If you want to make an impact in social media—whether for yourself or for your business—the number one thing you need to do is establish a visible, credible online presence.
Why? As you probably know, every day, recruiters turn to the internet to find their next great hire. They want to be able to clearly see that you fit with the company’s culture and make sure the things you post wouldn’t be harmful to the organization in any way.
But once you find your dream job, the importance of your social visibility doesn’t go away—you simply move from representing yourself to representing the company you work for, and a credible online presence will help you and your company be successful.
To build a solid reputation and boost your social media visibility, start with these 5 tips.
1. Complete Your Social Profiles
It’s a simple but essential tip: If your profiles aren’t complete, they’re not as effective as they could be. Each social network provides a different opportunity to show off your personality and your accomplishments—which are both important for professionals. To establish a compelling presence on the social media platforms you use, make sure to leverage the advantages of each.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for on the top three social networks:
Facebook: People often forget about Facebook’s “About” section, which is where you can share information about what you like to do, who you are, and other fun facts about yourself, like your favorite movies, quotes, or books.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn offers the most in-depth profile for professionals. Fill out every section as thoroughly as possible, and don’t forget to include awards, volunteer work, academic accomplishments, interests, skills, and, of course, work experience.
2. Add Social Links to Your Email Signatures
More than 100 billion emails are sent and received every day. Whether you’re sending an email to apply for a job, check in with a client, or say hello to a fellow employee, your email signature can be a powerful tool for promoting your social profiles.
In your signoff, provide a link to each of your social networks—and don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it.
Get creative with how you reference your links, and you’ll drive more traffic to your profiles.
3. Keep some things private
Taking a cue from some of the great celebrities of the 20th century, we too can learn how to separate our public and private selves in way that protects our self-esteem with a little strategy, focus on what areas of your life you want to keep private, and what areas you want to expose to the public.
If you decide to post pictures of your booming business and family vacations to show a more relaxed side of you, you may choose to leave out the more intimate family time, either because you want to keep it between you and your family, and/or perhaps you feel it is not needed given your social media goals.
These types of decisions reduce the chance that you will overexpose yourself in a way that makes you feel vulnerable and perhaps more sensitive to others’ opinions. It also reinforces the idea that your self-esteem or self-worth is not dependent upon social media.
4. Be Engaging
You’ve probably heard this tip time and time again, but following and interacting with people on social media can be what separates you from the masses.
I don’t want to age myself, but when I was growing up, the internet wasn’t around to assist job seekers in doing research about companies and their employees. Interviewees would learn the details about the company’s mission and the job description during the interview.
Consider social networks today’s version of the informational interview. Every social network offers a different way to connect with influencers—for example, by using hashtags, participating in Twitter or Facebook chats, publishing, commenting, and more. As you expand and interact with your network, you’ll gain valuable information about your industry, and as a bonus, you’ll likely see an increase in the traffic to your profiles.
5. Keep creating visual content
Because social media is so visual, it’s an opportunity to create inspiring visual content that can enhance a sense of well-being and self-esteem. I know the creative process can be challenging as you have to move past your inner critic to self-acceptance.
While I was in graduate school for psychology and starting my career in the field, I found that my creativity was suppressed a bit. So it was challenging to convey my expertise in a way that visually appealed to me. Sometimes inspiration doesn’t always hit you over the head and you have to be intentional about it. Being open to finding inspiration anywhere despite a difficult day or moment takes work but the process of creating images that inspire you and others is in itself therapeutic. And the more you seek inspiration and express what visually appeals to you online, the more your social media pages will feel like a reflection of your best self, a self-esteem booster for sure.
Extra tip : Use LinkedIn’s Recommendations
One of LinkedIn’s most overlooked features is recommendations—comments written by other members to recognize a colleague, business partner, or student. As a LinkedIn member, you can request recommendations from your peers , and you can also endorse other people .
These reviews instantly add credibility to your portfolio. Potential employers may look at your recommendations to determine how others view you, and clients or employees may use them as way to evaluate you before agreeing to work with you.
“A network is only as helpful as the people within it.” John Hall, Forbes, 2015