If you are like most career professionals who are not employed in digital marketing, your social media posts may be private, or public, but not career focused. Social media is part of our everyday lives now, and a source for news and commentary, but also a way that we all stay connected with family, friends and colleagues around the world.
Social media communities and engagement is so ingrained in our private and professional lives however, that regardless of your level of interaction on a daily or weekly basis, your peers and potential employers will evaluate you (fairly or not) by what you post on social. Keeping your public social media accounts professional (see our previous article “Social Media Tips for Job Seekers: Essentially, What Not to Do” is important, but you can also focus on increasing your presence to support advancement in your current role to create new opportunities in your career.
In this post, our recruiters provide valuable tips to help you polish your online persona, and suggestions on finding content that is relevant to your industry to share. We’ll show you how to present yourself as a “thought leader” within your industry, and suggest tools that make it easy to maintain an active online presence.
1. How often should I be posting on social networks?
We have all noticed that some business professionals insist on being on every social media channel. The strategy follows a “more is more” mentality, but if you are not posting (and conversing) regularly on a social media channel, the effort is moot. Having an inactive social media account that you haven’t posted on in months reflects poorly, and is worse than not being present at all.
Aim for a minimum of three times per week on at least two social channels. The networks that you choose will also determine the kind of posts you share.
- Twitter is suitable for industry articles, brief discussions and networking by following leaders and organizations that you are interested in. The hash tag search allows you to zero in on conversations that pertain to your career sector.
- On Facebook, we recommend creating a dedicated business page for career posts. Sharing live stream videos and photo’s during corporate events and conferences is a quick way to increase your audience. Share industry article and comments.
- Post, but also make time to share content provided by other professionals on LinkedIn, and comment. Also, engage actively in industry related groups.
For many people, Snapchat is something of a learning curve, and not always used by business professionals, as posts are ‘temporary’ and not saved for the long term. This makes it difficult to create a professional portfolio of experiences or comments on Snapchat.
2. How do I create a professional social media profile?
Have you ever noticed how CEO’s and leadership always have professional, succinct social media profiles? If you are creating your own from the ground up, make sure to address each point for a social media profile that will work hard for you.
- A professional profile image.
- Identification of your title, company and a few words that define your unique talents.
- A shortened url link to your LinkedIn profile, or an online professional page that lists all your social media networks, blog, website or other digital collateral, like the “Me” service.
Remember to keep your social media profile consistent on all channels. Simply copy and paste.
3. How should I engage with companies I am interested in?
Frequently career professionals hesitate to network with organizations that they are keenly interested in. The fear perhaps is that they risk appearing to be an annoyance, or pandering to the company, or senior managers, but that is only the case with excessive communications over social media.
If you are interested in a few different companies, following them on social media will allow you to get to know their culture better. It will also keep you informed of their campaigns, strategy and special programs, allowing you to become knowledgeable about their mission and goals.
While tweeting, and posting to your ‘dream employer’ may not get your hired directly, it is certainly beneficial if you are interviewed, at which time your engagement can be mentioned to your interviewer. Why does it reflect favorably? It shows commitment and an authentic, vested interest in learning and being part of the organization, two very desirable qualities that influence hiring.
4. Where do I find industry relevant content to post regularly?
You may not have time to go searching for new articles about your industry on a daily or weekly basis, but posting blogs, whitepapers and discussions on LinkedIn (or sharing them) is a valuable exercise. Try a free content aggregate like Scoop.It, software that collects articles by keyword and allows you to share directly to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Or you can also have the content sent directly to your email by subscribing to websites. Some of our favorites include:
Create a separate free email account (i.e., Gmail) specifically to ‘catch’ all relevant articles, and use that email to subscribe (and avoid clutter in your business email account). Then you can simply log into your email, pick and choose articles to read, and then post them on social with a comment or valuable professional insight.
Don’t forget to #hashtag searchable terms in your posts, to help connect recruiters, employers and peers in your industry to your shared content. It will help grow your online network.