By Daniel Nieves, Latin Business Today

Social-media outlets are there to help you reach your audience, but they’re only effective if you take the time to tend to them

Everyone it seems has taken to social media, whether for personal or professional purposes. As a result, you can easily be lost in the crowd. To counter this, make sure to update your profiles, media and other information on a semi-frequent basis. This will help you become more recognizable and memorable.

Social-media profiles are anything but static. New posts, pictures, tweets and other updates appear every day—if not even more often (rapid-fire tweets, for example). With that thought in mind, you should update your outlets frequently to reflect your work and accomplishments, new skills and recent additions to your network. This will help you stay fresh in the minds of your intended audiences.

And the New Year is a perfect time to begin doing this. Here are a few simple tips that can help you spruce up your profiles and begin 2014 on the right foot.

1.  Update Your LinkedIn Profile

With more and more people turning to LinkedIn for jobs and career opportunities, it’s important to keep your profile up to date. Have you started a new position in 2013? Picked up any new skills or certifications?  LinkedIn is a vital piece of your digital footprint, so be sure to keep your information fresh.

2. Update Your Bio

Along similar lines, be sure your bio (or in some instances, an “about” section) on other social channelssuch as Twitter or your blog are up-to-date. Where it makes sense, be sure to include relevant links, such as to your website, blog or additional social profiles.

3. Update Your Profile Photo

Do you have a new headshot or photo that you’ve been using? If so, be sure to refresh your profile photo on respective social-media channels. On LinkedIn, for example, your connections will see an update when you’ve uploaded a new photo. This can be a great way to increase the visibility of your profile.

4. Enhance Your Network

You’ve inevitably made new connections over the course of 2013, whether at networking events, conferences or trade shows. But have you followed up to connect with them on social channels such as LinkedIn or Twitter? Your network has never been more important than in today’s digital world, so be sure to follow through.

5. Adjust or Modify Your Notifications

Some people may get too many notifications, while others feel like they aren’t getting enough. Tweak the settings based on your preference. (e.g., email frequency). For those who use their mobile device to access social channels, it’s also recommended that you modify the push notifications so you can get timely alerts and updates.

6. Add Media

Media and rich content are always well received on social-media sites. Channels such as LinkedIn have rolled out new features that help you highlight rich content on your profile, such as a presentation you recently gave or sample work products.

7. Update Your Groups

Groups on LinkedIn and even Facebook can be great avenues to enhance your network and demonstrate your expertise. Did you join some groups when you first signed up but haven’t been back since? If so, now’s a good time to unsubscribe/leave those that aren’t bringing a lot of value and search for one or two that are more relevant to you and your business.

8. Ask for Recommendations

Recommendations are a great feature offered by LinkedIn that can help your profile stand out in the crowd. If you haven’t received any recommendations to date, now may be a good time to think of two to three people in your network—whether current or former colleagues, managers or direct reports—from whom you could request recommendations.

9. Claim Your User Names

If you haven’t jumped into the social-media space yet, or plan to do so in 2014, a great first step is claiming your user name on respective channels. As potential employers turn to social media to screen candidates, you want to be sure they find you. It’s quite possible your user name may have already been taken, but sites such as Namechk can help you check availability.

While these may seem like small steps, they can go along way to enhancing your social media efforts in 2014. And remember, while the New Year presents a great opportunity to spruce things up, these items can be done more frequently to keep your social-media presence fresh throughout the year. This is especially true with the ever-increasing noise found in social media. You don’t want to shout to be heard, but it never hurts to add your voice in subtle yet important ways.

Dan Nieves is a strategy consultant with Deloitte, working with clients across public, private, and non-profit sectors primarily in the areas of social business and digital. Internally, he co-leads a reverse-mentoring program that pairs “digital natives” with senior leaders to grow their understanding and use of social media. Follow him on Twitter (@DanNieves) for the latest news and happenings in social media, marketing and technology.