You have your reasons if you don’t post on social media for work. Maybe you’re too busy. Or you wouldn’t know which platform to use—or what to post. Perhaps no one in your industry who is important is following you. Or you’re a private person and you want to keep it that way.
Whatever your rationale, personal branding expert Jennefer Witter wants you to know that you’re missing out on a key opportunity to advance your career. “Using social media can help you elevate your reputation and the visibility of your organization, which makes you valuable if your brand aligns with your company’s values,” says Witter, CEO and founder of The Boreland Group Inc. and author of The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed.
She cites Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as a prime example. Probably the most “liked” woman executive in America, Sandberg has become the champion of working women. “Silicon Valley has been called a ‘cesspool of sexism’,” Witter says. “But Facebook stands out as the exception in large part thanks to Sandberg. She is an example of a woman in tech who has a company that supports her and her efforts to support other women in tech. I’m sure that support has benefitted Facebook to attract a deeper, richer pool of women applicants who see how well Sandburg is treated and respected. She wins, as does Facebook.”
To help you raise your profile and prospects, here, from Witter, is what to do for starters on social media:
“Decide how you want to position yourself, then look at your profile summary. If it doesn’t match up, rewrite your summary and update your profile. Also, look at your endorsements. If the biggest three are not for the top three things you want to be known for, you’ve got some work ahead of you, shifting perception to sync up to your brand. Then aim to post at least once a day, perhaps sharing a relevant article or commenting on something in the news that is germane to your field, and once or twice a month, aim to post an article you’ve written to establish yourself as a thought leader.”
“Create a new page that will be for your professional contacts, and invite networking contacts, business associates and colleagues. Then follow the 80/20 rule, where 80 percent of what you post is professional and 20 percent is personal. This shows you to be a well-rounded person, rather than a work automaton. Facebook is your place to promote yourself, showcase the work that you’re done and underscore your skills and abilities. Don’t be shy about taking credit for what you’ve achieved. I have generated literally tens of thousands of dollars from Facebook for my business. The platform truly works from a professional viewpoint.”
“Some say Twitter is dead, but it isn’t. It’s a great way to connect directly with people. You have to post a minimum of eight times a day for traction, but you can do this in 10 minutes by retweeting as well as commenting on a link and writing original posts. To build a following, use hashtags (#s) and influencers’ handles (@name) strategically. Also get involved in Twitter Chat. I recently connected with a Millennial influencer, and whenever she retweets me, the views to my posts more than quadruple. The key is to be authentic in whatever you say or do.”