The Complete Social Media Maintenance Guide

Lego figure pushing street cleaner

In the past, updating your social network meant going through the cards in a Rolodex. The social networks of today require a little more effort to keep them in working order.

From updating your user picture on each service to making sure your security settings are where you want them to be, it’s a good idea to review your social media accounts en masse at least twice a year. By following these routine social media maintenance tips, you can make sure your information is up to date so your contacts always have the most recent information for you.

1. Update User Picture

If you use a picture of yourself as your social media user image, check and see if it still represents you the way you want it to. If you talk to investment bankers more often at your new job and your Twitter icon is you holding a beer, it may give the wrong impression. Take a few minutes and check your user picture on all your social media sites and ideally make them all sync to the same picture so people looking for you can more easily spot your profile.

Make sure to check the following, as well as any other accounts you use:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Instagram
  • Skype
  • Foursquare
  • Yelp

Take the time now to check every account you have and update the picture for each. Even if you don’t use it too often, it’s good to keep them all in order.

TIP: You can use IFTTT (If This Then That) to automatically update your Twitter image when you change your profile picture on Facebook by using this recipe.

2. Update Profile Information

Just like your user picture, your profile information probably needs a review and a refresh, too. Start with an easy one like Twitter and make sure the information there best represents you and the reason you’re using Twitter.

From there, head over to Facebook and update your interests, email address, phone number, and any other pertinent information. Remember, this information is synced via services like Scrubly, so make it easy on your friends and keep this information as up to date as possible.

Finally, check out LinkedIn and update your profile information here, including your current position, information about yourself, and any new skills you’ve acquired.

Once LinkedIn is up to date, check out your other profiles on sites like Google+. It’s easy to forget about social media sites you don’t use often, which is why this biannual cleaning is in order.

3. Perform a Security Audit

Possibly the most important maintenance tip on the list, this should ideally be done more often than twice a year, but that’s the bare minimum. Take some extra time and review your security settings for each social media account you use. Settings change, and your needs to share or not share have probably changed since you last checked these out.

Facebook – Facebook has made this easier than in the past by giving you a Privacy Checkup link. To access privacy settings for Facebook, click on the lock icon in the Facebook menu bar (next to Notifications) and check out each item you see there.

Facebook Privacy Shortcuts box

Twitter – Log in to your Twitter account from a desktop browser, then click on your user picture in the upper right corner and choose Settings. From here, click on Security and privacy in the sidebar and you’ll see all your security settings. Choose if you want tagging turned on, login verification enabled, and whether you want your tweets private or not.

Twitter Security and Privacy settings

LinkedIn – Just log in to your account in a desktop browser and hover over your user picture in the upper right corner. From here select Privacy & Settings. There’s a lot here, so take a few minutes to make sure it’s right. Not having your LinkedIn settings correct can mean missing out on potential jobs or clients.

LinkedIn Account & Settings drop-down menu

4. Check Connected Apps

It’s pretty common to sign in to apps with services like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, but when you stop using the app, it still has access to your account. This is a perfect time to look through your connected apps for each service and remove connections from apps that you no longer use.

Facebook – To check what apps have connected with your Facebook account, log in to Facebook using a desktop browser and click on the lock icon in the upper right corner of the menu bar. From here, click See More Settings and then click on Apps in the sidebar. You should now see all the connected apps that access your Facebook account.

Facebook App Settings page

Hover over an app and click the X that appears to remove access. You can also control who can see activity from the app.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

Twitter – Log in to your account via a desktop browser and click on your user image in the upper right corner. From here, click Settings and then select Apps from the sidebar. A list of apps that have access to your Twitter account should show up. Click the Revoke access button to remove an app from your account.

Twitter App Settings screen

Google – One of the great things about Google is that all of its services share the same access point when it comes to connected apps. This means Google+ as well as Gmail and other services all share one location. The easiest way to get to your app settings for Google products is to navigate to Accounts.Google.com and click on Security. Scroll down and next to Apps and websites click View all.

Google Account Permissions dialog box

You’ll now see a list of all devices and apps that have access to your Google account. Next, click on the app you want to change and you should see a Revoke access button. Click this and the app will no longer have access.

Google list of app and website access

5. Prune Friend Lists

Not every piece of maintenance has to be as important as updating security settings or revoking app access. Some can help you make better use of your time by removing micro time wasters like content and users you don’t want to see.

Chances are you follow a few people that you just don’t remember why you do, and some companies show in your timeline that you just don’t care for anymore. Instead of ignoring these, take the time now to either hide or unfriend/unfollow them. If you want to receive messages from people while not viewing their updates, you can mute users on Twitter and unfollow them on Facebook. If you want to remove them altogether, you can unfriend on both.

Facebook – For Facebook you can unfollow posts while still remaining friends with someone by clicking the small dropdown at the top right of a post from that person and choosing Unfollow John Doe.

Facebook Unfollow option

This will hide their updates from your timeline, but you’ll still show in theirs. In short, they won’t know anything happened and you won’t see their updates.

To defriend someone on Facebook you have to click on your user picture in the upper right part of the Facebook menu bar, then click on Friends in the bar that appears under your cover image. You can click the Friends box next to any user to remove them as a friend.

Facebook Unfriend option

Twitter – On Twitter the method for hiding someone in your timeline is called muting. Muting a user varies from app to app, but in the browser just click the ••• button under a post and select Mute @UserName. Doing this will keep the user listed in your Following list, but you won’t see any posts by them.

Twitter Mute option

To remove someone from your Following list completely, you have to click on your Following list under your user picture. Find the follower you want to remove and hover over the Following button until it turns red and says Unfollow. Click the button and you won’t see their updates any longer.

Twitter Unfollow option

6. Sync Contact Information

The last step in your social media maintenance should be syncing your contacts with social media accounts so your address book is always up to date. If you have an iPhone it’s fairly simple to sync basic information from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but the best way to get all the information synced and duplicates taken care of in the same process is Scrubly.

Make it a point to run Scrubly on your contacts list at least twice a year along with this social media maintenance to keep your contacts in sync with social media. This way you can keep your social media life in perfect order and make sure everyone sees exactly what you want them to.

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Scrubly sign-up.