Social media has given people like you and me the power to be authors while on the bus, popstars in our living rooms and photographers in the park. Social media platforms are a great way to build your brand no matter what your interests are. The question is, what does what you’re putting online say about you?
I’m not saying we all need to become social media gurus or anything, but we should know how to use these platforms to our advantage! When we post on social media, our vulnerability skyrockets. We are essentially giving the world permission to judge us on what we’re saying and what we're posting on social could be saying more about you than we might think. This post focuses on how you can use social media to help (not hinder) you.
LinkedIn is the “big kid” of social media. Keeping your Linkedin profile up to date can be tedious and annoying, but very beneficial at the same time. If your LinkedIn is loaded with current accomplishments, fully described work experience and a filled out professional summary, you’re golden! Staying active on this channel gives the impression to other users that you really care about how others see you in your network. A stagnant LinkedIn profile can give people the wrong impression that you are careless or negligent. Potential employers and others in your network may see the effort you put into your LinkedIn presence translating to your work ethic so it will be worth the effort to keep your profile up to date.
To showcase your professional side on LinkedIn ask employers, professors and even coworkers to write recommendations for you. This is a valuable asset to have on your profile because it is so personalized to you and your skills. On the other hand, LinkedIn endorsements lack the same sort of luster. Endorsements on LinkedIn seem to be overused which makes them seem less credible in comparison to recommendations.
Even though LinkedIn is a more professional than other social platforms, you should still keep it human. Don’t be afraid to share your interests on LinkedIn as long as they are work appropriate. There is a section within your profile dedicated to this, where you can add your interests and share content related to your interests as well!
Use this powerful platform to its full capability! Many of the world’s most powerful brands and people are using this platform on a daily basis and I think it’s pretty awesome that we have access to them with the click of a button.
To portray a proactive, professional personna make sure you fill in your bio and use twitter handles and hashtags within it to identify the organizations you are a part of as well as your interests. Use an up-to-date photo so that you are easier to find for people searching for you. And remember, this isn't an exactly science! Try to stay active and tweet at least once or twice a week (or else you might get the dreaded "unfollow" - and nobody likes that!).
To be a Twitter allstar there are some general rules you need to follow. Engaging with people and sharing relevant content is vital! Twitter isn’t all about you, this platform was built to generate conversation. One hint is to follow interesting people in your industry and people who share the same general interests as you. And last but not least, NEVER buy followers, it’s easy to recognize when people do this and it can make you seem disingenuous. Building a strong and stable network of followers takes time but it’s worthwhile.
Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with friends, stay in the know about events happening within your network as well as cultivate your personal brand.
This channel has become widely popular for personal use. With that being said, we should still try and keep it professional! Show your fun side but keep it work appropriate.
Facebook might be the origin of what we now know as “over-sharing”. This means that your relationship woes, complaints about your job or one too many cat photos, should all stay off of Facebook. On the other hand, building your personal brand can be done via Facebook by sharing updates about things you care about, your hobbies, your passions and your interests.
One thing’s for sure, your potential employers are looking you up, so you put your best foot forward online and offline.
Pinterest is another social media tool that is more geared towards sharing personal information. Like Facebook, keep the things you “pin” work appropriate, but don’t be afraid to show your playful side either!
A great way to grow your network on social is by using keywords in your descriptions to become more easily searchable. Additionally, creating your own content to pin is a unique way to grab your followers attention. Share your own special recipes and DIY projects on Pinterest to show that you do more than listen, you're interested in contributing new content to this ever-growing social platform.
Don’t forget that you can use secret boards for content that you might not want to be public, like surprise party planning ideas or collaboratory projects with friends or colleagues.
Instagram makes thriving on social media easy with image sharing. We are all becoming less and less likely to actually read through content, we are reverting back to our childhood a little bit and would much rather see pretty pictures to take a break from all of the other noise. That’s what Instagram is all about.
Use Instagram like a pro by limiting hashtags and strategically selecting which to include with your photos. Using too many hashtags might make your photos look messy and even annoying to some of your followers. For example, #sun, #swag and #yolo, can probably be left out of the majority of your posts. One way to add more substance to your photo is by selecting the Add to Photo Map feature and sharing the location in which the photo was taken, whether it was at one of the many awesome new restaurants in Halifax or on your vacation to Australia, these are extra pieces of information that your followers might be interested in!
Another way to maintain an intriguing Instagram account is by using some of the many photo editing apps that are available and can be used in conjunction with this Instagram. An example of one of these apps is Instagram’s Hyperlapse app that came out recently, which creates time lapse videos. Staying trendy on Instagram will show that you are on top of your game and know how to resonate with your audience by creating interesting and unexpected photos and videos.
And lastly, please, try and keep the selfies to a minimum.
There is not always a “right answer” to how to use social media but hopefully this post gave you some direction on best practices for the channels that were mentioned. Using other platforms such as Google+, Vine and Flickr will strengthen your presence on social as well as support your other channels. Whichever social media platforms are your communication channels of choice, always remember that what you’re saying on social says a lot about you so be cautious and keep it professional!