Arment Dietrich

Five Steps to Digital Spring Cleaning

By: Arment Dietrich | April 24, 2013 | 

Five Steps to Digital Spring CleaningHere in Ohio the forsythia is about to bloom, trees are budding, and daffodils are everywhere.

Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to start the annual spring cleaning.

It happens every year.

And, in between washing walls and windows, putting away sweaters and mittens, and hauling out the flipflops, you can take a few minutes to spring clean your digital presence.

Like traditional cleaning, you need to do it and it isn’t always fun, but the results are well worth the effort you invest.

You can break your digital spring cleaning up into groups of tasks and do a little bit at a time, or pull a marathon and go through it all in the same day.

Five Steps to Digital Spring Cleaning

1. Review

Your digital presence is defined in large part by the your website, your blog, and your social networking profiles. Take the time to go back and review each of them. Does your website accurately reflect your business? Is it time to give it an updated look and feel? What about your blog? (My personal blog is waaay out of date and I have neglected it sadly for many, many months. It’s at the top of my to-do list.)

How about your social networking profiles? Take the time to review things like your “friends” and old notes or page “likes.” Look at your Facebook Timeline image, your Google+ banner, and your Twitter background. Reread your LinkedIn profile. Review your Twitter lists. How about the people you are following or those who you’ve accepted as friends, are they still important?

In today’s fast-paced digital world, things are always changing. It’s important to review your digital channels on a regular basis to make sure each one is doing its part to help build an effective digital presence for you.

2. Remove

Is it time to get rid of old content that no longer serves its purpose? What about some of those pictures you’ve been tagged in on Facebook? You know, the ones that don’t really show you at your best or could be misinterpreted. How about the Twitter followers you don’t really connect with or those who are spamming the network? Remove people you follow that you don’t really know, care for or connect with, remove the “friends” who aren’t really friends, the content that’s outdated or potentially problematic, and anything that just doesn’t fit today.

3. Reorganize

Now you can reorganize. Go through your Google Analytics and see what visitors to your site are paying attention to. You may find content you’d forgotten or decide to move content around to make it easier to find. You might even rediscover a topic you’d overlooked, something you can dust off and reuse. Go through your Flickr channel or the albums you’ve uploaded to Google+. Think through how you are using online tools to update your social media channels. Do you need to revise or reorganize that process? (I just learned of a new way to share a client blog on Feedly this morning. I had no idea I could use it for this purpose, and I will definitely reorganize the way I share client blog posts and updates in the future.)

4. Renew

Renew your focus and interest in your online activity. In the same way that having a sparkling clean house or apartment makes you feel reenergized, having your digital spring cleaning done and provides a sense of relief and makes it easy–and even fun–to get back in the game with renewed energy and drive.

5. Relax

Now you can relax. It’s been a bit of work, but well worth doing, and you can kick back and relax, knowing your digital presence is what you want and need it to be.

For now.

Have you gone through the digital spring cleaning process yet this year? What tips would you offer? Got any tools to suggest to make things easier?

  • martinakaiwi

    Allen, thank you so much for this post. After completing your 5-step process,  I hope better illustrate to my audience my professionalism or organizational skills. 
    I am a soon to be graduate from the University of Alabama and I am currently looking for jobs in the PR industry. As PR practitioners, we understand the importance  branding yourself as a professional. After reading this post, I need to take an objective look at how others perceive my online presence. Again thank you for this reminder of how an organized digital profile can make all this difference in how you operate and how others perceive you. 
    Martina Kaiwi
    Contributing Writer and Editor, Platform Magazine

  • belllindsay

    Spring cleaning?? Ack! I need a maid. Great post Allen, we often “set and forget” – when it comes to our social profiles and back content. Thoughtful reminders here. 🙂

  • A great post, Allen. Be sure to mark your calendar to re-post it about a year from now. Folks will need it again.

    • maxchristianhansen Thanks. I also need to take my own advice, D’oh!

  • Thank you, Allen. Can you clarify what you mean by sharing a blog on Feedly? I’m a Reader refugee and have been using Feedly (thanks in part to the recommendations here) for a few weeks to read blogs, but are you saying there’s an option to broadcast via Feedly?
    Regarding clutter, I’m obsessive about keeping my digital life neat and clean. A few weeks ago I used Find Big Mail to purge a bunch of giant messages from my gmail, freeing up space. And a tip for Mac users, if you use iPhoto and iMovie, you can get rid of the original copies of photos and videos that are in other folders on your hard drive. Once they’re imported to iPhone and iMovie, they reside there and the other copy is duplicative.

    • RobBiesenbach In feedly, in list view, click on an article to open it. There should be a bunch of sharing buttons, one for each major social site. Click one, say, Twitter. You should be given a way to connect your twitter account to feedly. Thereafter, clicking that same button will open a window with the article’s title & a shortened URL. You can then edit the text in that window as a tweet, and either tweet it or buffer it for later. (There’s a buffer button, too, and buffer is a tool worth checking out.)

      • maxchristianhansen Oh, okay, thank you, Max. I totally misunderstood. I did discover those buttons, but I thought Allen was suggesting there was a function somewhere on Feedly where you could broadcast or push your own blog posts out to like-minded readers — like a wordpress or reddit thing, I guess. 
        I did not know about the buffer function, though, and will definitely check that out. Thank you again!

    • RobBiesenbach Hey Rob, as it turns out, I can grab the feed of a blog and review it but not easily reshare using Feedly. Feedly is a great tool though.

  • First, love the alliteration in the steps! Very nice! Secondly, the only tool I have to add it ManageFlitter. It helps you clean out spam, robots, and inactive accounts with the push of a button. I use it about once a week to keep my Twitter account clean…if only so some of our friends don’t post how many inactive people follow me. Oy.

    • ginidietrich Gini, you know what I like about you (no let me rephrase…one of the many things I like about you). You use your powers of ESP and figure out what I need to know and then you post it to make my life easier.  I was just going to ask if there was good tool to do just that! 
      Thank you! Thank you for your advice and for always making my needs a priority! Off to ManageFlitter….

      • LauraPetrolino I live to serve you.

      • belllindsay

        LauraPetrolino ginidietrich Actually, *I* do that for you Laura. 😉

        • belllindsay ginidietrich Well obviously! You are like the Alfred and the Q (with an amazing glitter sprinkling touch of She-Ra) of the entire operation! So thank you Lindsay “Princess of Power” Bell-Wheeler! Always appreciated! You will definitely be given a key Czar position when I take over the universe! xo

        • belllindsay ginidietrich Czar of #Rawr 🙂

    • ginidietrich ManageFlitter is a useful tool. I’d love to be able to speed it up a bit for certain, ahem, client accounts though.

  • If I give you my passwords, will you do it for me? I know it would be pretty hard to make me look good, but I’ll settle with presentable.

  • Very nice Allen. It’s always a great idea to review your social accounts. I’d also recommend for those with website access/control to have a content clear out too. A good content audit can help you cut away the dead wood and re-purpose it to better fit what clients and visitors are looking for.

    Thanks for the tool tip too Gini, might come in useful 🙂

  • PattiRoseKnight

    My favorite is the #5…relax ahhhhhhhh.

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