While most people around the world have been using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and the like for fun, communication, and relationship-building over the years, it’s important not to forget just how useful the networks can also be for your career, whether you’re actively searching for a new position right now or not.
In fact, the various online platforms where people go to share data, exchange ideas, make comments, and meet new connections can be the ideal place for you to increase your network of contacts and raise your professional profile. In turn, this can help you to land an exciting new role when you need to (or even when you least expect it), or to expand your customer base for your own venture.
To make your profiles more effective though, you will first need to make sure that your information is as complete as possible and always up to date, with full descriptions and quality, professional photographs used at all times. You must maintain a professional manner on each site (no pictures of you looking drunk or taking part in illegal or otherwise frowned-upon activities!) and you need to be careful about only ever posting accurate, truthful information.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career today, read on for three handy ways in which you can take advantage of social media.
One of the first things you should start doing if you want to boost your career is network online. Social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are fantastic for this, and will help you to “meet,” and develop connections with, other professionals in your industry.
To do this well, it is important to firstly ensure you have put up a comprehensive profile on LinkedIn, as this is one of the most popular and beneficial social networking spots for people who want to find a new job or make good contacts.
On the site, you need to post your resume in an online format. It must not only be accurate and up-to-date, but also well written and properly formatted. As such, it pays to organize a resume evaluation service to check out your information so that you can be sure that you’re not making any mistakes.
Your LinkedIn profile should include things such as:
- Your relevant skills and achievements
- Recommendations from people you have worked with or consulted to in the past
- A business-appropriate photograph of yourself (no social pics here!)
- Some relevant examples of your work where possible
- Keywords that relate to your industry and job area
Once you have all the necessary info posted online, it’s time to start working on building more connections. There are multiple ways to do this. It is a good idea to post regular updates about your career successes, new skills you’ve gained, training you’ve completed, events you’ve attended, or any other relevant news that will help to generate interest in your profile.
As well, make sure you join some of the LinkedIn groups which are relevant to your position or sector. Once this is done, take part in online discussions whenever you feel you can add a unique view on the topic or some useful information. This will help you to chat and engage with potential and current contacts and to develop relationships further.
Build Your Brand
Next, keep in mind that, no matter the industry you’re in, it is always a good idea to work hard on building your brand. Branding is not just for businesses, as many people think, but rather is also important for individuals too.
Most social media sites, but particularly Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, are fantastic avenues to help people promote themselves by consistently demonstrating their brand. The updates you post online and the profiles you set up for yourself can go a long way to create an image that will help to stand you in good stead throughout your career.
Recruiters, employers, and clients typically check out social media sites when conducting research, and can use the information they see to determine if you will be a good fit for a company or position.
On your online profiles, make sure that you are always consistent when it comes to branding elements such as the images, logos, font, and language you use. This will help you to develop your own particular “voice” that can set you apart from your competition. The image and summary details that you put on one social media platform should be used across them all, so that your style becomes easily and quickly identified and gives people an accurate idea of who you are and what you represent.
You can also further your brand by using social media sites to become an industry expert. Your posts are the perfect platform for promoting your skills, knowledge, and experience, as well as a variety of content that you write or collate, such as blog posts and articles, quotes, infographics, e-books, pictures, and the like. By regularly posting information that helps others in your industry and demonstrates your expertise, you will see your standing as an industry expert rise.
Facebook has posted a 195% jump in profit in Q1 of 2016 as the company continued to generate new advertising income.
The social network reported $1.5 billion in earnings for Q1 2016, compared to $512 million in Q1 2015.
As well as enticing advertisers to new products like live video, Facebook boosted sales on existing services.
The company also proposed a new class of shares, which will allow founder Mark Zuckergerg to sell his shares without losing control of Facebook.
It said the move will “encourage Mr. Zuckerberg to remain in an active leadership role at Facebook”.
Facebook shares rose over 9% in after-hours trading.
Sales for Q1 2016 reached $5.3 billion up from $3.5 billion in Q1 of 2015.
Mobile advertising made up 82% of Facebook’s overall advertising revenue, up from 73% at the same time last year.
Total monthly active users (MAU) increased 15% from a year earlier to 1.65 billion, which was ahead of analysts expectations.
On a call with investors, the social network said it intended to continue buying other companies, but only those offering services that could be “ubiquitous”.
Facebook has invested heavily in other companies – in 2012 it paid $1 billion for the photo-sharing site Instagram.
However, it is hard for investors to judge the success of such deals, as Facebook has not detailed earnings from acquired companies.
The announcement of the new share structure comes four months after Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced they would give away 99% of their wealth.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan made the announcement after the birth of their daughter Max in December.
Facebook has admitted that teenagers are becoming bored with the social networking giant.
Facing competition from younger, more agile and “cooler” apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook fears its long-term business could be harmed.
And as Facebook approaches its tenth anniversary the firm published its annual 10-K report last month revealing that its younger users are increasingly turning away from the multi-billion dollar business.
Published last month, Facebook annual report states: “We believe that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook.
“For example, we believe that some of our users have reduced their engagement with Facebook in favor of increased engagement with other products and services such as Instagram.
“In the event that our users increasingly engage with other products and services, we may experience a decline in user engagement and our business could be harmed.”
The sobering admission that they need to sharpen their public image comes as Facebook Director of Product Blake Ross announced in scathing terms why he was leaving the social networking powerhouse.
“I’m leaving because a Forbes writer asked his son’s best friend Todd if Facebook was still cool and the friend said no, and plus none of HIS friends think so either even Leila who used to love it, and this journalism made me reconsider the long-term viability of the company.”
Facing competition from younger, more agile and “cooler” apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook fears its long-term business could be harmed
Maybe because of the seriousness of his jesting post, Blake Ross pulled the message from his Facebook page.
However, it did not divert from the fact that teenagers are very often a plausible, but non-scientific barometer for trends – especially what is cool and what is not.
Indeed, the founder and of new social networking site Branch, Josh Miller, asked his 15-year-old sister for her opinion on Facebook.
Her verdict was damning.
“She tries to visit Facebook as infrequently as possible,” Josh Miller wrote, because it’s addictive, and because it’s not as fun as Instagram.
“Facebook may have an irreversibly bad brand,” Josh Miller concluded.
Web-expert, Laura Portwood-Stacer was more concise in her opinion of how Facebook relates to today’s teenagers.
“I think it has less to do with kids consciously looking for <<the next big thing>> than Facebook just no longer being a space that serves them,” said Laura Portwood-Stacer.
“I think kids are less self-conscious about trying to be cool than marketers would like to think,” she added.
Teenagers are turning to sites like Tumblr and apps like Snapchat and Instagram as their preferred methods of communication.
“Tumblr is mainly my obsession as of now,” said 15-year-old Collin Wisniewski to The Verge.
“It just seems more intimate and it’s not really a place of bragging, but more of a place of sharing.”
Apps such as Snapchat give power to younger users who do not like the idea of their images existing forever and tagged on Facebook,
“I would say that this app really is one of my major communicating devices more than really a social network,” said Collin Wisniewski.
However, this does not mean that teens are leaving Facebook similar in manner to the demise of MySpace.
They are simply using the service less and other newer products more.
And, of course, monetarily, Facebook owns Instagram and is still at the forefront of mobile device apps.