20 Steps to Improve Your Social Media Presence
Viewing your presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites is often your unofficial first interview. Does your social media presence help or hinder your ability to set up interviews?
To answer that question, conduct a simple Google search on your name and review the results. Then review any other sites where you have a presence. Those could include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, and blog sites to name a few of the most common sites.
According to a July 22, 2020, article by Small Business News, “90% of employers consider an applicant’s social media activity during the hiring process.”
It has become a normal process for hiring authorities to review your social media presence often before they schedule an interview.
They review your online presence for the following reasons:
- Information online reveals many facts about you not included on your resume or CV.
- It is simple to review your professional, as well as social personality.
- Pictures are worth a thousand words.
- Learn about the people in your network.
- Review your past work history.
- Your posts and pictures often provide insight into who you are.
- Many red flags can be uncovered on your profile.
- Bad habits are often highlighted on social network sites.
- Employers can view if you are posting during working hours.
According to The Manifest 2020 Recruitment Survey – 98% of HR Professionals perform background research about potential new hires. 90% of employers find social media important when they evaluate candidates and 79% of HR Professionals have denied a job to a candidate due to inappropriate content on social media.
I have had potential candidates state, “I think it’s important that a future employer knows where I stand on issues.” I do agree that it’s important that the culture and values of a company align with yours, but I’m sure there will be individuals in any company who do not share your exact views on politics, religion, or other sensitive topics. One of those people could be the hiring manager who could screen you out because of the strong views posted.
However, if utilized properly, social media can help potential employers, hiring authorities and recruiters find you. The following are 20 steps to improve your social media presence.
Buy Your Domain Name
Your first step is to identify a domain registrar (like GoDaddy.com) and purchase some variation of your name. If you have a common name you may need to become more creative or include your middle name or initial. To generate interest in you and attract hiring managers, recruiters, and companies who can advance your career, begins with owning your own domain.
Research Keywords for Your Profession/Industry
Identify the keywords or keyword phrases that individuals in your profession or industry use to search for top talent. Keywords can include job titles, skills, certification names, software titles, or industry jargon or buzzwords. To identify keywords, examine job postings and employment listings for the opportunities you desire.
Establish a Basic Website or Blog
There are thousands of templates that are available for download – some are free. Or you can hire someone from FIVERR to help you develop this at a very reasonable cost. Your basic website should include a home page that includes your value proposition which is basically your 30-second elevator pitch along with contact information and a short bio. Create a blog on your site and post all the relevant content that you post on other social media sites, to set yourself up as an expert in your field.
Add Your Website URL to Everything
Once you have developed a website, list the URL on anything that has your name on it. For example, under your email signature line, on networking cards or when you post content on other people’s sites or blogs.
Publish Relevant Keyword-Rich Content
Once you have identified keywords and keyword phrases most relevant to your career path, the next step is publishing content on your website and various other social media sites that use those keywords and keyword phrases.
Write Relevant Articles for Other Sites
This article is a perfect example of this piece of advice. I’m writing this article for ExecuNet but will then also share it in my LinkedIn Feed. From an SEO standpoint, search engines welcome high quality content that adds value, especially when other sites link to it.
From a job seekers standpoint developing content helps showcase your expertise, separates you from others with similar experience and raise your value in the job market. If possible, write articles for online publications of the National Associations that represent your Profession or Industry, or you could submit articles to many or the online article sites.
Request Network Contacts Link to Your Site
If you want to increase your visibility and the rankings of your personal website, provide links to the personal sites of your friends, family, and colleagues and then ask them to reciprocate with a link back to your site. A linking campaign is important to any SEO strategy.
You could also create a useful links page that only links to other high-quality sites that are related to your industry or profession. Most of these sites will not link back to you, but the outbound links provide a value in search-engine rankings.
Provide Free Advice
You will position yourself as an expert in your field if you provide free advice that would normally cost someone money to obtain. When someone benefits by your advice, they would be likely to recommend you or determine how they could benefit you in return.
Post an Innovative Alternative to a Best Practice in Your Profession
When you get people to consider an alternative solution to a common best practice you show your creativity and the ability to innovate. These are both highly desirable traits and will draw positive attention from individuals who could help advance your career.
Comment on an Industry Relevant Blog
If you do not have the time or resources to create an individual website, identify the movers and shakers in your industry or profession and comment on their blogs. Again, this sets you up as an expert. Look for Blogs with an active following.
Share Posts Written by Leaders in Your Profession/Industry
A simple way to increase your visibility online is to share relevant posts written by leaders in your profession or industry. This shows your connections that you understand the type of content they would benefit from, again setting yourself apart from others.
Follow the Movers and Shakers in Your Profession
Identify and follow the movers and shakers in your Profession. Read their sites and comment when appropriate.
Connect with Professional Association Leadership and Board Members
Individuals who serve in leadership of Professional Associations are well-networked and can often help advance your career if they are aware of your talents and experience. Target these individuals as important connections and show how they can benefit by accepting your invitation to connect.
Request Feedback and Comments and Respond to 100%
When posting on social media sites, welcome comments or feedback and then respond to 100% of these posts. This helps establish rapport which can often lead to offline discussions.
Use Twitter.com/Search and Connect to 10 People Daily in Your Industry
Do not underestimate the relevance of Twitter in your career advancement. Build your connections daily.
Attend a Live Tweet Chats and Participate
Twitter chats are conversations that occur on Twitter at a designated date and time about a certain topic. Every Twitter chat has a hashtag, which allows anyone on Twitter to follow the chat or even participate. To participate in a Twitter chat, you will need a Twitter account. Offer relevant information that will position you as an expert to others participating in the live chats.
Record and Post a Video or Audio Interview with an Industry Leader
Once you have connected with industry leaders, request the opportunity to interview them for your audience. The stronger your online presence, the more likely an industry leader will accept your invitation to be interviewed. Individuals who follow that leader often then connect with you because of the exposure you received during the interview.
Share your Personality and Sense of Humor
I was once recording a promotion for a conference where I was the keynote speaker. In the middle of my video, my 55 lbs dog jumped in my lap, and I just continued to record the promo. I then sent the group the funny video with my dog and then a more serious conference promo. They decided to use the one with my dog, because it made them laugh. Their attendance almost instantly skyrocketed, and the video resulted in one of the highest reactions I’ve ever received on any of my social media sites. People want to get to know you, and everyone enjoys and often needs a good laugh.
Publish Relevant Short Videos on YouTube
When creating courses for LinkedIn Learning, they convinced me that most learners preferred videos that were no longer than three minutes. Record short videos on relevant topics and you will reach many of your connections who would much rather watch a video than read anything! Videos must become a part of your social media strategy.
Add Your Social Media Profile Links to Your Email Signature Line
Make it simple for anyone to connect with you on social media with a simple click.
When you implement any of these steps you will by sought out by the individuals who can help you advance in your career.
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