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Putting Your Best Face Forward: Social Media for Professionals

In 2019 there were approximately 2.77 billion social media users. This number is just growing, with more people joining social media platforms each day.. The number of American adults using social media went from 7% in 2005 to 69% in just 10 years. Social media is a way to build your network, and a clean and professional social media presence can boost that network with confidence. Learning best social media practices, platforms to use, and common etiquette can help present yourself on online platforms successfully.

One good social media practice is to conduct a social media audit by using social media to learn from what others are doing, and establishing a social media voice and tone, Conducting a social media audit will allow you to examine who you are connecting with and who is connecting with you, which will help you plan what you can improve to attract the professionals with whom you want to connect. You can also use social media to observe and learn about what others in your field are doing, which will help you decide what you should and shouldn’t do. You can observe what networks they are on, how big their audience is, and how much engagement they receive from their followers to get an idea of how they are presenting themselves in a way that allows them to use social media to leverage relationships and new opportunities. Lastly, you can establish a social media voice and tone. People are always building up an impression in their mind all the times you post when they talk to you on the phone and see you in person which is why it’s important to revise and think before you post something to make sure your language is appropriate and it is conveying the message you want it to convey.

Some popular professional social media sites include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking platform. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is primarily a platform used for professional networking and career development. Another platform you can use to connect with professionals is Facebook. Although Facebook isn’t as professional as LinkedIn or even Twitter, it does have a few applications you can take advantage of, regardless of your field. Facebook Groups is a feature on Facebook that allows you to explore groups of people. This feature can help you find relevant groups that will help you connect with others and form professional relationships. Facebook Live is another useful feature that you can use to connect with professionals. It allows companies to connect with audiences by hosting Q&A sessions and receiving feedback and questions all in real-time. Finally, Twitter is another social media platform you can use to interact with professionals online. Twitter allows you to connect with other professionals by letting you follow trending hashtags and topics within your industry and follow industry leaders who are likely to tweet and retweet topics and events pertaining to their field.

Common etiquette for interacting with professionals on social media involves using respectful language, responding to messages promptly, having good grammar and spelling, and doing your research. It is easy for written messages to be misunderstood, which is why it is important to read what you write out loud before you send it out to make sure that the written message sounds professional. Having good grammar shows that what you put out online is well thought out, and it makes you seem more professional. Additionally, responding to professionals promptly shows your interest and shows that you value their time and are serious about building a relationship with them. Finally, doing your research about which questions to ask and research that specific professionals to connect with can help you feel prepared when you are interacting with them.

If you use social media correctly, it can provide plenty of advantages. Social media is a great way to connect with people you value. There are plenty of opportunities that you can find through social media that can give your career a head start, it’s all about how you can take advantage of them.

By Ranvitha Divi

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