It’s no news these days that social media accounts are the new resumés and CVs that can land you a job in no time.
Millions of recruiters and brands are online and actively looking out for people worth hiring through their social media profiles. So, for you to be clearly seen by these people, you need to have a profile that doesn’t just stand out aesthetically, but professionally as well.
Social Media Professionalism can be described as a set of behaviours, attitudes, and good judgement that is expected of a person who utilizes social media.
It is the act of being appropriate and professional in your dealings with other people online so as to foster better relationships, prove yourself as an authority in your field and grow a strong personal brand.
To build an effective online presence, you have to understand why you’re doing so and the benefits it offers. Whether you are using social networks for personal purposes or to help you advance in business or career, social media professionalism is not to be neglected.
Exhibiting professionalism on social media has advantages to both your personal and career life. It allows you to:
- Create a wide network of peers and connect with leaders in your chosen career field.
- Announce your achievements and present yourself as an authority in your profession.
- Share ideas and knowledge and provide information that will be useful to others.
- Stay up to date on the latest trends in your field.
Different social media sites exist for different purposes and it is necessary to understand the mode of operation of each in order to act accordingly.
Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, etc, all have different formats of use and require a degree of professionalism in each.
As much as posting on social media can be fun, it is imperative that you are careful of what you post, because the web is an indelible record and the internet never forgets. What you post directly reflects your reputation, both online and offline.
So instead of being in a hurry to post on a new platform, you can simply lurk around and observe for sometime to help you understand how things work before launching yourself in.
These days, the importance of social media in our professional lives can not be overemphasized, and failure to observe good social media etiquette can take you down a long journey of unemployment and failed business ventures.
Therefore, here are tips on what you should and should not do to maintain professionalism on social media:
- Showcase your unique skills and interests: This will put you out as a formidable force in your field and will make recruiters and employers want to hire you. It is okay to share information regarding your abilities, volunteering experiences, and other related activities that you do.
- Don’t share inappropriate photos: As much as you think that picture of you looking sexy is lying around unnoticed in your gallery, it is best not to post it for the entire world to see on social media. People develop an impression of you when they go through your social media profile, and it will be quite a disaster if they notice some inappropriate content that will make them think very lowly of you. No matter how tempted you are to post random pictures, do not post something that would implicate you eventually or prevent employers from hiring you.
- Join relevant networking groups online: This will help you to meet new people, share ideas and serve as a way of showcasing your interests and what you believe in. Also, hiring companies and recruiters pay a pretty close attention to the kind of groups their potential candidates join. Therefore, do not join controversial or offensive groups that will have a negative impact on your industry.
- Do not post controversial or overly opinionated content: As much as social media is a free place for everyone to express themselves, it is not ideal to post questionable content or talk about controversial topics on your page. Unless you are building a brand related to religion or politics, do not post related issues. This may pass you off as myopic-minded, judgemental and someone who takes sides with wrong.
- Never be harassing or offensive: It is highly unprofessional to be violent or abusive online. Don’t go about leaving hurtful comments on another person’s posts or threatening others. Even if you have a strong feeling towards their posts or opinions, the professional thing to do is to remain indifferent. Better to be silent and scroll ahead than leave hateful comments that can cause grave damages to your reputation.
- Improve your grammar: This is the common factor that is most overlooked in the usage of social media. Proper usage of grammar positions you as a credible person and makes your posts more valuable. Using a spellchecker or proofreading apps can go a long way to help you arrange your posts and keep them error-free before you hit the send or publish button.
Professionalism is not the job you do, it’s how you do the job. Maintaining a professional front online is a skill that you need to learn to thrive in all aspects of life. Even as we progress in the digital age, being professional in our social networks will go a long way to create more opportunities for us and attract handsome benefits in the long run.