Earlier in the year, we talked about optimizing your LinkedIn by providing tips on how to update your profile to convey professionalism and get seen by the right people. Since COVID-19 flipped the workforce upside down, your overall online presence is more important than ever.
Other than the fact that we live in the Digital Age, many companies (recruiting firms included) will often search for a candidate’s social media profiles to get a 360 degree view of who that candidate is as a person. Even job seekers whose resumes make them appear to be a perfect match can lose a position because of a negative post they shared or were tagged in online.
So what is the first step in building a strong and positive online presence?
If you’ve never Googled yourself before, then you may be in for a surprise. Google your first and last name or any name you’ve been widely referred to in the past and see what comes up. Make sure the results are something that paints a good image of you and course-correct if it’s not. If you need to remove an image of yourself from Google (whether you posted it or not), you can do so by visiting this Google Support page. If you need to remove images or videos of yourself from social media sites, visit any of those platforms’ support pages to find instructions on how you can do so.
Defining your audience not only ensures that you’re building connections with the right people, but it will also save you a lot of time when determining which sites are important to build a strong presence. Do you work in tech, engineering or finance? You’ll probably want to spend more time investing in your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, where you can find your audience. If you’re in the marketing or mortgage industry, you’ll probably find your target audience on Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube or Pinterest. Of course, not every industry or profession will fall in a perfect category of social media users every time, but knowing where your industry professionals and followers are on particular social media platforms is a huge step in the right direction of building a strong online presence.
We don’t have to tell you how important social media is for reaching and connecting with your target audience, but we do want to stress the importance of using each social media platform for what it was created for. The last thing you want to do is be caught using LinkedIn to post photos of your wild night out a few years ago as a #TBT.
LinkedIn is a professional social media site where industry experts share content, build connections with other professionals and position themselves as thought leaders. Your profile should show off your professionalism, but also demonstrate your authenticity.
How do you maintain a strong, positive presence on LinkedIn?
Post at least 3 times a week, but no more than a few times a day
Interact with others’ content by liking, sharing, commenting and re-posting
Share your own personal insights and information about your professional life
Facebook is a social networking site that allows you to easily connect and share content with friends and family. There are over 300 million active users every day and there are over 60 million active business pages on Facebook.
How do you maintain a strong, positive presence on Facebook?
Adjust your privacy settings (how public do you want the information you share and the information other people share about you to be?)
Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your employer knowing about (everything is permanent even after you delete it)
Engage with your community - join groups, comment uplifting things on other’s posts and share awesome things about your life
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking site that was acquired by Facebook in 2012. With over 1 billion monthly active users, this visual platform is great for building personal connections and learning the story of products and businesses.
How do you maintain a strong, positive presence on Instagram?
If you’re truly interested in growing your following and presence, upgrade your account to a professional account in the settings (it’s free). This will give you access to data to help you better understand your followers and how they interact with your content.
The general rule for posting on Instagram is once a day, but we want to stress that quality is more important than quantity
Use quality hashtags that are relevant to your post, for more visibility try to use hashtags with less than 1 million posts
Twitter is a microblogging social networking site with 330 million monthly active users.
How do you maintain a strong, positive presence on Twitter?
Hashtags! Tweets with hashtags receive 100% more engagement
There are a lot of different studies suggesting the optimal amount of times to post on Twitter a day, but the general consensus suggests posting 10 - 15 times a day is best
Post visual content - Tweets with video gets 10x more engagement
Engage consistently with the community by tagging, replying and commenting
“Pinterest is a visual discovery engine for finding ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more. With billions of Pins on Pinterest, you'll always find ideas to spark inspiration. When you discover Pins you love, save them to boards to keep your ideas organized and easy to find.”
How do you maintain a strong, positive presence on Pinterest?
If your industry or passion falls into one of these categories, Pinterest is the place for you: House & Home, Crafts & DIY, Travel & Destinations, Food & Recipes, Dieting & Fitness, Fashion, Makeup, & Beauty
Get a “follow” button and pin frequently
“YouTube is a free video sharing website that makes it easy to watch online videos. You can even create and upload your own videos to share with others. Originally created in 2005, YouTube is now one of the most popular sites on the Web, with visitors watching around 6 billion hours of video every month.”
How do you maintain a strong, positive presence on YouTube?
You should already know who your target audience is, so create video content for them (not for pageviews)
Develop a publishing cadence - people who follow your page want to know when they can expect a new video from you
Promote your videos on other social media platforms
This is not a definitive or extensive list of all the things you can do to build your social media presence on the platforms your target is using, but they are sound stepping stones to put you on the right path.At the end of the day, each social media platform provides you a unique opportunity to build new connections and invest in building a relationship with your community. By knowing which platforms your community is on and understanding the best way to use a platform, you can build a social media presence that will build lasting positive impressions.
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