Yahoo! News and Yahoo! Studios recently put together a live video stream all about technology used by college students, called “Born Digital”. In one segment, the video focused on social media use by college students and how to use it appropriately.
In this segment, the panelists spoke about how important it is to use social media to bring your resume to life while creating a “personal brand”. Experts encourage millennials to showcase themselves on social media in ways that haven’t been done before by being innovative. Young adults should also use their social media outlets to their advantage by showcasing their interests and abilities—whether that is their public speaking skills, writing or creativity. Social media is becoming the digital resume, so it is important to filter out the negative about you on the web and keep it professional. Using these strategies can keep you ahead of the curve professionally and allow for an easier transition from college to the work world.
I wanted to ask some of Bravo’s frequent social media users how they use their online accounts to create a personal brand and showcase themselves in the professional world.
Dani Gross: “Be yourself and be transparent. Take part in professional organization meetings (PRSA, PPRS [PA Public Relations Society], Social Media Club, tweetups) and tweet or share from those gatherings. They’re a great place to network and get to know others in your field on a personal, as well as professional, level. And the hashtags help your tweets reach others in the industry around the world, and can spark some interesting conversations with new people.
If you’re tweeting a client event, make sure to disclose that.
Share things that you find interesting, rather than what you think others will find interesting.
I’ve been on Twitter since January 2008 and for some reason, I am on lots of Twitter lists as a “PA journalist,” probably because I’ve live-tweeted a ton of press conferences (and the occasional window-washer rescue).
And finally…do not use twitter while under the influence of alcohol.
I think one of the biggest mistakes companies make is being afraid to put a personality on their social media accounts. Some of companies who are most successful at social media use social media channels like a person would. For example, check out Chobani’s Pinterest account, or Zappo’s customer service twitter account, @Zappos_Service where they rotate employees responsible for the tweets over a 12 hour shift.”
Anna Idler: “I think first and foremost, being a thought leader on your personal social media account means being polite and professional at all times – you can publicize causes, statuses, news stories, etc. that are important to you of course, but always in a respectful manner. On my Twitter page for example, I try and regularly tweet out interesting articles that have to do with the public relations and communications industry I work in. I love reading a really great article and not only retweeting the link to it, but also a quote inside the article that I found intriguing – my go-to accounts that I follow for excellent communications articles and general working world wisdom are Business Insider, PR Daily, LinkedIn and Mashable.”
Sean Connelly: “Generally, I use LinkedIn to keep in touch with a wide group of professional contacts. I use Twitter to follow a targeted group of media outlets and reporters. I consider our clients to be thought leaders. They are the ones who are experts in health care, transportation, biotechnology, energy and other issues. I see my role as promoting them as thought-leaders using a variety tools, including social media.”
Noelle Lorine: “As one of Bravo’s resident millennials, using social media is second nature to me and it’s become a huge part of the way I communicate with friends, clients, colleagues and industry peers. Over the course of the past few years, social media has evolved from purely personal communications into an effective channel for business and professional communication. I’ve shifted my use of social media with this change – connecting with industry professionals, posting content within my field of expertise, and engaging in conversations that can help me become a better PR professional. The main channels I use for professional engagement are Twitter and LinkedIn. I’ve reserved Facebook for purely personal use.”
Social media may have a bigger impact than you think!
Thanks to my Bravo mentors for their advice!