10 Tips To Boost Your Career With Social Media

You know that unsettling feeling when you think someone is behind you? You feel vulnerable, anxious, not adequately protected. Recently, I have noticed a steady increase in these feelings. However, these relate to an unsettling feeling where I feel something is walking in front me — my digital foot-premonition. In social media, the term digital footprint constitutes the size of an individual’s online presence and also relates directly to the number of individuals with whom they interact. More and more, I fear that what begins as my digital footprint is evolving into my digital foot-premonition.

The evidence that you leave in the digital world will not be washed away by the tide. Instead your digital activity will join the ebb and flow of the algorithmic patterns in the digital sea. Most importantly, a digital premonition has the ability to meet potential colleagues, employers and employees before you do. While the public sharing of personal information via social media channels is becoming a societal norm, filtering your information into separate social media channels for your private and professional life could secure your digital fate.

Social media is the relentless, rapidly growing realm of social communication carrying the world into the “next web”. Most interesting is the unprecedented quality of social media where societalcommunication and interaction have to adapt and metamorphose  to the advances in social media, rather than society controlling the advances in social media. And as social media carries us into the future, we need to realize that privacy is becoming a thing of the past. For total damage control, one should regard all social
communication as public by default. We have all heard the horror stories where prospective employees have been turned away due to the discovery of photographs from wild parties, controversial comments or objectionable conversations on social media channels. However, if you make a conscious decision to divide your digital footprint into private and public matter you can prevent your online social life from
hurting your career. Using social media as a tool for self-promotion requires commitment and a strategy. To be taken seriously in the digital realm or at the very least to allow you to stand out amongst your peers, you need to make some important considerations. Implement social media for professional purposes, understand what your goals are, and then actively take control of your digital foot-premonition.

If you want to advance your career, social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy. To avoid the latter, here’s what you need to do:

1. Build Solid Foundations

Understand that social media can be used for more than personal reasons. If you are already engaged in social media that is fantastic and there is no need to close any accounts or build a new online persona. Instead, decide which social media platforms could be used for professional purposes and which could be used for private purposes. Take a look at the various social media platforms available and see what stands out to you. Why not try one for size; create an account investigate potential contacts and if you don’t like it close the account (warning: remember to close the account or remove it from the public eye! Overlooking its removal could lead to a negative digital foot-premonition). Then decide which social media platforms will be used for professional purposes and which will be used for private purposes. For example you could use Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for professional activity and Facebook and Pinterest for personal activity, or vice versa.

2. Build a digital network

In relation to your career, social media is about who you know rather than what you know. If you put time and effort into building and sustaining contacts you can build a strong social-professional digital network. If you know the company you wish to work for, put yourself in their shoes and think about how they could find you. Build your profile accordingly. Also, think about who you need to know to get you there and can any of your contacts lead you in the right direction.

3. Enagage with your digital network

In it’s simplest form, social media is a conversation. When you post information, people can like, comment on, forward your thoughts, follow you, retweet or repin your digital activity. Not only can you put your own opinions or work out there but if you are open to a two-way dialogue and accept other people’s point of view, you can learn a lot. Becoming part of an online community is a great way to identify and follow trends in your areas of interest. If you’re just starting out you can also learn how to buy Instagram likes to boost your profile. You can also turn to your network with specific questions about your field or even a job search.

4. Judge your book by it’s cover

This may be a difficult exercise but the reward will be worth the effort. Put yourself
in another’s shoes and take a long objective look at your social media profiles. Then ask yourself — “What is this person all about?” ”What do you like about this person?” “What do you dislike about this person?” “Could you work with this person?” Be honest when answering and make amendments to your digital profiles accordingly.

5. Define your goals

Remember when implementing a self-promoting social media strategy, you are embarking on a journey. A journey to facilitate career advancement and professional fulfillment. Unless you know exactly what you want from social media, trial and error is the best method for discovering your best professional profile on social media platforms; set realistic goals, revise and amend your goals regularly.

6. Think of yourself as a brand

The best way to overcome the self-branding fear is to have some fun when creating your brand. Allow people to get a sense of what you’re about via your social media activity. Contribute to discussions you find interesting or are related to your industry. The more you comment on or write about a certain area, the more likely you’ll be affiliated with the subject.

7. Indulge in the digital

Today every company is affected by digital trends and emerging technologies. Employers are increasingly looking for this competency in potential employees. From airlines to health organizations to PR agencies, companies are hiring people to create and maintain their corporate brand digital footprint. New career paths are emerging; Social Media Marketer, Digital Media Manager, Mobile Manager, Learning Technologies Specialist and Social Games Strategist are just a few sample digital job titles.

8. Become a trendspotter

By consistently engaging with the digital marketplace you can gain literacy in social media platforms and strategies. Move your attention away from the latest attention-grabbing technique and develop a deeper understanding of how these social networks are formed and how people interact with them. Ultimately, to be successful in social media, it is more important to understand why people are on social networks and how they are interacting with each other rather than simply looking at  “what” people are doing on social networks.

9. Be social

Most important, don’t forget to have a some fun with social media. Try not to regard your professional social media profile as a chore. What interests you? What topic could you be interesting as a social conversation? Start a thread, join a conversation, follow a topic on Twitter. You never know, you could meet a prospective boss or business partner along the way!

10. Start today- What are you waiting for?

Even if you decide (after opening and removing accounts) that engaging in social media for professional purposes is not necessary for you right now, you can still stand out amongst your peers by understanding the power and depth of social media interaction.

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