MARKETING • CREATIVE • DIGITAL
Dos and Don’ts of Social Media
By Katherine Konrad, an experienced marketing professional and recent Celarity contractor
One morning I walked into work around 8:00 AM. Maybe closer to 8:30 … ok, fine it was 9. Not many minutes later, my manager scurried over and plopped down on a chair next to my cube. “Hi! Good morning!” She greeted me, in her usual cheery tone. Despite her typical and unwavering cheery disposition, it was obvious she had an agenda. “Good morning! How are you?” I greeted her back, wishing she’d cut to the chase. “Great!” She said. “I did have a question though: did you accept a new job?”
I hadn’t accepted a new job. What I had done was updated my LinkedIn profile with some current freelance work experience. I also hadn’t adjusted a specific Notifications setting, which sent an alert to everyone in my network to congratulate me on my new job – including my current boss.
Social media can either connect you with your next job opportunity or prevent you from getting a new job. It can paint you as a reputable subject-matter expert or as someone who might not be taken too seriously. Read on for some tips to use social media for good, not evil.
Don’t make everything private; you want to be able to show some of your personality. Or, at the very least, that you’re a real person. The Muse states that 92 percent of companies are using social media for hiring. 3 out of 4 hiring managers will check a candidate’s social media profile. This means you 100% want to be thoughtful about what you make public.
Do take down, or hide any ‘party’ pictures or controversial images.
Don’t post anything strangely random, lengthy, or divisive. If you’re currently job searching, it’s also wise to hide your “About Me” section from the public – including relationship status.
Do “Like” or “Follow” companies you admire. Doing this may give you talking points during interviews or notify you if they’re hiring. Smaller companies might also check companies you follow to gauge your interest (or not) in their company.
Don’t discount Instagram as a valuable platform – it can help you network or even land a job. If you’re an illustrator or a graphic designer, Instagram is a great place to showcase your work and establish your brand.
Do include a link to your online portfolio in your Bio if you’re using an account to establish and promote your work.
Do create a consistent brand on Instagram, and other image-heavy platforms such as Pinterest, if you’re committed to creating one. If you’re not sure how to do this, try starting here.
Do use your real name as your handle, (or as close as possible) and keep it consistent among platforms. It looks more real, and more credible than SportzFan21*. Plus, people will be able to find you more easily. (*No SportzFan21s we’re offended in the making of this article).
Do look like you’ve been consistently active. Meaning: 2 or 3 times a day is enough. Remember for most social media platforms, it’s more about quality than quantity. (The same goes for the number of social media platforms you join). If your schedule doesn’t allow real time tweets, there are programs that help you schedule out your content.
Don’t over-engage or solely self-promote. Make sure you’re sharing articles and content from other thought leaders in the industry.
Do add people you admire professionally on your List. These people could get notified if you add them, and as long as you’re not over-engaging, it doesn’t hurt to get on their radar!
Do be a thought leader. Publish or share informative, industry-specific articles – positioning you as a knowledgeable source.
Do be aware of your privacy settings if you are currently looking for a new job while you have one. There are ways you can let recruiters know you are looking, but not your boss.
Don’t connect with the hiring manager of a job for which you are a contender. It looks pushy and overly confident.
Do join networks you are interested in actively participating in and engage regularly with quality thought and content. What does that look like? The Muse has some good ideas.
Do Make sure your profile is up-to-date and SEO-friendly.
Katherine is a marketing professional by day, and a content creator by night. She enjoys summers in Minnesota, and anywhere else in the winter. When she’s not writing you can find her exploring new neighborhood hangouts; dressed up at a social event; jogging around Minneapolis lakes; or staring at her phone.