Within two minutes of crafting a message and posting it on a social media site, you can kill your career advancement. Everything you share online is a reflection of you, and people can assume that what you say on social media is what you believe. So be ultra-sensitive to how readers across the world will view you, and think before you type.
Understand the venue
Every social media platform has a unique culture, audience and style. If you go too far outside of those norms, you will stand out for all the wrong reasons, or be completely ignored.
- LinkedIn is a very serious business and networking platform, which affords you the opportunity to portray yourself as an expert and thought leader.
- Facebook is becoming more businesslike as time ticks by (even top recruiters use it to source talent now), but it also allows you to have a little bit of personality and even humour. Just stay on topic and consistent with your brand. Don’t go over the top.
- Twitter allows you to become a very succinct messenger, directly demonstrating your own expertise in 140 characters or less.
- Google Plus is an open-ended platform for sharing and discovery, and another place where you can claim your space as a leader in your function.
Your participation on all four of these active online platforms gives people an instant impression of exactly who you are as a person and as a professional.
Observe how other people use each platform. Notice what works and what doesn’t. Be cautious about automatically posting the same message to multiple sites because it may not fit (literally and figuratively).
Pause before posting
Take a moment to re-read your words and ask whether your message is coming across as intended. Also check carefully for any typos or grammatical errors. Show people that you care about details and they can expect high-quality work from you.
Don’t make the cardinal sin of only showing up on social media when you’re in career transition. Even when you’re gainfully employed – especially then – post regularly to show the world that you’re on top of your game. Take pride in the contributions you’re making, and highlight others who are doing good work.
Social media puts you in control of your career management and lets you articulate your own direction. You never know who will pick up your messages on all those different platforms.
Every social media update is your chance to make a positive or negative impression on the people in your network, as well as new people who may discover you. Don’t blow it! Be careful about what you are displaying to the world.