Friday, 14 October 2016

Marketing yourself on social media

As a marketing practitioner, you have probably been at the forefront of at least one brand’s move to social media. But have you started building your personal brand on that social space you have almost come to master?

Research suggests that in the same manner that you have taken to social media to recruit customers, more and more human resource practitioners are also using social media to recruit new talent. LinkedIn and Facebook have particularly proven helpful in scouting potential workers.

For professionals like you, however, this phenomenon can either be a boon or a bane. You may thrive in interconnectedness but falter if you overshare. Here are some tips on making sure your social media profile will help you land a job or, at the very least, make you look professional.

Be on social media. Start with LinkedIn, a platform built specifically to connect employers with potential talent. We also recommend being present on Facebook, the go-to platform for most users, including brands, because of its simplicity.

Of course there are risks to being on social media. But the alternative is worse: Researchers say absence from social media is “virtual identity suicide,” and may lead to suspicion or misunderstanding on the part of the recruiter.

Know your market. Once you are on social media, you may begin to develop the image you want recruiters to see. Doing so involves both keeping and sharing information, and tailoring such information to fit your target audience. Which companies would you like to work in? What positions are you interested in?

Feature accomplishments in your profiles, but be sure to highlight the ones most relevant to your most desired career path. Make sure that you list down results, and not simply job descriptions. Also remember to customise your posts’ privacy settings, especially on Facebook, if you really want to publish that beer pong photo.

Know your strengths. Suppose you have a burning desire to work for an international nonprofit, but you have been working for a telecommunications provider for almost your entire career. You’ve done your research, and you know you have what it takes to thrive in that role and organisation. How will you convince recruiters?

Human resource practitioners tend to look at the transferable skills of applicants for vacant positions. Therefore, in preparing your social media profile, think about the skills you have gained in your past and present jobs that will help you function in the job you want in the future.

Generate content. It’s not enough that you publish your profile, customised specifically to impress the recruiters you are targeting. You also need to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise you claim to have. There is no better way to do this than to generate original content.

If you are confident about writing blogs, both LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to do so in a few easy steps. Short but carefully crafted status updates or comments on links about your area of expertise can also be adequate signals that you know what you are doing.

Building your personal brand on social media is about projecting your best possible self, but this projection should match the knowledge, skills, and experience you have. Besides, if you pretend to be who you’re not, chances are you will not be successful.

Kim Patria
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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