We don’t need media to be more social, but could our business personas do with a bit more attention?
I am betting that most people reading this will have at least 3 different social media accounts. I myself have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and technically Google+ (although we are all agreed that no one really understands what G+ is or what it’s for…)
I have a sort of privacy striation on my SM as well, which is as follows:
Linkedin – all business, Step information, blog shares, networking, sharing new roles that I am trying to fill, sharing articles relevant to work only.
Twitter – 50% work, following/being followed by universities/careers groups, sharing new roles, and 50% gentler non-work shares, some carefully chosen personal politics, retweeting stuff from the arts, theatre and dance world that I am connected with, occasionally heckling Prime Ministers QT, and providing a running commentary on Eurovision after a few gins.
Instagram – pictures of my “children” (the 3 cats, the dog and the rabbit) with beautiful photo filters, and occasional pictures of wildlife.
Facebook – Social, 98% non-work, but with Groups added for privacy and security. (After all, there are some things my mum just does NOT need to see.) I “check myself in” with friends at different locations, events, restaurants, gigs or performances. Plus there are the usual cat videos, pictures of pugs wearing hats, and shares of articles that I find interesting or motivating.
You can see the metamorphosis from one persona into the other, and I can usually judge which area of my life a connection needs to go into. This is a vital filtering system that I sometimes think I should write an advice manual on, especially when I see the kind of scrapes people get into when they have added their manager as a friend on Facebook, but then post something that lands them in a disciplinary meeting on Monday morning…
However generally speaking we have all got better at self-regulating our personal social media, but we don’t always put as much energy into digital networking for career purposes. When I first got my LinkedIn set up, I (semi-jokingly) enquired where all the cat videos were, because I know myself, and I know that the best way to get my attention is by putting a picture of some sort of furry creature up there. But (for some bizarre reason) not everyone gets as excited by a rabbit dressed as William Shatner as I do.
The Step team are big fans of a good old hashtag, and we very much enjoy tweeting about what we are getting up to. It is immediate, and we can connect ourselves to other people much faster, and within the public domain. But we only have a small amount of characters to make an impact, so Twitter is, if you like, the FANFARE – “da da da DAAAA STEP ARE DOING A THING!! LOOK AT THE THING THAT WE ARE DOING!!!” which we then link to something more substantial.
Our blog presence is growing all the time and we are currently having a blog competition for students and graduates that are currently out on placement. This is a great resource for us as a business, as it shows potential new candidates what an internship has to offer, it shows businesses what an intern can offer them, and the interns themselves have a public piece of writing that can be used in a portfolio in the future. So the blog is not just a secret diary shoved away in a drawer; it should be an organic presence that is always growing and enriching your connections with the industry.
So if we can do this with a blog, what else could we do? My feelings are that new professionals could be better at finding alternative ways to draw attention to themselves, to what they can do, and to their achievements.
Also, while I am growing to like LinkedIn for the purposes of connecting with relevant businesses and industry professionals, I realised that I never really TALK to people on there. I may share someone’s article that they have published, or they might comment on something I have written, but we don’t get into a full forum together. I have been added to groups on LinkedIn, but so far the most activity I have had is the creative writing group I am a part of, who generate a new discussion every week. My note-to-self is to try and do more with it, and to use it in its full capacity. Maybe have a brief chat via Message when I first add someone, to tell them who I am and what I do. If nothing else, it must be good manners to introduce myself properly?!
So next time you follow me or I follow you, (a tad creepy when we say it like that, but there you go…) don’t just click the button.
Send me a message – tell me what you do for a living, and what interested you about what I do. If you think that what we do might be similar, let’s have a chat about it! It could be there is something relevant to both of us that we don’t know yet, and maybe we can help each other be more successful.
And I promise I won’t send you any cat videos… unless you specifically ask for them, of course….