Your online presence is more important than ever, with employers checking your likes, shares, and posts to your “friends” checking your current location and habits. We find ourselves trying to share as much of our personal lives as possible to “keep up with the current trend”, but how much of this is actually damaging our personal brand?
Research conducted by Monster.co.uk and YouGov has revealed that 56% of UK HR professionals admit that a candidate’s online reputation has an influence on their hiring decision and 65% admit to googling a candidate during the employment process.
To ensure you’re protecting your online image, follow these top 20 social media tips to present yourself in the best light:
1. Google Yourself
Give your digital footprint a ‘spring clean’. Google yourself and find out what employers can see and take the opportunity to clean up unwanted photos and embarrassing status updates. It’s time to delete your Myspace from your early teens and cringey tweets about your relationships; try to keep your online presence professional.
2. Remain Relevant
In today’s day and age, you need to remain relevant and be consistent. Take Kylie Jenner for example, with over 97.2 million followers on Instagram, she posts regularly (sometimes twice a day) to keep her fan base, and to stay popular. If you’re not updating your social media accounts with current images or information, on a somewhat regular basis you’ll lose friends/ followers and potential recruiters won’t be impressed with your lack of regularity.
3. Network, Network, Network
Networking online is just as important as in person. Using tools like LinkedIn and Twitter, you can connect with a key industry professional and build an online community. Make sure you engage in online conversations and try to stand out (in a good way of course).
4. Be Resourceful
Be the person that people turn to when they want advice or motivation in your specific industry. Take inspiration from Kayla Itsines, with over 7.2 million followers; she built her brand on her insane fitness skills and knowledge. She advises her followers on how they should be training, eating and how she transforms people’s lives.
5. Connections are Vital
“It’s about who you know, not what you know”. This old saying cannot be far from the truth; in today’s cut-throat world you need to have connections as well as a degree, and some bad-ass experience. LinkedIn and Twitter can be a great resource for finding networking events and individuals who work at the organisations you are interested in. Join as many online discussions and communities as you can and start building those all-important relationships.
6. Revamp Your Online Appearance
Take a look at all your social networking accounts and make sure you’re consistent throughout all of them. If you don’t like how you’re presenting yourself, your employer or recruiter won’t be impressed either. Delete your drunken pool party photos from “Aiya Napa ’12” and replace with some travel photos that showcase your personality.
7. Be Unique
Don’t try to copy what other people are doing. Think of new and innovative ways to express yourself and your work. Your followers will see that you’re truly passionate about what you are doing and will believe in it and follow your expertise.
8. Build an Audience
It’s important when building a brand or looking for new employment to engage with other users and shows that you are capable of building an audience. “It's about cultivating a quality audience,” says Samuel Scott, director of marketing and communications at Logz.io, on Cio. Has the person built a real audience? If so, how -- and could the same strategy be applied to our company? says Scott.
9. Positivity is Priceless
Make sure that your online image is positive; any moaning and gossiping should be left online. Potential employers and followers want to be stimulated by what they see and read and want to feel good vibes otherwise they will just look elsewhere.
10. Be Social Story Teller
Many social influencers have a story to share – figure out what your story is and how this will relate to your followers. You won’t change the world, but your story may have a lasting impact on society.
11. Show Your Presence
Be present and show why you deserve to have a large following. 'A once-weekly Twitter post or monthly Instagram photo are not going to accomplish much, if anything,' writes Michael Noice, founder of Entrepreneur Coaching. 'For this reason, it's best to focus on two or three carefully chosen social platforms and try to be active on them, rather than posting sporadically to a half-dozen.'
12. Use Tools to Your Advantage
Use online networks to find out background information; you may have an interview coming up and want to find out about the business development or your interviewer before your meeting. With access to the internet at your fingertips, there isn’t much that can be kept secret.
13. Focus on Industry-Related Platforms
It’s important to focus on the most popular platforms that are most used in your industry. You can join groups on LinkedIn, follow blogs, sign up to newsletters and participate in discussion forums. It helps you stay up-to-date with the latest industry information and provides you with the opportunity to make important connections.
14. Content is King
Choose good content over a big following; when you provide interesting information you are more likely to build a steady audience. Vicky Creevey at the Guardian said: "In most instances, content is more important than number of followers. However, if you are applying for a social media, community or PR vacancy they may want to see both."
15. Show Your Colours
With culture being ever more important in day to day life and in the hiring process, social media could be the place to show your personality. During a 30 minute interview, you may not have the chance to show your true colours, but you can do so through your personal brand. Build a picture that would attract employers (obviously a good reference of who you are and not somebody else) and show how you would fit into different teams.
16. Tap into Trends
If you’re struggling for ideas; have a look at what’s currently trending and see how you can put a spin on to it, or join into the online conversations.
17. Up Your Images
Images are everything; gone are the days where we would sit and read lengthy pieces. People want quick images that they can look at and then carry on browsing. Use popular apps to make your pictures more artistic, or an infographic within your blog post.
18. Follow Hashtag Etiquette
#over #hashtagging #is #annoying #and #confusing! Get the point? To remain reputable keep the hashtags to one or two per post.
19. Share Other People’s Content
When sharing other users content, add your own comment on the post. This will make it more engaging and will add a personal touch on a generic share.
20. Schedule Tweets for Evenings and Weekends
So you don’t miss out on most of the traffic; use scheduling apps to make sure that you’re sharing your posts at the optimum time.
With any kind of personal exposure, you are bound to encounter the good and the bad. By following these tips you will eliminate the highly-sensitive information and should have a well-protected image.
Do you have any other social media tips to share with other users? If so, leave a comment in the section below…