WES Ambassador Yetunde Oshinkale is a doctorate student in educational psychology in the U.S. In this blog post, she shares six social media strategies that will help you build your network and develop your own personal brand.
You can improve how you represent yourself—your “brand”—on social media. Your online presence can be consistently professional across platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. To maximize the effectiveness of your profiles, make sure that each one comprises the following:
- A compelling and attractive photo
- A clear brand definition
- A compelling story about your professional expertise
- A clear focus on professional and business connections
- An outstanding portfolio
- Your memberships in relevant professional organizations
Social networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, offer online meeting places where professionals can connect with current and former colleagues. These sites offer professionals the potential to increase the number of their business connections and deepen the connections they already have. The sites can also foster the discussion of business ideas and enable users to search for jobs and recruit new hires.
Social media strategies have the potential to promote interaction, engagement, and network expansion, as well as to increase opportunities in the professional and business world.
Top-performing professionals join LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networking sites to engage as professionals with their peers and exchange ideas. The platforms are a vehicle through which these professionals seek to provide value and raise their profile. The control you exert over your presence and image on social media, along with the professionalism with which you respond to opportunities online, can impact your brand. Use the following social strategies to promote your expertise:
- An attractive profile photo: Upload a professional, attractive photograph of yourself in which you are smiling. Crop the picture perfectly.
- A clear brand definition: Describe your areas of expertise. Demonstrate your vision, mission, and core values. Write an attention-grabbing headline such as: “Motivated, experienced, client-focused sales manager with over 23 years driving sales.”
- A compelling story about your professional expertise: Highlight your achievements—how you have distinguished yourself from your peers, and how you have contributed to higher productivity and profit at your company. Share your career objectives. The more you share about yourself, your credentials, and your core values, the more your profile will make an impression.
- A clear focus on professional or business connections: Be strategic about increasing the number of your first-degree connections—the people you know directly. The more first-degree connections you have, the more second- and third-degree connections you will have. The idea is not to amass a huge number of connections, but to connect with the people you want to link in with, who are in the specific fields you are interested in. The LinkedIn search algorithm will therefore be able to find you and place you at the top of the search results most appropriate for you. Customize your feeds to avoid unprofitable traffic, and be selective about whom you follow or connect with. Follow a few LinkedIn influencers to keep abreast of news and insights from leaders in fields you care about.
- An outstanding portfolio: With the LinkedIn professional portfolio feature, applicants can show prospective employers much more about their capabilities than résumés ever could. The feature allows you to demonstrate your abilities by showcasing samples of your work and presentations via images and video you embed in your LinkedIn profile.
- Professional memberships: Including your memberships in professional organizations on your LinkedIn or Facebook page presents a great opportunity to optimize keywords in your profile. A professional university administrator, for example, could include membership in the American Association of University Administrators.
Creating a professional online brand presence will help you stand out when competing for jobs. It will also allow you to demonstrate your goals, skills, and any outstanding qualities—such as being a strong leader, team player, communicator, writer, or listener.