Improving your social media presence is essential if you are interested in having a successful career. Whether you are a jobseeker or a professional who’s trying to pivot their career, optimising your social profiles can go a long way to helping establish you as a leader in your industry.
1. Develop a Strategic Plan
It’s important to understand why you want to grow your social media presence. Is it because you are hoping to network with other professionals? Looking for a job? Or is it because you want to increase your following in the hope that you’ll eventually be able to start your own business? Determining what your expectations are will you choose the right strategy.
2. Define Your Audience
Just like any good marketer would tell you, unless you cater to your audience’s needs, there’s not much chance that you will succeed in getting your message across. So, consider who you are interested in attracting and tailor your content to fit those expectations. For example, if you are hoping to get a job, you need to attract hiring managers. The best way to appeal to them is by quantifying your achievements.
3. Create Accounts Across All Platforms
Although maintaining accounts across all platforms can be time-consuming, it’s important that you remain active on all networks as this will help you reach a wider audience, and as such, it will allow you to maximise your potential. What’s more, as each platform is different, having an account on all of them can help you demonstrate different aspects of your personality.
4. Complete All of Your Profiles
You are strongly recommended to complete your profiles; incomplete profiles can make you appear unprofessional. A complete profile with all the right information also helps people understand who you are, what you do and why your voice matters, so don’t cut corners when it comes to building your profiles.
5. Create Compelling Content
Investing time and effort into your online presence can work wonders for your career so take the time to produce interesting content on a regular basis. Whether you have a personal blog or website, it’s important to have a space where you can create content which you can then share on social networks. Posts that prove your understanding of industry trends or that showcase what you can do as a professional can go a long way in helping you demonstrate the level of expertise any professional would want to transmit.
6. Respect Each Platform’s Niche
It’s crucial that you respect each platform’s niche and that you don’t try to push too much on a single platform. Don’t share text updates on Instagram for example, because that’s not what Instagram is for. Share your photos and images there, and use Twitter for text updates.
7. Join Groups
To gain visibility and meet other professionals in your industry you need to network. Social media channels give you an excellent platform to do just that as most channels offer the opportunity to join industry-related groups of people. You’ll find that there’s a relevant group for every industry under the sun, so don’t hesitate to start making professional connections on platforms like LinkedIn.
8. Be Human
To increase your following you are going to need to ensure that your profiles are as friendly to readers as possible. Even if you are planning on using a management software, your posts should never be clinical. Rather, you should ask for input and show that you care.
9. Connect Your Platforms
All your social media accounts should be interlinked. If you have a website for example or a personal blog, you need to make sure that there are buttons leading to all your social profiles. You should also try to mention all the other platforms you use on each channel.
10. Update Content Regularly
A profile that is not updated regularly seems unkept, and you definitely don’t want people to get that impression. Update your content often but try not to overdo it, as you don’t want to appear as someone who spends more time online than working, but don’t leave a network without fresh content for over a week either.
It’s also important to be consistent about your updates and provide a steady flow of content to all of your accounts. Don’t put all of your efforts on Linkedin for example and forget all about the rest of the networks that you are using for career advancement.
11. Engage With Others
What makes these channels so effective in career development is that they help the individual become member of something bigger. Getting to know other professionals and understanding their views is a big part of why you should be using social networks, so make sure to engage with others by commenting and sharing their posts.
12. Write a Captivating Bio
Whether it’s the summary on your Linkedin or your About page on Facebook, all social media networks give you an opportunity to explain who you are. Make the most of this opportunity by explaining your goals and letting people know who you are as a professional. Think of your bio as your elevator pitch so put some thought into it - just make sure you keep it short and to the point.
13. Optimise Your Accounts
Make sure to use keywords as this will help improve your social media presence. Not only will you make your profiles more findable, but it will also help establish your professional presence amongst your peers.
14. Use Hashtags
Hashtags can increase the visibility of your posts, and this is why you need to use them. They also help make your profile more findable, but that does not mean that you should randomly add hashtags at the end of each of your posts. Make sure that you don’t go overboard and that each hashtag is pertinent to the topic at hand.
15. Don’t Repeat Yourself Across Platforms
The idea of being present on multiple platforms is so that your followers can engage with you on all of them and this will never happen if you just share the exact same posts and content on all of your platforms. Spice things up by sharing different things as this will keep your followers interested and is more likely to increase engagement.
16. Put Effort Into Building Your Profiles
Creating a social profile is more than just signing up to a new network, especially if you are hoping to advance your career. Consider every last detail, as in the long run these things will matter. Is your username the same as on your CV and business cards? Does your profile image show your face? These little things can help improve your social media presence so don’t pass them by.
17. Check Your Privacy Settings
As most of us use social networks in our personal lives as well, it’s important to make the most of the privacy settings of each platform to ensure that posts that you want your friends to see can only be seen by your friends. At the same time, make sure that any career related things you post can be seen by everyone. You wouldn’t want to post something that showcases your talents for example and not have a recruiter see it, would you?
18. Start a Blog
A blog can aid you in sharing your professional insight. It’s a place where you can muse on matters pertinent to your industry, while you can also go in depth about new projects that you are handling. Just make sure that you share whatever you post on your blog across all of your ` platforms.
19. Build an Online Portfolio
Although your blog could be your online portfolio, you need to ensure that you have a place online where you share your work or samples of your work. This will showcase your skills and abilities, while it will also come in handy when you are trying to get a new job.
20. Use Linkedin Recommendations
These testimonials can help establish your professional presence. Having someone whom you have worked with talk about your skills can convince others of your potential, so don’t hesitate to ask colleagues and bosses alike to write a recommendation for you on Linkedin.
It’s important to improve your social media presence as it can help your career move forward. What’s great about growing your career with the help of these networks is that they don’t require a great deal of effort. All you need is a social media strategy that focuses on your goals and to follow the tips listed above.
Do you have any questions about using social networks to improve your online presence? Let me know in the comment section below!
See Also: Top 25 Funniest LinkedIn Endorsements
This article was origianally published in July 2013.