4 Ways to Use Social Media to Advance Your Career
September 25, 2012
There are plenty of people who think that social media is only for playing annoying games and sharing the meaningless minutiae of life. When used properly, social media can actually help you advance your career. It’s just one more way you can get ahead at work!
Social media is not only a way for you to keep in touch; it’s also a way for you to make connections and find other who can help you with your career. When you leverage your social media accounts properly, you can improve your career.
Here are a few ideas for using social media as an effective tool for career advancement:
1. Be consistent in your social media profiles.
Make sure that your profiles are consistent across social media accounts. You should use the same avatar and handle for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media accounts. Make sure that what you use sound professional. BongLover69 as an identifier isn’t going to do you any favors when it comes to advancing your career!
Also, be consistent in the voice you use. Make sure that it is yours! You want the articles, blog posts, and comments you make on your social media networks to be sincere and to “sound” like you.
2. Use keywords in your social media statuses.
Chances are, you have a pretty good idea of the keywords associated with your profession. What words are likely to be searched in relation to your industry? What are the topics of interest? Create a plan that allows you to use keywords on occasion (without being spammy). Naturally include them when you make observations about the current state of things in your industry.
What you share on Twitter and LinkedIn shouldn’t just be about what you had for lunch or what you plan to do with the kids this weekend. Think about what is happening in your industry and make thoughtful, articulate comments that show your insight. It’s important to have these comments out there, including in articles and blog posts you write, so that someone searching for this information, or running background on you, can see that you are competent and knowledgeable in your field.
3. Network with others.
The whole point of social media is to network. Use social media to your advantage by networking with people who have similar interests. You can not only write articles on your own blog regarding a relevant topic, but you can also offer guest posts to peers.
Join LinkedIn groups that are related to your industry and participate! You can connect directly with other group members without the need for intervening second and third connections. This can be a great way to make new connections that might be able to help you later. You can also look for Facebook pages with similar interests, or follow someone you want to connect with on Twitter – retweeting what they share on occasion (try not to become a social media stalker).
4. Be sure to give.
Remember, though, that you have to give as well as receive. If you want people to share your blog posts and participate with your content, you need to participate with other’s content. You should also share good information for free. Don’t ask for a lot, but give. Eventually it will come back to you in a positive way, allowing you to make good connections, and even improve your career.
You never know: That hiring manager on LinkedIn could decide that you are just what he or she is looking for due to the professionalism of your online resume and the insights you share during group discussions.
Have you used social media to advance your career? How so? Leave a comment!
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