Posted by Stacy Leitner on Friday, July 24, 2015 - 07:20
Just about everyone is on social media today, but have you spent any time thinking about your overall online presence? Here are some tips that can help you step back, reevaluate what you’ve done and make the most of your personal online brand.
Social media sites like Facebook, Linkedln and Twitter are common tools used by many professionals. Think about how effectively you are using these tools. If you were to review your posts over the past 30, 60 or 90 days, would you be impressed?
Your online communication skills are important. In fact, they are critical! Potential employers and recruiters often use social media to contact you. How would they rate your communication skills based on what they see online?
Over the past few weeks, I have received several requests from administrative professionals and recruiters asking to connect with me on Linkedln and Facebook. After taking the time to review their profiles, I accepted their requests, knowing that some would read my profiles and previous posts and make judgments about my communication skills.
To ensure you’re just as confident as I am about my online presence, consider the following steps before allowing others to connect with you online:
- Update your profile. Make sure your online profile is current and informative. Remove any content or images that are negative or that could hinder new opportunities.
- Update your profile photo. Your profile picture should be a fairly recent professional headshot.
- Actively use social media technologies. Don’t be just an online observer! Increase your visibility by posting and sharing valuable content and/or images daily. Make sure that the content characterizes you as a positive, interesting and confident person.
I have long been an advocate of self-development. I have read and studied dozens of books related to social media technologies and completed a master’s thesis and project related to this topic. I have learned through that process that individuals and professionals are often uninformed about what to communicate online and give little thought to their overall online presence.
Here are five suggestions to more effectively elevate your personal online brand.
1. Learn one social media technology at a time. Choose one (e.g., Facebook, Linkedln, Twitter, etc.) and master the technical skills needed to display text and images correctly in that media. It is best to learn and actively use one social media technology before advancing to another.
2. Choose your content wisely. Share messages online that will promote your current and past employers, other businesses or worthwhile causes. Share current events, informative articles and motivational quotes.
3. Promote yourself. Communicate professional accomplishments, academic and personal achievements, and any community service activity. Milestones present a great time to express gratitude to those who have helped you achieve milestones.
4. Write clearly. Communicate in complete sentences, spell out all words, use punctuation and proofread carefully. What you say and how you say it makes an impression! Avoid complaining, making judgments and using sarcasm. As my mother once said: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all.”
5. Become engaging. Take a few moments each day to monitor the information being shared within your online network, make thoughtful comments and give support to others.
Social media technologies are changing the way we perceive others. Make it a goal to create a blend of professional and personal online communication text and images that are appropriate, informative, positive, useful and fun! With some thoughtful planning and some hard work, you can have the best of all online worlds — a powerful and useful online presence balanced with the warm and human side that represents you!
Have you taken any proactive steps to highlight your communication skills on social media?
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