Whether you love it or hate it, use all the platforms or are only loyal to one, social media plays a significant part in our daily lives. However, when it comes to your job, there is a time and place for using platforms like Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn. To answer any looming questions you have, we’re going over a few etiquette tips to help you navigate social media use and your career!
Grow your network with social media
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not enough to add a few new connections on LinkedIn or friends on Facebook and call it a day. Developing meaningful professional relationships that could potentially help you in your career will take time. Once you’ve made connections, start a conversation, either checking in or sharing a piece of relevant industry news. If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out right away, try making a comment or liking the person’s most recent post. The idea is to stay in front of people so you’re top of mind if and when an opportunity is to arise. When it comes to LinkedIn, the platform gives you the opportunity to have a public or private profile. For the purposes of networking we recommend staying public, as this allows you to be searchable while also letting people know when you have viewed their profile. If you’ll be using Facebook and Instagram to grow your professional network, audit your profiles to make sure they showcase you in a professional light.
Connect with colleagues online
Social media is a great way to connect with colleagues and continue to build upon relationships. LinkedIn is a great platform to start with as it’s the most professional and gives you the ability to show support for your colleagues while engaging with their content and helping to promote your brand at the same time. Before you consider connecting with co-workers on other platforms like Instagram and Facebook, be sure your profiles present you in the best light. As you navigate your team and organization connecting with people will feel more natural, but we always recommend doing a temperature check before you start following your boss and your boss’s boss on Instagram.
Employee advocacy programs
Some companies are introducing employee advocacy programs, which incentivize employees to utilize their social media channels to promote the brand, drive awareness and generate leads. While the most common professional platform is LinkedIn, be sure that if you are using your personal Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter that your posts are appropriate. Once you begin to post work content with personal content, your friends, family, and followers will begin to associate you with the brand and vice versa, so a negative or inappropriate tweet followed by a “reasons to work at my company” is something to avoid. To separate the two, some people prefer to create a work account and a personal account. If this is something that works better for you, we recommend keeping your personal account private.
Use your social media to elevate your personal brand
While not everyone is looking for a career in marketing, you can still utilize social media as a tool to help build upon your personal brand. Be sure to update your social media platforms regularly, while sharing positive, “on-brand” content in order to keep everything consistent. When we say consistency, this can include everything from the filter you use to post photos, the voice of your captions, and the tone of your content. Stay true to your brand, and navigate each post based on the audience across platforms. For example, if you want to utilize your personal brand to help grow your career, start posting more on LinkedIn, share content in relevant groups, and connect with like-minded colleagues who can share and engage with your content. If your focus is gaining traction on a side hobby, consider starting a Facebook group to build a community and grow an audience through friends and family with similar interests and values.
With constant updates to today’s social media platforms allowing you to mute, hide, and selectively share, there are ways around previous concerns when it comes to social media in the professional space, but as a rule of thumb, if you question it or feel iffy about it, you probably shouldn’t post it. It is always better to err on the side of caution rather than regret posting something you thought was funny in the moment. Be sure to check out our 24 Seven Academy for more tips and resources to help guide you through your career and each step along the way.