Social Media Security – Best Practices

social media security

You may ask yourself why you need to worry about Social Media Security

Let me fill you in on the back story.  A former colleague contacted me and asked me if I personally knew a mutual contact on LinkedIn.  Apparently this mutual contact had scammed her out of some money.  I told her I did not, as I am connected to a few thousand contacts and do not know all of them personally.   Since this is an issue so many have to deal with, I thought this post would be appropriate.  Here is a checklist of best practices you can do to make your social media security more secure.

1) Use a separate e-mail address for your social media accounts:  i.e. linkedin@yourdomain.com  or twitter@yourdomain.com  then have each forwarded to your main account.  If you do not have the luxury of multiple e-mail accounts you can do something along the lines of  yourname_socialmedia@yourdomain.com.  This was beneficial for me about a year ago, in that I received an e-mail from my Linkedin e-mail  account from “PayPal”.  Someone on the other end was trying to get money from me.  I immediately knew this was a scam because my PayPal e-mail is not my LinkedIn e-mail address.  Of course I immediately let PayPal know what was going on and forwarded them the e-mail.

2) Use a secure password: You want a MINIMUM of 8 characters, but I like to use 12 or more.  You also want a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.  You want a different password for every account.  I know this seems impossible, but you can use a naming convention.  Here is an example.  Tw1+2013!!  I spelled the first four letters of Twitter using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters, added the year and ended it with exclamation points.   As you can see, this password combination makes the social media security is pretty good.  If you want to see how your password stacks up – go to this password checker and check it out.  You might be surprised.

3) Change your passwords regularly.  I would say at least every 3 months – but if that’s too often for you, at least once a year MINIMUM.  I change mine every 3-6 months because I used to work in network security and I’m a bit more paranoid.

4) Use a social media management application:  I use HootSuite and Sprout Social, but there are others.  You can also use applications like Gremln or Smarsh.  This is beneficial if you have someone managing your social accounts.  This way, they only have limited access.

5) Take advantage additional authentication method:  Several social platforms will send a text to your cell phone and allow you to enter a code for verification.  If you are concerned about social media security, this is an added step worth taking.

6) Recognized Devices:  How many devices do you have?  How many do you use?  Facebook recognizes and remembers your devices, so it’s good to go into your settings and delete your old devices every few months.  I only have 3 devices, but according to Facebook, I have 17 since May of this year.  The thing is, I log into Facebook from a lot of different networks.

7) What is the URL? Sophisticated computer hackers can duplicate your social media accounts (as well as pretty much any other kind of account).   If you want to be on top of social media security, you definitely want to pay attention to the url.

8) This may seem obvious, but do NOT give your username and password to people you don’t know.  Even if they say they need it to get you more followers or to manage your account.  Have them with you when you are signed in, then let them act as you add them as an administrator, or set up a third party social media management tool like Hoot Suite.

9) No matter how much you WANT to, NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER did I say NEVER? But NEVER have your browser remember your passwords.  If your computer gets infected with a worm, or virus, or the latest mutation thereof, it could possibly take the passwords from your browser and save them to a server somewhere for someone to use.  Also – NEVER save your passwords to a file on your computer.

10) Keep your computer up to date with the latest patches, upgrades and antivirus software.  Social media security is just as much about maintenance as much as it is about awareness.

Do you have anything you would like to add to this list?  Have you had anything scary happen to you or a friend?  What do you think could have prevented it?

How-To Set up Products and Services on LinkedIn

LinkedIn

How-To Set up Products & Services on LinkedIn

As a business owner, if you offer products and services, it’s important to set up a LinkedIn Company Page and equally important, set up the Products and Services page.   Many people use LinkedIn as their primary source (and some use it as their sole source) of social networking so why not take advantage of this tool?

If you are wondering why you would want to go to the effort to fill out LinkedIn’s Product and Services Page, here are a few benefits for you:

  • LinkedIn allows a company to request recommendations from their clients for their products and services on their company page.  It’s like having Yelp within LinkedIn.
  • A company can list employees as contacts for particular products or services.  I can see this especially beneficial for larger companies with many departments.
  • You can add a promotion with a separate url for your product or service
  • You can choose up to 30 categories for your product or service

If you want to watch a detailed video how to set up a Products and Services page on LinkedIn, I’ve provided it below for your convenience.  It’s short – just over 2 minutes.  If you have anything to add or any comments – please share.  I love feedback!

Pros and Cons of Hiring an Intern for Social Media

social media

Let’s face it.  social media is becoming more and more important in marketing your brand whether you are a brick and mortar business, an online business, a celebrity, a non-profit,  or something else altogether.  No matter which category you fall into, social media allows you to reach more of your target market for less marketing dollars than traditional marketing avenues.  If you haven’t started using social media yet, or have but have not been managing your accounts regularly, this post covers the pros and cons of hiring an intern to handle your social media accounts.

What are the pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media?

  1. Pro:  You can get an intern free or almost free.  Most interns are required to do internships as part of their college credit so you won’t have to pay the rate you would have to pay a professional.
  2. Pro:  Interns are usually more technically savvy.  Interns have been using the social platforms you want for years.  They probably have taken classes in many of the management platforms as well.
  3. Pro: Interns are not set in their ways.  Interns are usually younger and are open to new ideas (your way of doing things) whereas professionals usually have their own way of doing things.)

 

  1. Con:  Interns are only with you a short time.  Because interns are doing their internship for a class credit, they are only there a short time (unless you decide to hire them). If you decide not to hire them, you have to go through the process of training another intern.
  2. Con:  Interns may need to be closely monitored.  Although your intern may have years of experience on various social platforms, their experience is purely for personal and social reasons.  Their posts may contain inappropriate language, and represent your business or brand in a questionable or negative manner.  Unless closely monitored, they may spend the day tweeting with their friends instead of the tasks you’ve given them.
  3. Con:  Interns are not dedicated to your brand or company.  You put your blood sweat and tears into your company.  You would never do anything to tarnish your company’s name in any way shape or form.  Does your intern care if there’s a typographical error, or if they accidentally post a photo of them at a party drunk as a skunk to your account that should have been posted to their personal account? Very doubtful.
  4. Con:  Interns don’t know everything about your company.  The person representing your company through social media should know as much as possible about your company and your brand.  People will be asking questions about your products and services.  Exactly how much can you teach an intern in a limited amount of time about your company or your brand?
  5. Con:  Interns won’t monitor your social platforms 24/7.  This goes back to the intern not being dedicated to your company.  They are there for college credit and possibly a job down the road, but 24/7 monitoring is a lot to ask for someone who is probably not getting paid.

I’m sure you can think of more pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media.  Please be sure to share them!  If you haven’t started using social media as part of your marketing strategy start now.  Don’t take my word for it – read this post by Forbes.  If you don’t play, you can’t win.

Why you should configure your LinkedIn profile

Why configure your LinkedIn profile?

I was recently asked how to block someone from a LinkedIn account.  I researched LinkedIn and while I was unable to technically “block” someone from an account, I did find ways to change your privacy settings by configuring my LinkedIn profile to make it more difficult for someone to be “stalked” once you have disconnected from them.  If you want to be more private on LinkedIn, here are the steps you may want to follow:

Step 1

Click on your image, or your avatar you have uploaded into LinkedIn in the top right hand corner and select Privacy and Settings  You will probably have to enter your password even though you are already logged in.

how to linkedin image 1

 

Step 2: 

Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.  This LinkedIn feature notifies all of your connections all of your activity.  If you are in the process of tweaking your profile, I would recommend turning this feature off.  If you don’t want people to know what you are doing, leave the activity broadcasts in the off position.

linkedin-image-2

Step 3

Select who can see your activity feed:

Who do you want to see your LinkedIn activity feed?  Everyone? Your network? Your connections? Or only yourself?  You may ask – what’s the difference between your LinkedIn network and your connections?  Your connections are people who are actually connected to – 1st degree connections.  Your network are people who are 2nd & 3rd degree connections.  If you want to be private, you will want this setting to be only yourself.

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Step 4

Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.  You can choose to show your LinkedIn profile, be somewhat anonymous or completely anonymous.  The purpose of social media is to make connections and network, so for me, I don’t personally understand why you would would remain anonymous, but that’s me.  If you want to be completely anonymous – this is where you would make this change.  If you view someone else’s profile they will not know who viewed their profile.

linkedin-image-4

 

Step 5

Show/hide “viewers of this profile also viewed” box.   You can see the example below that belongs to Carly Alyssa Thorne – “People Also Viewed”.  She has this feature turned on.  If you do not have this feature turned on – this box would not show.

linkedin-image-3a

 

When this box is checked – this is an example of what they will see.  You can see by looking at the example below, Carly shares her activity.  She is connected to Lori Wilk, and was endorsed by Alexandar Alexandrov.   She also shared a blog post.

linkedin-image-5

We’re going to skip over who can see your connections and go straight to

Step 6 Change your profile photo and visibility

I think this is probably the most important LinkedIn feature.  Your LinkedIn profile photo is your first impression to the business social media network.  You should take this opportunity to use a professional quality photo.  I would highly recommend NOT using a poor quality photo, NOT using a company logo, NOT using a photo where you cannot clearly see your face or that does not represent you in a professional manner.  This photo needs to instill trust and professionalism.  This photo needs to be welcoming without being inappropriate or overtly sexual.  This photo needs to be current.

And finally – in answering the question of the person who was trying to block the individual who was being a “stalker”.  Since she had disconnected from that person, all she needs to do now, is change her settings to show her profile only to people she is connected to.

Don’t forget to SAVE each time you make changes to your LinkedIn profile.

linkedin-image-7

 

I hope these instructions help you with any problems or questions you may have been experiencing.  Remember, if you have any questions in the future… just post them on my Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/YourSocialMediaMogul

 

Is your content COMPELLING?

facebook

I had the opportunity to attend Atlanta’s Digital Summit this week and it was the kick in the pants I needed.  I’ve had quite a writer’s block – and now my mind is swimming with ideas of things to write about.  One of  the main things I took away from this summit was Annalise Kaylor’s advice of making the content COMPELLING.  Annalise is the Director of Social Media Marketing at Intrapromote, and has been in the internet business since 1982 – her background is impressive to say the least.

bad commentsShe pointed out some obvious ways companies (and individuals) are “gaming” Facebook’s Edgerank – and how we shouldn’t do that – there’s really no value to it, not only that, but it’s so obvious in some instances, it’s insulting to fans.  (see insert)   Can you see how it can do more harm than good and how you could lose fans by making the wrong types of posts on your fan page?

What she said to do instead was to make the content COMPELLING, fascinating, significant, etc… By doing this, your fans will engage because they find your content worthy and interesting.  Not only will they find your content worthy and interesting and engage, they will tell their friends and your audience will grow.  You will build a community and if someone ever DOES have a negative comment about your company, service or product – this community you are building will defend you – stand up for you.

Annalise said your influencers probably aren’t who you think.  They are your friends and family.  They are the people with whom have conversations, and who share your content.

So – to recap:

  • DON”T Game Edgerank – it may get you more traffic, but it won’t necessarily get you the results you want.
  • Make your content COMPELLING – This is what keeps your audience coming back engaged and coming back for more as well as telling their friends about you and growing your audience.

Did you find this helpful?  I’d like to know!