Ten Tips for Using Social Media to Further Your Career
It’s no surprise that as we enter into 2014 we’ve seen a social media explosion. Now there’s over 800 million people connecting with each other on social media networks including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and many more. I had the privilege of joining Sarah Lawrence, senior associate, DLA Piper; Lucy McNulty, managing editor, IFLR; and Callum Sinclair, partner, DLA Piper on a webcast run by International Financial Law Review (IFLR) and sponsored by DLA Piper on using social media to further your career. This webcast was the first in IFLR’s Women in Business Law Group’s webinar series. We each explained our experience and insights into how the rise of social media has fundamentally changed, and how we each communicate within our professional worlds. At the bottom of this post is the slide share of the powerpoint deck we used during our presentation, and if you would like to access and listen to the webinar broadcast please visit this link.
During the Q&A portion of the webcast, one of the questions directed to me focused on best practice for the use of social media platforms. Below are my top ten tips for utilizing social media to advance your reputation and further your career..
- Stand out within your social media profiles. On twitter you have only 140 characters to tell the world who you are, so make your profile catchy and interesting. Although this seems basic, many profiles across social media are missing photos, contact information, and other crucial data. Highlighting your interest, job duties, location and other keywords helps people find out more about you. In addition, consider cross promoting your other social media platforms as well to boost your digital footprint. If you want to be taken seriously online, including a link within your profile is encouraged; for example feature your LinkedIn profile within your twitter bio to make easy for people to connect with you.
- Lock It Down. What happens online doesn’t stay online. We live in a world within limited privacy, so as your setting up your social media profiles make sure to check your privacy settings and ensure they’re set properly. As employees we are a representation of the company which employs us, so remember to think before you post, or you can be held liable.
- Transparency is key in building and maintaining a strong reputation. Be honest, respectful, and mindful across all social media platforms. It’s important to be open and transparent, this makes people relate to you. It’s important to align your online persona with your offline personalty to avoid trouble.
- Content is King. The key to any social media strategy whether you’re trying to advance your career or increase your businesses visibility should focus around a solid content marketing plan. What you share across social media platforms should be interesting and engaging for others to enjoy, read, and share. All social media platforms are not a one size fits all model, it’s important to craft posts for each social networks to maximize and leverage content. As a reminder content doesn’t always have to be original. Test quotes, statistics, and visual content and images across social media and see what works best.
- Incorporate Images. Visual social marketing is the next generation of social media. 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visually based, and the human brains processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Utilize social media tools Instagram & Vine which let you embed posts and videos easily, and use free apps like Quoter which provide ready to go quotes, or let quickly create a visual image. Mix it up and create content that is visually pleasing and easily shareable.
- Become an authority and add value. Choose a focus, and share information relevant to your niche career area. Join LinkedIn groups, start discussions and comment on existing discussions, find and engage within Twitter chats, and most importantly always add value. As you engage more within social media you will gain the trust of others who will follow you to find information. As you focus and carve our a niche area, you will build trust, and people will begin to share your content and come to you for advice.
- Establish Yourself Offline. Establishing yourself as a brand both online and offline allows people to put a face to your name. Nothing takes the place of face to face interaction, so ideally building a strong online presence can translate to building a stronger and larger network of offline connections.
- Stay up on Digital Trends: Demonstrating your proficiency with all things digital shows you’re up on digital trends, which are currently affecting every company. Employers are increasingly looking for social media and digital proficiency in potential employees.
- Make time. Social Media is easy, but it does take time, carve out an hour a week at a minimum to go in spend within social media platforms. Setting up a social media profile is a great first step, but as with anything else it takes time and a comfort level to become successful. If you’re going to let your platforms sit and never update them, why bother even setting up a profile?
- Have Fun. Social Media is a great place to have fun and let your corporate hair down. Whether your using social media to advance your career, or build your business remember to utilize your profiles as an avenue to have fun!
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