Your Online Profile: Why social media is not enough

Websavers Inc

With the widespread use of social media as a ‘home’ for millions of people worldwide, many think the need for a website to represent a single person is no longer there. Why do you also need a website? Wouldn’t yet another place, beyond all my social media profiles, that represents ‘me’ simply add to the noise and confusion? How could the additional confusion of setting up your personal website possibly help with all this? One word: unity.

Most people I know are now constantly updating their Facebook status, have projects on the go to update on LinkedIn, upload photos via Instragram regularly, and either update their Twitter status or check in to locations on Facebook or both. But with so many networks in play, we run into a fragmentation problem. There’s a bunch of friends that get your Facebook updates, a different group of people that see your tweets, some who see your photo uploads via Instagram and a subset of all of those that see all of these things. (Think ven diagram). How do you unify all this on a website, and who will care about a website if just the right people are already keeping up to date with exactly the information you want to feed them on each of the social networks?

Who will care.

Those friends whom you wish to keep updated about your status, you do so via Facebook. The randoms on Twitter might get just a bit of that, and maybe some news you thought professionally intriguing you threw only on LinkedIn. Each network is getting exactly what you think best for them already, so what’s a website good for? Representing the real you. Your website will become the combination of all your social networks, but filtered to more accurately represent all aspects of the real you.

Most corporations these days go looking for you online. Whether you’re looking for a job or not, you may very well be sought after by some company somewhere who sees exactly the skills you have as the perfect fit for an open position. Are you sure you want them to find your Facebook profile first? For most people their Facebook profile is the very first hit on Google when searching their name. This is not about whether or not you have scandalous content on Facebook – that’s going to be found out one way or another, and you absolutely should be filtering your pics and statuses on Facebook correctly by using their privacy settings. This is about representing yourself online in the best possible light. You have some info on Facebook about you that shows your intelligence, thoughtfulness and playful nature – exactly the kinds of things you want to show a potential employer that you’ve got an ample supply of. You have a dry listing of past jobs and projects that you’ve worked on posted on LinkedIn – just like a resume, this is often faked or exaggerated. You have Pictures posted to Instagram or Flickr that you’d love for prospective employers to see, but they’re probably hard to find – overshadowed by your omnipresent Facebook pictures of you out drinking with your friends. This is exactly where a website with curated content from all your networks works beautifully.

How do you do it with a website?

With the power of content management systems (CMS). A CMS such as WordPress has plugins for just about every single one of those social networks mentioned above. Rather than you manually updating your personal website with the info you want there, along with each of the social networks (quite a hassle), why not have your website automatically combine all of this info for you? You can continue doing what you’ve always been doing – posting stuff about you to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Picasa Web, wherever you normally do your thing. With WordPress, you can install free plug-ins that pull specified albums and lower privacy level status updates from Facebook, updates from Twitter, select albums from Flickr or Picasa Web and whatever info you want from LinkedIn. Not only that, but you’ve got all this perfectly selected content to represent the best of you on a website with your name in it – such as This means in just a few weeks, unless you share a name with a public figure, your new website will become top results on Google. The next time someone goes looking for you, they get the best of you, not a mix of professional and personal updates and photos from three or four different social networks.

If you haven’t put any thought into setting up a website for yourself, then you should start planning for it right now. If you have thought about it and are on the fence, you better get moving on it, regardless of how many social networks you already belong to. If you already have a website and haven’t started integrating your social networks, feel free to get in touch so we can advise you on how best to proceed to get your website configured to better represent you.

Jordan Schelew

Jordan has been working with computers, security, and network systems since the 90s and is a managing partner at Websavers Inc. As a founder of the company, he's been in the web tech space for over 15 years.

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