Social media is one of the reasons why the world has become so much smaller, making it easier to make worldwide connections instantly. For some, social profiles can help to build their careers. But if you are using yours in this way it is important to maintain professionalism at all times. Your social profiles are your online reputation and should be treated with care and attention.
Know your privacy settings
Having a public profile will help to engage with more people, will enable you to share content beyond your own normal connections whilst growing your influence throughout social media will give you the opportunity to build your reputation. However, be aware that on networks such as Facebook, you cannot control the actions of others. You can potentially be tagged in content that you do not approve of or would not like associated with your name. Make sure you review your privacy settings regularly and restrict other's influence on your own profile. Private groups and targeted statuses can be used to tailor messages you want to be seen by different sets of people – eg social groups or networking groups. But be aware that once it is out there you are relying on others to also respect your settings.
Maintaining different profiles
You may choose to have multiple profiles set up, eg one for professional use and a separate one for personal. The type of content you share on each may differ, and this helps you to keep the right information going to the right channels – your business guru might not want to see your holiday snaps whilst your best friends from school isn’t interested in your opinion on the latest industry regulations. However be aware that both profiles have the ability to cross over at some point so it’s worth making sure that your personal profile conveys the reputation you would wish other professional contacts to see.
Be careful when talking about work
We’ve all seen it before but be careful what you post about work on your social media channels. Your comments can damage reputations with long term ramifications and it’s not a great example to be put through a disciplinary due to something you wrote on Facebook. Changing your privacy settings can reduce the possibility of unwanted people seeing your posts and give you a sense of control, however if one person takes a screenshot and shares it outside of the group you can quickly get in to more trouble than you bargained for!
A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t say it to their face then do not write it on social media networks.
Think about what your statuses say about you
Everything you write portrays an image of who you are. Your personality will shine through, your voice will be heard but not only that, your professionalism and ability to write will be on show too. Make sure your comments are legible and deliver a good standard of English as after all your hard work of building a great reputation, it can all be pulled down by poor grammar or incorrect spellings.
Use LinkedIn to build contacts
LinkedIn is a great resource to be able to build professional contacts and is a great social network to use when looking to grow your reputation. As with all the social platforms, ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and reflects your current status is vital. With social media being so widely used, many new employers will review your accounts to see what type of character you are, along with how you conduct yourself online. LinkedIn is the professional network used by many companies to advertise new positions and to gain traction for their business. If you have an interest in a certain product or company, connect with them or follow their business page to keep up to date with what they have to offer.
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