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Let’s face it: in 2022, the career world is utterly different from how it was even a decade ago, thanks to the tsunami of social media and the evolution of mobile technology. It’s evident that if you want to stay competitive in this new labour market, you’ve got to be social media savvy to build and maintain a solid and professional presence online.
Nowadays, some employers monitor and track what you do on social media. Not only that, but many employers even seek new hires specifically through their online networks. According to a survey completed by CareerArc in 2021, 92% of employers use social media to find talent, which means there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using it yourself—if not for landing a new job, then for networking and for putting yourself out there.
What’s more, using social media can be crucial to your career growth. It allows you to network with potential employers, show what kind of person you are outside of work, and demonstrate your skills. A little time invested in making sure your profiles are current, clean (meaning minimal or at least appropriate clutter), and most importantly, professional, will go a long way in enhancing your online presence.
In this article, we will explore why managing your social media profile is important to your career and how you can go about building a powerful presence that works for you while keeping it professional at all times.
Social media describes the interaction among people, mainly through virtual communities and networks in web-based and mobile applications. Today, it takes many forms, from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube and beyond.
Social media can be a personal platform for sharing your thoughts with a select group of friends or family members, a professional outlet where you share your expertise with the world, or a creative outlet to showcase your talents to potential employers.
It is no surprise that social media has become such a mainstream phenomenon in today's society, with around 4.15 billion active users around the globe. When you consider that most of us carry around some form of internet-connected technology at all times, it makes sense that we would want to share our experiences and information with others in the same way we do in real life.
In addition to connecting with others, social media also offers many benefits for individuals who are using it as part of their job search or career strategy. Some of the most common benefits include:
While there is no question that all of these elements can be extremely beneficial to your career, there are still some pitfalls that many individuals—especially those who are new to the social media scene—need to be aware of as they build their online presence.
Some people enter the world of social media with a certain degree of trepidation. Some have a tough time trusting people they don't know, while others simply do not understand the value of sharing their information with anyone and everyone.
In other cases, some individuals may experience social media burnout after spending too much time toiling away on different platforms every day. In any event, here are three common pitfalls that can break your social media career strategy.
So, how do you make the most of each major social media site? What's best for your reputation and career prospects? Here we'll provide some guidance on how best to leverage LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to pursue your business goals.
LinkedIn is a social media site where business professionals find jobs, connect with colleagues, share industry news through groups or business pages, or follow companies of interest. You can share your professional achievements, update your work experience, set up alerts for new job opportunities, and more on your profile. Your LinkedIn presence can be an integral part of your professional network, and your profile reflects how you want to be perceived as a professional in your field.
LinkedIn is the number one resource for finding a job out of all the platforms. Members use it to network for jobs, clients, and recruits. Millions of jobs are posted on LinkedIn every day. You can search for jobs directly on the platform and reach out to connections to build your network. Since 72% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn to find and vet candidates, you want to make sure that it is comprehensively filled out to get their attention.
While job seekers might flock to LinkedIn only when they are unemployed, the platform is also beneficial for career management. Use it to establish yourself as a thought leader is becoming a recognized expert in your niche, field, or interest. If you become a subject matter expert in your field, people will gravitate to you. With Linkedin Groups, you can find like-minded professionals who share your interests. Use it to regularly make connections, publish content, and engage with posts.
LinkedIn’s Business Solutions lets you set up a company profile so that you can build an online community around it. You can use it to get customers and potential customers engaged with your business. You can also use the available tools to help expand your business through advertising and recruiting.
Facebook is currently the most prominent social networking service in the world, with over 2.5 billion monthly users. It's a platform for sharing personal photos, stories, videos and connecting with friends and family. While it’s mostly a personal network, it can be helpful for businesses and professional outreach.
About 60% of recruiting managers use Facebook, so you don’t want to dismiss this platform when it comes to job hunting. You can use Facebook to research prospective employers and look for job postings. Many employers use a Facebook business page to post open jobs. Another option is checking out community-made Facebook groups for your area where new jobs are posted every day.
You can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by sharing relevant articles and connecting with influencers in your field. Start adding content by posting interesting articles about your industry from reputable sources. You could also share photos from events that you have sponsored or attended. While not everyone will see this content, particularly if you have a smaller personal network, you can still shape how your peers see you. This can help build trust with your audience and create an environment where they feel comfortable contributing to your ideas and will be more likely to follow you on other social media platforms.
A business page lets users learn more about your work and connect with you. Half of Facebook users say a company’s business page is more valuable than their website that provides more up-to-date information and allows for a quicker response time to customer inquiries. You can also use Facebook live to broadcast what goes on behind the scenes at your work. Advertising on this platform is another option if you want your post to get more viewers.
Twitter is always newsworthy; there are controversial statements by politicians and other major players, and breaking news stories about significant events around the world. A main advantage of Twitter is that it's one of the few major social media sites where you don't need to spend much time maintaining your profile. You could sign up and check in on your feed a few times a day. That's more than enough time to find what's important and relevant to you and retweet or reply as necessary.
Twitter is a great way to keep up with what is happening in your industry. Find influencers in your field and follow them. Chime in when someone in your industry asks for information or assistance. You never know what kind of connections they have, and some people on Twitter end up meeting face-to-face.
You'll want to post engaging content about your company or brand and follow industry leaders or competitors that you'd like to keep tabs on. This is easiest if you create an account specifically for your marketing purposes—don't tie it to personal activity as well. That way, your business-related tweets will stand out in a crowd.
Use relevant, professional hashtags to help boost your profile. If you use trending hashtags, you increase the chances of prospective followers finding you. Twitter also offers an ad platform to help reach your target audience.
Instagram is the photo-sharing platform of choice for those who care about their appearance online. It's where people go to post selfies and images of food, pets, vacations, and other fun things they've been up to. With nearly one billion monthly active users, Instagram is a powerful channel for businesses to engage consumers and prospective customers.
Instagram is a great way to keep your mind fresh and updated on what’s happening in your industry. Follow and interact with accounts of businesses to gain insight into their work culture.
Before you begin posting, it’s a good idea to gather inspiration by checking out what others in your industry are doing and how they’re doing it. Photos are the most clickable content on the Internet. Put some time and effort into posting photos your followers will like, and your page will grow.
Instagram offers advertising options, including shoppable posts that businesses can use to sell products without users leaving the platform. You can also use Instagram stories to publish photos and videos to promote your personal brand.
Develop a strong online presence on 1-2 platforms
You don’t want to exhaust yourself trying to keep up with all the platforms. Consider which accounts are most relevant to your industry, then aim to be consistently active on 1 or 2 platforms. Of course, there are other platforms than the one mentioned above that could be suitable depending on your industry.
Allot time every day to spend on social media
The best solution is to set aside 30 minutes a day to engage with followers. You don’t want to drain all your energy using social media. While managing your social media presence is important, you don’t want to compromise too much of your personal life in the process.
Use content repurposing in your social media strategy
Coming up with fresh content every time you post can become time-consuming. Content repurposing is the practice of using one piece of content to make another piece of content. For example, you might publish a blog post on your site and then republish it on your Twitter feed and elsewhere to increase the reach of the original piece of content.
Consider using a social media management platform to schedule posts
If you want to stick to your posting schedule, consider using software such as HootSuite that allows you to preschedule posts. Schedule software also shows you the best time of the day to post according to each platform to ensure you get the most engagement possible.
Social media management is an essential skill that can propel your career forward, build your brand, and connect you with the right people. In today's rapidly changing business landscape, it's more important than ever to have a strategy for using social media.
To avoid social media pitfalls, it helps if you can take a step back from time to time and reflect on what kind of online presence you are trying to establish through your social media activity. No matter the platform, always think twice before you post. Never post anything that might jeopardize your reputation. Follow the above tips to ensure that you present yourself online in a professional yet impactful way.