Big Ways to Improve Your Career Using Social Media
There are a number of ways that your career can be boosted in a major way by clever and appropriate usage of the social media. Underlying most of these efforts is the basic driving factor that building a strong network can have a powerful influence on your career. When you are proactive about your social media usage, it can position you to be ready for almost anything might come up in the way of opportunities.
For this reason, you would be well advised to be serious about your social media usage and how it can be a major factor in establishing a strong network of professional associates who can help further your career. Here are some ways that you can make use of the social media to build your personal network, so that you are ready for anything the future might offer in the way of opportunities.
Do an audit of your social media profiles
It might be worth your while to consider each of the social media profiles you have as a personal landing page for your professional services. Any of these social media accounts with a complete profile, could very well be the first impression that a future employer or business associate might have about you. That’s why your biography is so important, since it serves to explain to someone who doesn’t know you, what you’re all about and what your goals and objectives in life really are.
If you already have good profiles on each of your social media accounts, take a closer look at them and see if they can be improved. You may have left out some very important information about yourself that you would like a colleague to be aware of. Conversely, you may actually have some information on one of those profiles which you don’t want a business associate or future employer to see. If you have any special skills or strengths which you could offer to an employer, these should be featured on all of your social media profiles, so that you literally put your best foot forward.
Your LinkedIn profile is worthy of special attention, since that is the one social media platform which is most closely associated with the business world, and it’s the one where you are most likely to garner attention for your profile. It’s also a good idea to include important keywords in your biography, as well as your job title and any informative sections which you have on your landing page, because these are the same keywords that users may be searching for if they’re looking for employees.
Make sure these are keywords which are closely related to your actual profession or industry. If you’re having trouble thinking about what those keywords might be, you can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to find the most appropriate keywords or search terms which might be used by others.
Figure out your strategy
It might be to your advantage to keep your personal and professional contacts separate by setting aside one social media platform for friends and family, and another for business contacts and for professional networking. If you do decide to use all the social media for both business and friends, you’ll have to be a lot more careful about the posts that you make on each of the platforms. It’s very possible that you may want to make completely different posts to the various platforms you have an account on.
Whatever you decide, you need to make a definite choice about how you’re going to use the social media which you have profiles on, because there are certain risks involved in making blanket posts to all your accounts. There are certain aspects of your life which you simply may not want to share with business contacts and professional colleagues, or with potential future employees for that matter. This material needs to be screened out of your business profiles and relegated to your accounts used with friends and relatives.
Choosing the right social media
In terms of professional usage, Twitter and LinkedIn are by far the most appropriate social media platforms which you should be using. When you’re feeling more personal and wish to post accordingly, Instagram and Facebook are the more appropriate choices. However, these are only general guidelines, and it’s very possible that most of the professional people you’re interested in tend to hang out on one or the other of the social media platforms. Wherever you find that the majority of your professional associates spend their time, that’s probably the right social media platform for you to be frequenting as well.
Build your network
When you’re first starting out with using social media to your advantage, it’s best to begin by connecting with people you have already met and known in the past. These can include high school classmates or friends you had in college, or perhaps colleagues from prior jobs that you had. If you’re interested in any professional organizations, or any well-known social media influencers, you should follow these individuals and agencies, and periodically share posts with them.
Stay engaged by posting relevant and useful comments wherever you think it may be appropriate, so that you will come to be recognized as a participant who cares. While you’re building your network of professional associates, be careful not to randomly add too many people for the sake of building up a high headcount. This kind of strategy can quickly backfire and cause you problems in the future. It’s much better to reach out to solid relationships and build them organically by participating in chat groups, forums, and other user communities where you can legitimately interact with like-minded individuals.
Set goals for yourself
Before you even begin your long-term professional network project, take some time to think about what you hope to accomplish through the social media. Then break up this overall objective into achievable goals which can be accomplished within a week, a month, or a year. This will have the effect of keeping you on target, and causing you to strive toward a long-term objective, and that in turn will tend to manage your shorter-term objectives.
Bear in mind that establishing a professional presence in the social media is not something that will happen in a week or two. Think of this as an ongoing process that you will strive toward throughout your professional life, and which does not need to be rushed or hurried in any way. If you approach it in this way, you’re much more likely to build up a really solid network of worthwhile colleagues and professional associates, by using the social media.