Your Profile Is Missing

Last week I highlighted Wayne Sutton of Social Wayne on that week’s Black Web Friday post. Earlier that week Wayne had put out a shared circle on Google+ of nearly 400 black participants, including me, such that if any of us wanted to hook up with that circle we could, and then if we wanted to hook up with people in that circle individually we could do that as well. I thought it was a great idea and I know it had to take him a long time to put it together.

I hooked up to the circle, then started looking at some of the names and checking out profiles of many of the people. I stopped after about 25 people and was somewhat dismayed. That’s because out of the nearly 25 people, only 4 of them had completed profiles on G+. Some of them had links to their Twitter accounts or Facebook accounts, but no other information about them.

I thought that was a major waste of resources, and I didn’t even consider adding any of those people to my personal stream. I mean, how long can it take to fill in some business information, which I assumed was the reason they signed up for it, or to put a link to a website or blog and get some link love or publicity from it?

I have to admit that I’ve wondered about this sort of thing for awhile; why do people create accounts on social media sites and then never complete any information on them? This isn’t only an issue with G+; there are many people on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter that don’t put any information in either.

Now, Facebook I can kind of understand because people worry about the privacy aspect, and although it can be used for business many people don’t use it for that purpose. Facebook is really more for personal use, and if people just want to connect with their friends and nothing more, so be it.

Twitter and LinkedIn are another matter. Let’s talk LinkedIn first. It’s for business networking; there’s no other reason to sign up for an account. If you don’t want to network with other business people, then why are you there? No one wants to hook up with anyone that hasn’t completed their business profile, and if I don’t know who you are I’m not hooking up with any account that doesn’t have some kind of picture either.

Twitter is a duplicitous animal. I almost never reach out to anyone first on Twitter these days; it’s hard enough trying to get people I am connected with to talk to me. Twitter allows you to put a brief bit of information about yourself in your profile, but it also allows you not to put anything in.

If you’ve created an account only to talk to specific people, and you’re protecting your account, I can understand why you don’t put in any information. But if you write anything that looks like you’re in business, why don’t you have a link of some kind, and a legitimate one at that? What’s the purpose of cloaking your link? I’m not clicking on any cloaked links, and thus I’m not following you. And if you haven’t put any info in except a link, I’m probably not following you either. And sans image; nope, I’m moving on.

Here’s my point; nothing says you have to be on social media to begin with, but if you’re going to participate at least do the bare minimum of participation in whatever platform you’re creating an account on. Just like I say about people who create blogs and then abandon them, you look worse creating a profile and not doing anything with it than not creating one at all.

At least those are my thoughts; am I alone here? Come on, someone try to justify why you think this is a good thing to do.

22 thoughts on “Your Profile Is Missing”

  1. Personally, Mitch, I don’t even think the privacy issue is a reason to leave a blank profile or picture, even on Facebook. No one’s asking for credit card info, but what business wouldn’t jump at the chance to promote their website’s URL?

    I don’t mean to sound harsh but if they can’t see the benefit in a completed profile I seriously doubt they’re worth the time it takes to click the connect button.

    I feel the same way about those that are afraid to use their real names. Who want’s to do business with a guy the calls himself “The Marketer Guy” (I made that up) on every profile with no name to associate it with? I was glad when G+ came out with the real name only rule.

    1. I’m with you on G+ requiring a regular name Brian, and Facebook does as well. I have said that I also don’t mind if some specific people are allowed to use different names, otherwise I doubt any of us would know who Slash or Madonna were. But if you say you’re in business or want to do business with others and you won’t even avail yourself of the free opportunities to do so, you’re wasting space and time. Great stuff; thanks.

  2. Agreed Mitch. Social media is called that for a reason – the word ‘social’ is a definite hint! I’ve met people who say they want to work independently, but who refuse to share information about themselves either on their web site or on social media. It’s a bit of a head scratcher to me. I was clearly told when I began working for myself, people want to know they’re contacting a real person, and that includes sharing a photo and a bit about yourself. I’m in control of what I share and it’s not that scary once you begin. That said, my former colleagues who are still employees, just don’t get why it’s important.

    1. I’m with you on this one Sue. When we work for ourselves privacy just doesn’t make as much sense, although none of us want to give it all away. But people miss the obvious opportunities to help promote themselves and also sometimes don’t understand why the rest of us are wary of them. That’s why I write this stuff, to help those who care to want to try to improve. Thanks for your comment.

  3. About 3 years ago, I was reading an article written by social media expert, at that time the idea for me to create my own social network was born. Actually he was saying that in the very near future, there will be so many new social networks and in the next 5 years, every website should offer membership option, this will build the base of so called Web 3.0. I think to some extends you are right, may be it is about privacy, may be people just come register and never come back to the same network, some account are automatically created with software and one other think, webmasters always try to keep sign up forms short and mandatory files usually are just email and username. Professional social networks or B2b networks usually mark all fields like address, name and position and required.

    1. Carl, I think this is the time for social media networks, and if one is creative enough they could find a way to generate lots of revenue while still having fun. I mean, did anyone see Pinterest taking off as it has? No, I still don’t have an account; I’m fighting the urge. lol

      1. Pintest is new social network, but the idea isn’t new, there is similar website which is based on microblogging architecture similar to Twitter, so technically this is hybrid between, Twitter and some kind of social bookmarks, which is nothing new. They invited me about 2 weeks ago, but I haven’t created account yet and I don’t think that I will. Large part of social networks are created not to target high revenue, lets take Twitter for example, or the recent LinkedIn or even Facebook. Of course when there are many visitors there are many option to generate revenue.

      2. I’m going to disagree with you on this one Carl because even if based on old technology, it’s a new look and people, mainly women, are jumping on it like it’s chocolate (yeah, that’s what would get me there). It’s got a fresh look and that’s drawing people there.

  4. Hey Mitch I am on all several social networks but my largest presence is twitter. I am trying to build a larger presence on twitter I will link with you.

  5. I’m the same way, I tend to avoid people that don’t fill out anything on their profiles. I do understand that some people might have a good reason to keep a low profile. However, I rarelyassociate with people online that aren’t willing to share the basic info.

    Well, there was one exception I’ve friended someone for years online. That was when I had Vegan Momma. She was one of my regular visitors. She never revealed her real name (or picture) until about a year ago. When the real person reached out to me on Facebook, I had no clue who she was until she gave me the name she used to use. I was happy that she finally stopped being anonymous.

    1. Opal, I can appreciate how some folks want to stay anonymous but want to talk to only a few people. I think Twitter’s private feature is for that and it’s a good one. But for people who list themselves and then put up nothing, and don’t contribute anything on a consistent basis… well, that’s not quite right. And I’m not blameless here; back in the day, before I started thinking much about social media (didn’t really know the term) I’d join groups, see what was going on, and if it was nothing I’d leave. But I always filled out a bit of the profile, thinking that you never know who might see it and want to contact you because they want to work with you.

  6. It can be like that for a variety of reasons Mitch. Some people build loads of social network accounts purely to distribute their content by automated means for link juice.

    Others probably start off with good intentions but forget to complete their profiles

    I see what you are saying with twitter but its more a place for gossiping and rumours, so imcomplete profiles should not be an issue as long as tweets and links posted in the timeline are relevant – so I wouldn’t think of twitter as social media like the others more as a place to distibute or receive short stories.

    1. Peter, overall my thing is that in places like LinkedIn and G+, not filling out your profile means you have no clue what you’re doing and thus who’d want to do business with you? As it regards Twitter, well, it might be a bit more freewheeling, but for anyone looking to drive traffic, if you will, not putting at least a link to a website and not cloaking it makes no sense. And I know almost no one who’s willingly following bots, since they’re fairly easy to identify.

  7. Hey, if people want to run around on Facebook looking like Dengaku Man, that’s fine by me – it’s a clear signal I don’t want to accept their Friend request (because they know what I look like and who I am, but are not willing to be equally straightforward with me). The ones that really drive me nuts are the ones who still use a celebrity photo as their profile. GROW UP, fan boy! Or the ones who only have female pictures among their friends and followers. ERrrrrrr…that’s not what I’m online for. And the little boys (seriously, we’re talking 17-19 year olds) from Lagos who want to marry me. What part of my profile that says “I’m happily married leave me alone” did they miss?

    I can explain about the LinkedIN business, though. Now that sites like Empire Avenue and Klout let you connect your account to profiles on LinkedIN (and other places), you earn POINTS for your activities. Social media gamification. Doesn’t have to be real interaction with real people, mind you, so there are a number of people who simply use it to puff up their social media “scores” and “presence” and make it look like they’re doing something with their day.

    Some of us still use LinkedIN the way it was intended to be used; generally speaking, I ignore connection requests that come from people I don’t know – in person, offline, or for a very long time online – or haven’t worked with or done a serious project with (so that I could, if called upon, say something nice and truthful about their work ethic and abilities). If you see “LION” next to someone’s name, though, it means they’ll connect with anyone until they hit the limit on their connections.

    Mitch, I hope you don’t mind my using my CommentLuv link, here, to help promote Abhi’s guest post (I know, it’s terribly confusing how it doesn’t go back to my blog, but I’d like to share the Luv today and send everyone over to his contest entry on Jane Sheeba’s blog, if you don’t mind).

    1. Holly, I don’t mind that you’re doing that, but I’d like to know how you’re doing it since above I see the link to your website; that’s freaking me out.

      As for LinkedIn and Empire Avenue, they still count engagement, and if those folks aren’t engaging anyone (is there automated posting to LinkedIn?) then they’re not getting any benefit from it. Course, I have an Empire Avenue article popping up here on Wednesday that may blow the socks off some things.

      1. Seriously? I wasn’t the last to learn this trick? Okay – tell you what, I’ll write you a blog post. 😉

  8. I’m in full agreement Mitch. Personally I have never created an account on any of those social media’s, but if I did, for business purposes, I would fill in all my details. Without that, you kinda look a bit shady in my opinion. Ultimately it’s doomed to fail, as people are not stupid, and they would much rather befriend and follow people such as yourself. Personally, I simple haven’t the time to open an account on 4-5 social/business networks and keep them updated. I guess I am a web 1.0 guy, I’ve enough problems figuring out how to get a gravatar working :).

    1. You’re killing me Richard! lol First, here’s a link talking you through how to create a gravatar: Second, I won’t join everything, but with what I do I need to be on the top social media platforms so I can talk about them and potentially get business through them. For every profile I pop in what I do and as many links to my businesses as I can, whether I end up doing a lot there or not. As you said, if people can’t reach me or don’t see what I do, who’d want to work with me?

  9. haha. Wow. This actually happened to me! You’re not alone. Sometimes it gets to the point where I just don’t want anyone to know anything about me. Different story for LinkedIn but like Facebook or any other social sites, I believe whoever I want to keep as friends are those who know me as who I am and strangers really don’t need to know me through my profile. So yeah, I enjoy the bare minimum on my “about me” page 🙂

    1. Alicia, I get it on Facebook. I don’t get it on LinkedIn or Google+, which are supposed to be for business networking. If that’s not the person’s purpose, then they shouldn’t even be there.

  10. I completely agree to you Alicia. Why should my profile be seen to everyone if some of them is not my acquaintances or friends? Better to limit your info to the people that you only know.

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