is a great time to get in the rhythm of regular scheduling.
"You can keep it small and simply plan to schedule regular posts on LinkedIn or Twitter. Or go big and launch a blog. Whichever you choose, the end-of-year slump is a great time to get onto a regular schedule. Start with once a month and work up to weekly or more after you're comfortable with the pace. If your website doesn't have a blog function, LinkedIn, Medium, and WordPress are solid, free options you can explore," Durazzi explains.
Want more advice and details? Check out Durazzi's complete post for much more on the topic.