If you are a regular reader of this blog then you know a little something about my Sway Factor™ system for social networking. When I train business owners, sales teams or  professional service “rainmakers” I spend a great deal of time on LinkedIn “profile optimization.” In short, optimizing your profile means taking advantage of every bit of real estate LinkedIn gives you to tell your story in a way that is meaningful (and discoverable) to your target market.

But I’m beginning to rethink that. Or at least I’m rethinking the way I phrase that.

Because what I’ve noticed lately is a rash of LinkedIn connections who turn on widgets they don’t use, reference websites that are never updated, and post status comments that are meaningless to their connections. Case in point: Your Twitter handle. LinkedIn now provides a field for you to enter your handle, or avatar name.

If you’re a frequent Tweeter than this makes perfect sense; invite your network into your Twitter stream and extend the conversation. But for those of you who staked out a small piece of Twitterville simply to grab your name, follow Oprah or otherwise tweet about inappropriate content, DO NOT – I repeat – DO NOT put your Twitter handle on your profile.

In fact, as my friend Tommy Thornton (@tqubed) puts it, “I wouldn’t advise anyone to promote unused social tools.” As a rule of thumb, be mindful about which tools you employ and showcase. After all, you are what you tweet.

Graphic Credit: artoftalk.tv