Social Media and Why an Online Brand Can Help Your Networking

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
social media online brand

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, Pinterest, Vine…….I could go on……….Do you want to know what all these social media platforms have in common?   You can use them to brand yourself

What Do You Mean ‘Brand Yourself’?

What is it that you like to do?  What career do you want?  Do you want to be a big wig on wall street,  do you like to paint and someday want to be a professional painter?  Then brand yourself as exactly what you want to be.

Social Media is an excellent tool to help you in your job search and show case your skills and abilities in an area you feel confident in.  The whole idea is to showcase your skills, abilities and knowledge in an area you’re passionate about.   Sounds easy right?  It can and can’t be.  Here are a few tips on ensuring your social media brand represents you professionally.

Facebook

Almost everyone has Facebook, but how do we use it?  Facebook is a big part of how employers check the character of people they are interested in hiring.  If every photo they see is you with a beer in your hand, how are you branding yourself, drunk?

Yes Facebook is a personal network to connect with friends, family etc.  However you can use Facebook as a tool to illustrate your life activities, pictures of your friends, maybe you at networking events or you skiing with your family.  The whole idea is that branding you as an approachable, reliable person is never bad.  Unless of course the job you’re looking for is the complete opposite, than brand yourself for that job!

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional networking site.  People you meet, or people who you haven’t met may find you on this platform.

Now let’s say that I want to be a recruiter?  How would I brand myself as someone passionate and knowledgeable about the recruiting field?  Your summary should illustrate how you have passion and knowledge about this field, whether new to it or have been in it for years.    Tell your story of you, and how you got to where you are today.  Also don’t be afraid to use some industry jargon, this can show you know the talk of the industry.

Your LinkedIn picture is super important too!  The picture should represent you in the industry.  If I was a finance advisor, would a picture of me snorkeling showcase that?  Probably not.  If I was a painter and I had a photo of me painting, would that give an idea what I may do for a living?

Don’t be afraid to utilize the skill section of LinkedIn as well.   This is a chance to showcase your skills and abilities in and out of your industry.

Twitter

I love twitter so much, an easy platform that allows for a quick way to share articles, stories, videos and things happening in real time.  What a great way to brand yourself!

There are a few great ways to start your branding, the first is claiming your twitter handle.   @YournameMBA or @yournameArt  Which every way you decide to write your twitter handle you have to understand that this twitter handle is the way people will find you and will be associated with you at all times.  This is why I suggest making it easy to remember, relevant and professional.  I would also suggest researching other people or businesses that are in the field you are interested in and see what kind of handles they use and how they describe themselves in their bio.

A bio allows you to brand yourself, so you want to ensure it describe you and your abilities clear and concisely.  An example could be this:

@MeganmacMBA
A professional who is passionate about the economy and the finance industry.  Enjoys sharing articles and videos of finance tips and options.

Sharing videos, articles, quotes of things you find interesting that are relevant to what you do can help build a brand.
Be sure to follow businesses and other people to create a following for you!
An online brand allows for you to be viewed as a professional in the field you are choosing to be part of.  When networking, you can also have your online information on your business cards, so when they go home they can connect with you online.

Lets face it,  mobile phones, lap tops, tablets, wearable technology allows us to have 24 hr access to the online world, why not be part of that world and allow 24 hr access to you and what you can do!

Ashley Burke is the Owner and CEO of Run With ItShe has extensive experience working in university settings and hand in hand with recent graduates to help them on their career path.  

Author: The NetWorkIt Team

The NetWorkIt Team is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. We work to create content and tools to help you succeed in your career.