Have you checked your “Other” inbox on facebook lately?

No? You better. It is probably full of messages from the last year from people you had no idea were trying to get ahold of you. Mine had over 100 messages, some random creeps, some very important messages I needed for my business.

temp-post-imageTypically we use facebook to connect with old friends and new people we meet and want to stay in touch with but Facebook has made that much more difficult with it’s new messaging system that is meant to filter spam.Launched in 2011, the “other” folder is where Facebook routes messages it deems less relevant. Not quite spam, these include messages from people you most likely don’t know, based on Facebook’s reading of your social connections. Many users ignore this folder and miss important messages from people trying to connect.

temp-post-imageTo be sure you are getting your messages adjust your inbox settings.

temp-post-imageWant to be sure someone receives your message to their main inbox? A $1 fee will guarantee that messages you send to people you are not connected to arrive in their inboxes, rather than in an often-ignored “other” folder.“For example, if you want to send a message to someone you heard speak at an event but are not friends with, or if you want to message someone about a job opportunity, you can use this feature to reach their Inbox,” Facebook said in an online post. “For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them.”The company says charging for messages could help discourage spammers. However, we think it is a sly attempt to see the reaction of users to charging us for our once free services.

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Today I posted this picture to my facebook wall because I thought it was ironic that a US Olympian, who was ridiculed by the media last year for smoking marijuana, is now the most decorated Olympian of all time. Normally I keep my political and controversial positions to myself, realizing the internet is not a great place to air your personal opinion, especially if you use it for business, but I decided this was a pretty bold statement considering the current events in our world and country. By the end of today my post had been reshared 14 times by my personal network, making it clear that my opinion was shared, literally, by my facebook friends.

temp-post-imageSo in this day and age, when we are connected to thousands of people at any given time, with our information, photos and ideas being shared around the world, (sometimes even without out our knowledge,) how do we handle this responsibility?
We are told we have to be careful with what we put on facebook not just because what our grandma or little brother might see (my 12 year old brother joined facebook today as well, giving me even more to think about on this subject,) but also our bosses or clients.This guy may not want to advertise he drinks and drives.

temp-post-imageRecently I have had the interesting experience of “meeting” several people in person that I before only knew on facebook. I have had people know things about my life, my travels and my business who I have never met before and while it is flattering it has also brought to my attention the importance of protecting your online brand.In my industry it is known that Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and now Instagram can be important tools to getting your name and business out there. Your “online brand” is not just important to entrepreneurs or business owners, but to anyone managing their social media profiles.In a recent Jobvite study, 92% of recruiters said they are using or plan to use social media in their hiring process.

The survey polled more than 1,000 companies. Since they started using social media sites to hire, 50% reported finding more candidates, and 43% said they now find better candidates.

How do we find a balance between being ourselves, sharing our style, opinions and humor without hurting our chances at a future job or even a relationship?

temp-post-imageMy first suggestion and what I spent a few days last week doing, is to go through old albums and pick out the best and moving them to another album of “keepers.” Many of my albums were old, some even from 2008 and while I stand by my 19 year old self and all the fun time and decisions I made, I don’t need everyone I connect with on facebook to see. I made many of my albums available to “ONLY ME” with the privacy setting under the edit album setting. This way I still have the photos but they are private to me.

temp-post-imageI don’t want to delete all my cherished photos from Spring Break 2008 in Rosarito, but I don’t need the world to see them either.If you haven’t already, put your family, business associates and potential clients or co workers in a restricted list. This way, if you want to share something with your buddies, like your Vegas vacation photos, you will not regret it when your boss asks if you are feeling okay after such an exciting weekend.

temp-post-imageSocial media has helped me build my business, raise funds and awareness for non-profits and maintain and build friendships all over the world. It can be a great asset to your life as well if you use it for good, not for evil (unproductive hours wasted on stalking your ex or playing farmville.) Remember to be positive and to only post things you will be proud of a month or a year from now because once it is on the internet it is there for good!
Here’s more tips on building your brand online:

Your Online Brand: Be Positive !

Be Mindful of what you put on the internet because it is what becomes your online brand! Weather you are in business or involved in anything the content you put online is a reflection of you! Use your power wisely and be an inspiration !