In the age of LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, your social media presence has never been more important than now. Your online presence is a free form of personal branding that you have control over. Readily accessible to potential employers and HR managers, it is part of the candidate assessment process.
As a game changer for connecting businesses, brands and individuals, social media gets you leads on your dream job, be it via recruiters on LinkedIn or leads that you source for yourself from Facebook. You are a brand. Market yourself. Here are five steps to level up your social media game as a young working professional.
1. Know your audience
It is not a mystery who is reading or looking up your profiles on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn — you can be sure hiring managers and recruiters are on the prowl, in addition to your co-workers who can look up your profiles.
Other than making sure your social media profile is clean, it is time to think about what you are revealing about yourself online and how that reflects on you professionally. It can range from your personality, interests, level of professional skills and expertise, as well as your career development mindset. This brings us to the next point of creating your professional image and storytelling online.
2. Tell your stories
Influencers build their social media presence by telling unique stories about themselves. They provide easily digestible inspiration that they know the audience is after. Let’s take the cues from three influencers who have mastered personal branding.
What makes Guy Kawasaki likable and memorable as a social marketing guru? What does Neil Patel want people to know about him most, since he has founded many companies? How does Susan Cain manage her social media presence with her unexpected fame on the power of introverts?
Guy Kawasaki, who created a huge social media following, places emphasis on the photos he uses, as shown in his Facebook profile. His signature smile help audiences remember him, along with his name as his brand.
Millionaire, Internet entrepreneur and co-author of Hustle, Neil Patel puts his readers first always. On his site, a succinct ‘Neil Patel by the Numbers‘ overview contains the most important digits for new and current followers.
Susan Cain shot to fame unexpectedly for her book on the power of introverts. On her Facebook profile, we see the full set of links to her other social media profiles such as on LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. Choose the platforms you want to be on, set up stellar profiles on them and make sure your intended followers have access to your portfolio sites. Curating your desired online presence across different social media platforms is as important as removing any unwanted content online about yourself.
Deciding what to post and when to post is best done by planning your content calendars for social media. To make sure you have quality and presence online, engage your audience with content that they want to see. Keeping an inventory of links to videos and articles which speak to you and are also of benefit to your followers. Develop your own unique posting style, with your own tone and voice so that your posts come across to your audiences naturally.
You don’t want to be posting too much, especially if people are going to think it is spam. Aim for what is realistic and manageable for yourself. The below plan is comprehensive and ambitious to keep up to! Here’s how you can cover a variety of content like how Gary Vee does it.
Participating in professional Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups are crucial to your career development. You get to see how fellow professionals in the same industry add value to their work. On such platforms, make sure you are giving of yourself before asking for anything and respect community guidelines by staying on topic.
Lend a hand to support the latest campaigns for causes in your industry. Supporting fellow designers on their personal passion projects by liking and following their pages. You can share and promote their content if it engages with you deeply. You can also find collaborators by reaching out to them on online professional networks too. For instance, a photographer looking for writers or layout designers to work with on a dream publication, can browse the profiles of these wordsmiths and creatives on such online communities. Here, you can identify and approach potential collaborators.
5. Go offline
The true mark of success on social media networking for professional millennials is the formation of valuable relationships offline. To start, invite your friends to talks and events which are of their interest. Organise a meetup for some of your different circles of friends to meet based on common interests. Initiate communication with potential mentors over email which can lead to lunches or catching up over other events, or invite an active follower of your profile to coffee.
In short, you ought to know who are your audiences, who you are engaging with online. Then strategise how you tell your stories and share useful content with others, and finally taking the engagement offline for meaningful connections.