Your personal brand and online presence are very important factors when building a career or succeeding in the current phase in your life, whether it is studying, a maternity leave or a leadership position.
You can make your chances of professional success a lot higher if you build an effective online brand and optimize your presence in social media. And NO, this does not mean opening 15 to 30 different social media accounts and posting pictures of your cats or selfies from the gym. (Unless you want to build a business or career around those aspects of life. Who am I to judge?)
In any case, optimizing your social media presence is all about the quality of your profiles and well-defined targets.
1. Remember whom you are doing this for!
The first thing to remember is that you are building your brand for you, not anyone else. You should always be yourself in online channels, but adjust the tone depending on the channel. Being yourself truly pays off in the long run, since you most likely want to build a career and network that suits you the best. By being yourself, you also reflect upon what you really want to achieve, and that is what recruiters and influencers care about when they look you up. Even though you might want to impress recruiters or people you want to work for, remember that if you are not true to yourself online and you land the job, you are not able to be yourself in the job either. It is all about the perfect match when talking about a job!
2. Define your goals
You need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your social media profiles and online presence. You should adjust your profiles and content depending on the targets you have.
- Getting your dream job
- Boosting your current results
- Becoming an influencer and getting recognition
- Taking a leap in the career
- Starting or boosting your own business
These are just a few. Once you know what you actually want to achieve, you can start building your profiles with the right keywords, target relevant groups and communities, build up online connections with the right contacts and produce relevant content. Everything you do should be taking you closer to your goals!
3. Choose your channels
There are hundreds of different social media and community sites in the world. Building your social media profiles and online presence does not mean that you need to be active on all the possible channels! If you opt for too many channels, you just end up making poor profiles and lowering your own brand value. Choose channels according to your target audience and of course personal preferences. Especially for building your career and gaining influence, I would recommend at least LinkedIn and Twitter, where you can easily measure your impact with different analytics.
Feel free to mix up your personal and professional online presence with good taste. Use both personal and professional channels to bring out your personality. This will help you match with the right kind of opportunities, depending on your targets. Personal and professional lives are increasingly more intertwined nowadays so, in my opinion, you should definitely use that to excel in social media. Some uptight folks might disagree with this, but in my opinion, it is better to bring out your true colors in every channel (remember the different tones depending on channels) rather than polish it too much.
4. Content is King, as they say
Depending on your targets, I would suggest being active with content creation as well. Create meaningful content that your network and target audience will be interested in and measure your results through social media analytics. Adjust your content once you have analyzed what is working and what is not. Do not spam your audience with irrelevant or too much content. Be aware of the limits. And for humanity’s sake, think before you post! An online brand is so much easier to destroy than it is to build up. It is okay, even good, to generate a lot of discussions with your personal and professional opinions, but be careful enough not to burn too many bridges.
5. A couple of useful tips on channels
As a social recruiter, I want to give some useful tips and tricks for optimizing your social media presence in different channels. Most of them are about your own analytics and how to build your profiles. The list is a lot longer in reality, but I decided to give the most important ones. You can also refer to our Social Media Starter Kit for professionals.
1. Write a great summary with relevant keywords and place that on the top of your profile, keywords make it easier to find you
2. Use the skills section to point out your relevant skills and exchange endorsements with your connections
3. Ask for recommendations from your colleagues, managers and also from teachers
4. List your honors & awards and relevant projects that you have taken part in
5. Don’t make position descriptions too long, keep them on point and make your profile as easy to read as possible
6. Join relevant groups to show your interests and participate in conversations
7. Publish great content and follow post analytics to adjust the content
8. You can also keep an eye on your social selling index for free from here
1. Follow your target audience; it’s okay to follow anyone on Twitter.
2. Use the right #hashtags according to your personal and professional interests. You can also search for popular ones from hashtagify.me.
3. Enable your personal analytics from your profile and follow it to see what kind of tweets keep your followers engaged.
4. Search for interesting topics and engage in conversations with retweets, replies and likes.
Personal channels (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.)
1. Post and speak about topics that you are passionate about both professionally and personally.
2. Use relevant #hashtags to attract followers.
3. Connect with your target group and follow interesting companies to get to know them better.
4. Mix up personal and professional content.
It’s a great time to be alive, as you can do so much with a little effort to help you achieve your career goals. Start building your brand today – in today’s digital age, a recruiter can reach you on your sofa. And remember, whatever you do online, BE YOURSELF.
Meet Mikko Koskinen on his SM channels: