Spring Cleaning Tips for Facebook Profiles
In a world where authenticity is rewarded, personal brands can no longer afford to be hiding from the public under sneaky aliases on Facebook.
While it used to be common practice to separate professional profiles from private accounts it’s no longer considered a successful tactic for growing a personal brand online.
Amanda Williams, the founder of Yellowpanda PR and Digital helps entrepreneurs amplify their public images online, positioning her clients as both relatable and transparent.
In this article, Amanda shares her tips for cleaning up private profiles for public display
Why should I bother cleaning up my profile?
Before going any further you might be wondering why this is necessary to clean your profile?
Everyone knows a version of you from your past that doesn’t exist anymore, so make sure if they are stumbling across you now, they know what you’re all about!
Your profile picture and/or cover photo might be outdated, or your intro section on the front of your profile might contain outdated information.
As this is your public profile, you might have irrelevant status updates/shares, posts you’ve been tagged in or posts from friends showing on your timeline. This kind of old information and non-business-related posts might not align with your brand image anymore.
If you are concerned about losing precious memories during your clean-up we recommend you create a backup of your profile before getting started.
Your first impression…
Your profile picture and cover photo are the first two things people see when they look at your profile. Make sure these represent you and your current business.
Your friend’s list has probably been growing since you joined; now is probably a good time to consider unfriending or at least unfollowing some of them. Doing this can help clear up your News Feed and declutter your profile of irreverent information.
Your ”About” section on Facebook is potentially very outdated. You may have changed jobs, moved, or gotten into a new relationship since you last updated this section of your profile, so ‘it’s a good idea to freshen this up as it gives an excellent understanding to who you are.
You can also change the privacy of your information by clicking the dropdown arrow icon to set its visibility to Public, Friends, Only Me or Custom. But we will come back to this.
Tidy-up your timeline…
It’s essential to make sure your timeline is an accurate representation of you and how you want to be presented to the world. The first step to making sure this is done is by giving your profile timeline a once-over
Your timeline will have a mix of your posts, sheared posts from your friends and things ‘you’ve been tagged in. ‘Now’s the time to go through your timeline and either hide or delete irrelevant content. This can be done by selecting the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of each post and selecting ‘Hide’ from the timeline or ‘Delete’.
Your photos may hold some not so flattering images of you that might not be appropriate for your business. So while we’re in the groove of deleting irrelevant content, you can ‘Un-tag’, ‘Delete’, ‘Hide’, or change the visibility of your photos
Any public photos you share yourself or photos you’ve been tagged in from friends will appear in your ‘Photos’ section on your profile.
Audit your images…
To clean your photos up, you can un-tag yourself from photos you believe are not suitable or irrelevant to your profile. You can delete, hide or change the visibility of some of your own photo posts and your own albums.
If you like the photos but ‘don’t think they’re appropriate for your business then you can also limit the visibility of all photos you’re tagged in by going to Settings > ‘Timeline and Tagging’ and changing who can see posts you’re tagged in on your timeline? This can be adjusted to ‘Friends’, ‘Friends of Friends’, ‘Only Me’ or ‘Custom’.
Note: You can’t delete any photos you’ve been tagged in if they were posted by someone else. You can only un-tag yourself, which only removes it from your profile but not theirs or anyone else who’s been tagged. You can request for the photo to be removed if you feel the need to.
Adjust your privacy settings…
Now your profile is cleaned, let’s take a look at your privacy settings more in-depth. Facebook can give you digital freedom for connecting with friends and clients alike. Fortunately, there is a way you can ensure your personal privacy is kept private.
There are a couple of easy ways to quickly get to your profile settings on Facebook. On the top right-hand side of your page (on desktop) you will see a button to the right of your name –it will drop down a number of links including access to your settings. Once in your settings to the right of the page, you will see a privacy tab that will allow you to customise your privacy settings.
Alternatively, if you are using your mobile device or tablet, you can click the little cog settings button located next to your name on your profile, this will open up a profile settings page and select the ‘view privacy shortcuts’. This will allow you access to any of your privacy settings
Once you’re on the privacy settings, you can begin to change the privacy settings. You can select who you want to see your information. This is split into four categories, ‘Everyone’, ‘Friends of Friends’, ‘Friends’ and ‘Only Me’.
If there is information you ‘don’t think should be public, you can make it only me and if there are things you would like to remain public you can leave these open to everyone, If there is a post, you want to limit the visibility of, the “Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in” setting located below allows you to do just that. Hit the “activity log” button, and you can then use the pen- edit button to delete specific posts you no longer wish to share.
If you want your contact information public, you can choose to do so by following the above steps on the ‘Security and Login’ tab on the right side of the page. If you’re comfortable with people contacting you on Facebook, you can use the message-filtering option under ‘Who can contact me?’.
Once you’ve updated your privacy settings and cleaned your profile for business use, you are good to go.
Remember authenticity on Facebook is curial in business today, and your profile could be the first authentic point of contact for future partnerships.