Social media provides an invaluable way to boost your career success because it gives you the opportunity to build a strong network. Being proactive with social media can position you so that you’re ready for any career changes. Here’s how to go about using social media in a way that facilitates career success.
Conduct an audit of your profiles
Think about each social media profile as a landing page. It could be the first impression someone has of you. Your bio is a good opportunity to explain what you’re all about in a concise and clear way.
If you already have profiles, see if you can improve them. Is there any information you would rather a colleague or client didn’t see? Are there strengths or skills you could emphasize in order to stand out? Your LinkedIn profile in particular should be comprehensive and kept up to date with your recent employment information.
Your social media profiles should include keywords in your bio, job title and other information sections if you want them to show up when people use those search terms to find professionals in your industry. You can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to find appropriate search terms or keywords.
Decide on your strategy
You may decide to keep your professional and personal contacts completely separate by reserving one social network for family and friends and using the others for networking.
If you decide to mix your personal and professional life, you will need to be careful to post only carefully curated content.
You may decide to manage your content and your audience by posting specific content to different circles of people.
Regardless of which strategy you choose, you need to make a conscious decision about how to approach and use social media with an awareness of the risks. It’s important to keep track of what you’re sharing and with whom.
Choose the right platforms
Facebook and Instagram are more personal in nature whereas LinkedIn and Twitter are more professional. Find out where other professionals in your industry are networking. If most of them are on Twitter and LinkedIn, using these platforms will help you most. For example, the best platform on social media for accountants would probably be LinkedIn.
Start by making connections with people you know, such as old classmates, colleagues from previous jobs and so on. Follow organizations and influencers you’re interested in and like and share posts. Post useful comments where appropriate.
Building a wide network is beneficial to your career but randomly adding people you don’t know can backfire. It’s far better to build relationships organically. A way to get to know more people is to participate in Twitter chats or LinkedIn groups.
Use social media for informal learning
You can use social media to gain industry-specific skills. If there’s a specific topic you want to learn more about, you can find related hashtags and follow industry thought leaders. You can also ask questions on platforms like Quora and get feedback or give others useful feedback on questions they ask.
Set daily, weekly and monthly goals
Think about what you hope to accomplish on social media and break your main goal up into things you can do every day. For example, you may decide to follow one new influencer in your industry every month and post a quality industry-specific article every week.
Finally, keep in mind that developing a professional presence online does not happen overnight. It’s an ongoing process that can’t be rushed. You need to take the time to learn what works best for you.