A professional social media strategy can be a tremendous career asset, especially at times when you are searching for a new position. We have covered the fundamentals in recent posts about how to make your presence more appealing to employers and how to avoid social media landmines. Click “social media” under the categories to the right to see the full archive of resources on social media for job candidates.
Today’s post is for professionals who are extraordinarily passionate about their fields and their careers. If you identify as such—meaning that your career is among your greatest sources of lifetime fulfillment—you are a rare, in-demand commodity. Employers want as many truly committed professionals as they can find. More and more skilled professionals have come to this realization and they are making their professional passions known through the most visible platforms to potential employers: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Other social platforms are on the rise, but the big three are worth your investment of time and energy today.
If you have one takeaway from this post, it is this:
Your social media accounts are now your primary branding vehicles to employers.
To ensure that your social media accounts reflect your professional passions, we recommend taking the following steps—beginning with one you can complete today:
- Write a Professional Bio
Your bios on your professional Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as your LinkedIn bio, serve several purposes:
- Establish a strong first impression of you based on your professional title, passions, and ambition(s).
- Communicate your purpose to employers and others who may be in a position to help you advance in your career.
- Distinguish yourself from other professionals who do what you do.
- Provide a reason to follow and engage with you.
- Enable searches by keywords, when employers and others are interested in your skills or services.
- Offer a Window Into Your World
Professionals engage on social media not just for business purposes, but to enjoy dialogue and build professional relationships with like-minded people. To open your profiles up to this possibility, provide icebreakers that invite readers to connect with you.
You may want to post about hobbies that relate to your professional interests, or engage with others on their pages about interests you share. Conversation starters don’t have to be purely professional, but they should align with the overall message you want to convey about yourself as a professional. Before you post a message, always ask yourself if it will be interesting to your audience. For example, we see people in our fields communicating about shared hobbies like running, music, art, and local news events. With news or topical items, be sure to avoid any controversial or polarizing political issues. Your objective is to find areas of commonality, not engage in debate.
- Brand Yourself as an Industry Authority
Social media platforms enable you to position yourself as an authority in your field. If you have writing abilities, use LinkedIn to post original articles showcasing your expertise. This is truly one of the best uses of social media for professionals. If you take advantage of this feature, be sure to have some of your industry peers comment and like your content on the day you post to get the ball rolling. This stimulates readership and user comments. Once people do engage with you, you have an invitation to find areas of common interest, correspond, and make yourself useful.
You should also join and contribute to LinkedIn user groups. Follow the various discussion threads and chime in when people have questions that you are qualified to answer. Leverage your LinkedIn articles by referring to them in your answers on user groups, as well as tweeting them and posting them on Facebook. User groups are also a great source of information on in-person events, where you can take budding relationships a step further.
- Share the Good Work of Others
Think of social media as an ecosystem that rewards nurturing. Retweet, repost, and refer the good works of others in your industry. Help to build communities of people who share your interests. Positive results from this kind of activity happen gradually at first, but as you accumulate followers and likes, you will gain momentum.
Once the ball is rolling, you will see more of your connections start to share your posts and content with others. At that point, you may want to research the people who are engaging with you in DFW, connect with them on each social platform, explore their networks and professional associations, and build relationships. It can be especially rewarding to meet your best contacts at professional association meetings.
- Keep Your Status and Posts Up to Date
You can change your status as often as you like on most social media platforms, and you can even cross-post updates on Hootsuite. Let your contacts know what projects you’re involved with and your thoughts on breaking industry news. Keeping your status and posts timely enhances the perception that you are deeply engaged and influential in your industry. On Twitter, it can even brand you as a source of local industry news. Status updates also show that you frequent the platform often, which lets visitors know that if they contact you, you will likely see and return the message quickly.
If you would like to get an appraisal of your social media presence and tailored advice for your industry, contact an Imprimis agent today. We’re here to help.