The Competitive Advantage: Using Social Media to Jumpstart and Expand your Career and Reputation
by Dr. R. Kay Green | Featured Contributor
In 2017, it’s safe to say to that we live in a highly connected global society. I’ve been in the marketing business for over 13 years, so I know how many differences there are between your first year in the work force and your 10th. But whether you’re a recent grad just entering the job market, or a seasoned professional looking to expand, there’s one key strategy that you should be taking advantage of…Social Media.
Yes, of course we know that social media can be a powerful tool. But many job seekers, employees, managers, and leaders alike are still not making use of it professionally. For new entrants into the workforce, there might be some hesitance because they may feel like they do not have anything to post. For people who have been in the workforce for a while, they might believe that the traditional way of doing things has worked for this long, so why should they bother changing it?
In truth, there are many reasons that you should be taking advantage of social media in your professional life, aside from the obvious ones.
Why should I have a professional social media presence?
For some positions, this seems obvious. If you’re going into a marketing or similarly social position, you’re going to need your own social media presence so that you can demonstrate your proficiency. But what if you’re going into a different field? What can social media do for you then? The answer is: more than you may think.
It might surprise you, but many employers actually use social media profiles to screen potential candidates. In fact, studies show that 35% of employers are less likely to hire someone that they can’t find online. And this isn’t some big secret — some even ask for links to social profiles right on the job application! If you’re looking to make any sort of career change, social media is becoming more and more necessary.
But even if you’re perfectly happy where you’re at, you should not ignore a professional social media presence. Just like employers screen candidates based on social media presence, potential clients and customers do, too. And if they cannot find anything, they will be less likely to do business with you.
You should be thinking of a social media presence like your own personal brand. It is how you sell yourself, and get your mission and professional persona out to the world.
How do I create a professional social media presence?
The first step is pretty simple: Create a LinkedIn.
For anyone looking to start their professional social media presence, this is the place. Dedicated to “connecting the world’s professionals,” a profile on this site is a must-have. Make sure you fill out your profile completely and post regularly for good results. But even though a professional social media presence starts with LinkedIn, it doesn’t have to end there. Depending on your industry, many other platforms might be useful to you. Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram can be used to create a strong professional presence.
If you already have personal accounts on these sites, you have a few options. One is to have your personal accounts under an alias (even something as simple as your first and middle name) while your professional accounts are under your real name (so that they come up when potential clients, customers, or employers google you). Another option is to simply keep your personal account as professional as possible — but make sure that your friends know that, so that they don’t tag you in anything you wouldn’t want your professional connections to see.
What do I post?
There are some simple dos and don’ts when it comes to posting professionally on social media. For example, you should post:
• Articles relating to your industry
• Personal insight into your industry
• Tips for people in your industry
• Facts and knowledge about your industry
• Updates about your work day
• The occasional personal post
The goal should be to make yourself seem like an authority on the subject. Make it clear that you’re up to date on current trends and that you can provide something that your clients or potential employers don’t already have.
Here are some things you should avoid posting:
• Complaints about clients or employers
• Articles that you didn’t actually read/fact check
• Anything that condescends or talks down to your audience
• Controversial personal posts (i.e. Opinions on religion, politics)
If you follow these simple rules, you’ll be surprised at how much social media can work for you.
Dr. R. Kay Green – Marketing Expert from RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. from Atlanta, GA.
Dr. R. Kay Green is the CEO/President of RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. With over 190,000+ Twitter followers, 35,000+ Facebook Likes, and the Top 1% LinkedIn profile designation, Dr. Kay, a self-motivated trailblazer, is the Quintessential “New-Age” Professional Woman, and PhD Marketing Pro. She earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in Marketing, and has completed PhD coursework in Leadership and Organization Change. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and an Associate of Arts in Marketing Management.
She is affiliated with several prestigious universities and has instructed over 350 courses online. A popular speaker on Marketing and Business topics, Dr. Green is currently featured on Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Black News, The Network Journal, Business Review USA, Digital Journal, College View, Business New Hampshire Magazine, Bay State Banner, Reader’s Circle, North Dallas Gazette, Harlem News, Top News Today, One News Page, NE Informer, Women in Business PR News, Consumer News Today, Women PR News, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Daily Herald, The Miami Herald, and Book News Articles.