Social networking is a significant part of our daily lives - that's a fact. Get the most out of it by mastering social media for both 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.
See our summary infographic of four useful tips to build both your personal and professional online identities. Remember to scroll all the way down to read the full article!
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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. Depending on your goals, to build a complex online presence for yourself, be a user of (at least) Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
- Facebook is the most used social media platform with 2.167 billion monthly active users globally (as of January 2018). It's 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 valuable professional network, show your work achievements and post updates about your business. Basically, your LinkedIn profile functions as your new resumé. Therefore, pay attention to your wording and grammer, as an open position might be waiting for you there.
- Twitter is rather a professional social media than a personal one, but it can be used for both purposes. This platform gives a great opportunity to not just learn from, but also to network with top industry influencers. Other than this, you can tweet about your personal interests or professional life, both.
- Instagram is a slightly different social channel because it's 100% visual. It's up to you whether you want to put more emphasis on your personality or your workday through photos, videos and stories. The focus is on quality visual appeal.
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 when being used in the right way.
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 photo 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're new to a channel, start by collecting personal connections and later reach out to relevant professionals to build new relationships online. This way, you'll be able to do effective personal social networking with others.
Leverage educational web materials to expand your knowledge; watch Facebook Live videos from your industry, listen to podcasts or experiment with LinkedIn Learning. 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 perfectly fine to have opinions on different matters. Join groups of your interest or industry on LinkedIn and Facebook, and start social networking there. When starting or joining group discussions, use questions and visuals to engage other participants 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 necessarily have to be – it can also be a very strong interest of your own. Showcase your professional skillset by communicating your values, interests, strengths and experiences. Be consistent and innovate.
Among other things, there's one thing that's 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 do social networking to boost your career and enhance your professional growth. By utilizing our professional social media tips, 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.