Social networking is a significant part of our daily lives. You should decide how to best use social media for personal and professional purposes.
Social media can be toxic if you can’t find a balance between the time spent online and offline. How you use social media is up to you. Just remember that social platforms reflect your personality and always to an extent, mirror your professionalism. You can build your own online brand by using social media right.
Here are four useful tips to build both your personal and professional online identities.
1) Create your online presence on the right social platforms
To participate in online conversations and build visibility, you need to be present on multiple social media platforms. How do you know which channels to be present on? Take a look at Smart Insights’ Social Media Research to get a better understanding on the popularity and value of different sites. To build a complex online presence for yourself, I recommend you to be a user of (at least) Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
- Facebook is the most used social media platform globally. It is particularly suited for personal purposes. Here you can connect with old high school mates, mark your familiy members and update your relationship status and important life events.
- LinkedIn is a fully professional site where you can build a professional network, show your work achievements and post updates about your business. Your profile and social language should be professional, as an open position might be waiting for you there.
- Twitter can be used as both a personal and professional social media platform. Here you don’t need to send a connection request to other users and wait for their replies, but instead simply click the Follow button to connect. You can post updates about your personal interests and professional life.
- Instagram is a slightly different channel because it is 100% visual. Whether you want to focus more on your personality or your workday through your photos, videos and stories is up to you – it’s all about the visual appeal. There are pros and cons for making your account private or public.
2) Boost your career by setting up ideal social profiles
You never know when or where an awesome job opportunity might pop up. Hence, it’s better to always be prepared. Herein lies the importance of your social profiles – optimizing and setting them up strategically. All of the above-mentioned platforms can boost your future career possibilities. First, fill out your profile information completely. Keep in mind that just like in real life, you cannot fully separate your personal and professional identities, so in your bios, you can combine personal and work details. The next step is to choose ideal profile pictures. Facebook represents you personally, so use an image that reflects on you positively. The same or similar one can be used on Instagram, too. For LinkedIn and Twitter, get a good quality professional avatar that is considered work-safe. If you are not familiar with the current ideal photo sizes, check them out here.
3) Enhance your professional growth by social networking
Social media already includes the word “social” – remember this when you are online. You can boost your professional growth by networking and building your own circles. If you are new to a channel, start by collecting personal connections and later reach out to relevant professionals to build new relationships online.
Leverage educational web materials to expand your knowledge; watch Facebook Live videos from your industry and listen to podcasts. Take advantage of online communication tools, blogs, livestream videos, real-time twitter chats and Instagram Stories. Participating in group discussions is a powerful strategy, too. It’s ok to have opinions on matters; join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and start group discussions. Use questions and visuals to engage your audience more.
4) Amplify your personal brand via thought leadership online
With thought leadership you can add tremendous value to your personal brand. This covers educating your network on a specific topic that you are an expert of. In most cases, it is the industry you work in, but doesn’t have to be – it can also be a very strong interest of your own. Showcase your professional skill set by communicating your values, interests, strengths and experiences. Be consistent and innovate.
Among other things, there is one things that is particularly crucial to consider: the content you post. Use your common sense to decide what topic does or does not fit on social media. Facebook and Instagram are great for sharing more personal posts to your close connections. If you want to show your expertise with a professional post, rather choose LinkedIn and Twitter. This way you can boost your future career opportunities and stand out from the crowd. Employee Advocacy is a great way to find the relevant professional content to share through a shared content hub, while measuring the progress of your online influence.
Get the most out of social
Know the difference between different social platforms, and find the right channel for your needs. Combine personal with professional when building your online presence on these channels, and use social networking to boost your career and enhance your professional growth. Get social media on your side and let it support you in enhancing your personal brand.
Find out more about how to boost your online presence by downloading our free social media starter kit for professionals.