Today, about 72% of all Americans use social media and an average person spends about three hours on communication there. Unfortunately, the majority of social media users utilize those platforms just for empty chatting or entertainment. However, social networking is a powerful tool so it can and should be used for your career needs. Thus, let’s gid into the possible ways to utilize social media effectively.
1. Find a new job or just track the job market
If you are looking for a new job, social media is an incredible way to find the right fit for you. The first thing to do is to create a professionally-looking account, be this Linkedin or Facebook profile. A social media account is your business card so include only relevant and important information like your education, work experience and your successful business cases. Then, grow your account by adding managers, CEOs, and recruiters to your network. Many of those people share open positions in their accounts so you can easily find your perfect job.
With a strong professional account, you also get such benefits as attention from recruiters so you can easily receive new job offers without putting any effort into it.
If you are satisfied with your current job, you can use social media as a place to be updated on what’s happening on the market. For example, which skills are on-demand, what are salaries offered and so on.
2. Build your personal brand
Your social media account is a great place to touch professional issues and create your personal brand by sharing experience and knowledge. This would help you be known in the business community. Share your thoughts about business books that you have read, interesting reports that you have heard at business events, your own professional experience (this can be checklists, presentations, useful cases and so on). In the era of the total informational noise, such extracts from useful content are becoming increasingly valuable. Friends from your online network would share your posts, and in this way, you would gain new followers who can be useful for your career or your business.
However, when publishing information on social networks, try to make sure the content matches your goal. Before you publish something, try to look at this copy or photo as your manager, colleague, client or just someone very respected in your professional circle would see it.
One way to see what your profile looks like is to enter your name in the search bar on the Internet and see what happens. Sometimes, this can bring you unexpected results which should better not be seen by others.
3. Be updated on what’s new in your field
Today’s world is all about rapidity and being able to adapt quickly. This means the majority of jobs requires you to be flexible and well-informed of what is new and important in your field.
Let’s say you are a marketing specialist; you cannot be successful in this job without tracking what is trending and what are popular topics among your targeted audience. Social media is a great tool for checking this.
Or another example is web development; the requirements and documentation here are changing so fast that you need to be chasing this to remain competitive. And social networks are also great for this purpose.
4. Maintain old and build new connections.
Social networking platforms allow you to maintain useful relationships with former colleagues or your peers and make new acquaintances in your professional circle. American sociologist Mark Granovetter has built the concept of strong and weak ties. According to his theory, your acquaintances on social media (“weak ties”) can be more beneficial than your close people (“strong ties”). The sociologist explains this phenomenon by the fact that “weak ties” can share the information about new job opportunities or just help your business with new ideas while “strong ties” often provides you with a limited amount of data or resources for your career growth.
5. Find employees and colleagues.
Social media, on the one hand, are really useful for managers, recruiters, and small business owners — for those who seek people in their teams regularly. Social network sites successfully act as an additional channel (or even the main one) for finding employees. Social networks help you find people who are similar to you in their values and approaches to work, which means they reduce the time needed to find the right employee.
On the other hand, if you are a job seeker and just got a job offer, you can look for your future colleges or former employees’ social media accounts to ask them about that company. Is there a healthy climate, are there some perks as it had been described by the recruiter, what are some drawbacks to consider? This way, you can receive crucial information to make a decision.
6. Receive invitations to business events.
If your profile on social media is designed well for professional goals, this could help you attract the attention of business events organizers. The more prominent person in the professional community you become, the more likely you are to receive an invitation, not just as a participant, but as a speaker. And this, in turn, takes you as an expert to a higher level and attracts more attention from potential employers or just helps you to increase your income.
7. Find customers.
This can be true in various ways. One way is to attract clients if you are a freelancer. A well-built social media account can help you have a wider circle of prospects and be better paid for your job. Another way if you’re an employee is to attract new customers by sharing some new features of your product, discounts, etc. This also can help know your target audience better so you can better translate your message to them.
People who do not use social networks for professional purposes, deprive themselves of many benefits such as new job opportunities, getting important professional acquaintances or being updated on the field you’re working in. Experts say that your professional brand in social media will matter even more and would be crucial in the next decade. So, why not invest your time and not start with taking a critical look at your social media account?
About the author
Nancy Kelly is a marketing specialist and content creator at self-starters.com, the project about career and personal growth. She believes that permanent self-development is key and is always open to a new challenge.