social media stress, zero due designYou have accounts on Twitter and Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and you’ve just started on Vine and Instagram. You have a website and a blog, and a Tumblr account and a Pinterest board. You’re hitting almost all of the social network stops, and you’re using a social media management tool to maintain a presence on all of them. Great, except….

If you’re like most social media users, you almost surely play favorites when it comes to certain networks. Maybe you adore Twitter, but only use Facebook because your business has a following on its page. Perhaps you’re very visual, and your Pinterest board and Tumblr blog are updated every day, while you only visit your LinkedIn profile once a month.

Having favorite social networks is normal, but if you need to maintain a wide variety of networks — especially for your business — there’s an easy way to decide which of your profiles need work: Google yourself.

Google Ranks Your Profiles For You

We’ve all Googled ourselves, but have you paid attention to where your online profiles appear in the search results? If you’re not sure which social networks really need more of your attention, Google’s algorithm conveniently does the ranking for you.

If any of your social profiles rank at the top, or even within the first few Google search results, you’re probably doing a more than adequate job on those networks (or you have a very unique name, which always helps. Sorry John Smith.). When you have to go digging through several pages of search results, you may want to consider increase the resources you allocate to those profiles.

When I Google my own name, my Twitter account is the first result on the page. After my Twitter account comes my website, my LinkedIn profile, and then my Google+ profile. My Pinterest account, on the other hand, sits further down the page. If I was prioritizing my social media efforts, to me this search is a clear indication that I’ve let my Pinterest account slip.

A business owner can undertake the same exercise with their company. If social media is an important part of your marketing efforts, you want those social accounts to appear near the top of Google search results, alongside your website.

Compete Against Yourself First

The important thing to remember about this exercise, is that you should be using it to see which social networks you’re excelling at. It shouldn’t, on the other hand, be used to determine whether your social media strategy as a whole is succeeding. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to Google search results, including SEO and the commonality of your personal or business name. Compare your profiles against one another, not against the search results as a whole.

by Evan LePage on Hootsuite’s Blog