When word got out of a recent news report that said people who don't use Facebook are often considered suspicious, and possibly even psychopaths, the first thing that came to mind was making sure the coffee I was drinking didn't come out of my nose.
Seriously. That much laughter. I know people who don't use Facebook and I wouldn't consider them psychopaths. They're a little odd, maybe, but that's it.
But I got to thinking: If even one person compares you to a psychopath for having no social media footprint, then you should have a footprint -- even if it's a tiny one.
Here are a few really simple ways to do the bare minimum with social media. This way, even if you aren't interested in doing much, no one will assume you don't exist or question your mental health.
- Claim your Twitter account, fill out your bio and tweet something: This should take you about 10 minutes. Your bio should be Google-friendly, meaning the most important information such as your job title should be focused at the beginning. Tweet something meaningful, though; the Internet can spot a faker a mile away. Bonus points if this isn't the only tweet you ever send, but at least your account will be searchable.
- Create a Facebook account and fill in your profile: It's no one's business whether you post to your wall, but having a profile means people can search for you. Fill in just enough for people to know it's you and then tweak your privacy settings the way you want them.
- Sign up for LinkedIn: Even if you never use it again, having a presence on LinkedIn is a good idea. Whenever someone wants to know about where you work and your previous employers, they tend to migrate to LinkedIn. The power lies within networking, but creating a simple profile with your present and past few jobs would be enough to satisfy most.
- Post five photos to Flickr: On the surface, Flickr seems like just another photo sharing site. Truth is, it's super great for Google power and SEO. Find five photos and post them, making sure you fill in all the fields and tags. And don't upload a photo with a name such as 0001-photo. Change that name to something SEO-friendly before you upload and you'll be good to go.
There you go. Four platforms with four simple tasks to get you started. As a social media professional, I always recommend doing more than less. My hope is that these tips have piqued your interest and that the bare minimum just won't do. If you decide to take your social media to the next level, I'm happy to help point you in the right direction.
This social media tips column is written by Chicago Tribune Media Group's social media manager Amy Guth and social media consultant Scott Kleinberg. Find them on Twitter: @amyguth and @scottkleinberg.