Social Media – How to Market Yourself

Have you ever found yourself asking ‘What’s all the fuss about with social media? If I don’t have it, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out, then why should I get a profile?’

The short answer: you are decreasing your personal employability and marketability to the staggering 91% of employers using social media to screen their candidates.

In a world where it seems as though a new social media platform is released weekly, even the most confident of internet users might feel a little daunted. It can be easy to decide to just withdraw yourself from digital platforms entirely – believing that it’s just not worth the hassle.

If you’re reading this and nodding then you’re not alone – even some of the most modern and relevant celebrities and businesspeople are often notable only by their absence on Twitter, and over half of LinkedIn profiles are incomplete. But, with a vast 77% of all jobs being posted on LinkedIn, I can’t help but think that those who shy away from social media – whatever the excuse – are missing a real trick.

It takes minutes to set up a social media account, and, if you monitor and manage your profiles effectively and regularly (I’m not talking hours, just set aside ten minutes a day) you can potentially reap enormous benefits.

For any professional, LinkedIn is an absolute must. Here are some top tips to get you started:

  • Having a picture is non-negotiable. Your profile is 11x more likely to be viewed if you have a photo. White/blue background is best with professional attire. And this picture should be of just you.
  • Complete your profile, especially the summary. Talk about yourself: your backstory, why you are here, and what you value can add.
  • Use the full 2000 characters and use key words that your target audience would search on LinkedIn.
  • Use recognisable skills to list yourself. When you start typing a skill on your LinkedIn profile, make sure it appears in the dropdown menu. If it doesn’t, it may be spelled wrong, or it’s not a frequently searched item. You may be better off rephrasing it
  • Create a unique URL: To customize your URL, select “Settings” in the drop down under your name on the top right corner of your LinkedIn home page. Then choose Public Profile Settings, and scroll down to “Your Public Profile URL.” There you can customize the link.

So, you’ve conquered LinkedIn. If want to bring another dimension to your professional profile, then Twitter can give you a real competitive edge, as well as helping you to forge great connections. Here are some tips for how to create a great Twitter profile:

  • Try to make your Twitter username as close to your real name as you can. This way, people will know who you are immediately.
  • You can add people to a Private List in order to save their Twitter – so you can follow their tweets without it showing that you follow them.
  • Be concise: Tweets allow for up to 140 characters, but you want to also leave room in your tweet for a retweet. Statistically, people respond best to small messages—bite-sized bits of information.
  • And remember that, even if you’re using Twitter for a professional purpose, you must not just post work related content. This should account for roughly 1/10 of your posts. Post about relevant interests and opinions to keep your profile interesting and professional.

If you’re still not convinced about social media (maybe you’re just too time poor, or you’re seriously internet illiterate) just remember that the Pope has Twitter (@Pontifex) – and it’s safe to assume that his spare time and e-efficiency is at least as limited as yours.