In a world where social media is pivotal to our daily lives and interactions, it is easy to fall behind with monitoring what you share on the digital space. While you’re a student you can learn the skills of managing your social media and what your digital footprint looks like.
A good way to think of your social media is a tool to sum yourself up, think of it as a super-charged interactive CV, accessible to a very wide network of people. Remember your audience, and that your friends, family and employers have access to your profiles.
Your digital footprint is the data trial left by your interactions within the digital space. It is a public record of; what you said, what was said about you, what you liked/shared and where you are/have been. You can make conscious decisions about the way you portray yourself and what your social media says about you.
Here are my tips for how to manage your social media as a training professional:
- Regularly review your privacy settings
This way you can be confident in who has access to your posts. However, it is important not to rely on these settings, as anyone who can see your content can download, copy, or screenshot it and publicly share it.
- Be aware of what you post/share online
As a golden rule, if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face in a public place, don’t put it online. Think before you post! Remember, everyone can see what pages you like or accounts you follow. If in doubt – unlike. It is sensible to check what comes up when you Google your name. This is a great way to see how well your filters and strategies are working and if anything needs adjusting.
Always consider your posts. Ask yourself could they be misconstrued/misinterpreted? Are you contributing/engaging in conversation? Never post when you are angry. And expect potential employers to look!
- Declutter your social media
It is a bit like cleaning your bedroom, no one wants to do it, but it has to be done! Untag or remove yourself from bad photos and inappropriate posts. We all love to share what happened on a night out, but your future employers may not be so enthusiastic about it. Clear out the pages and groups that you may have signed up to whilst at school or in a previous life. Not only will this make your social media more professional, but it will feel good to declutter and streamline.
- Use it to your advantage
You may want to choose quality over quantity and communicate positively. Consider creating a social media profile for professional or academic use. Twitter is a great platform for raising awareness, looking at the latest research and events and patient support. Do keep your personal and professional identities separate and set all accounts to private by default to begin with.
- Consider which platform works for your profession
Marjon Futures offer sound advice on building your professional brand on social media.
They advise that LinkedIn and Twitter are great for developing your personal brand but that it’s also worth considering how you might use other social media to enhance your professional brand. Think about popular platforms like Pinterest, You Tube, Instagram and blogs. For example, if you have something visual to showcase then Instagram might be good for you, or if you need to show you can write then you could start your own blog or get your words online right here, on the Team Marjon blog!
We’ll end with some specific tips for LinkedIn and Twitter, again from the Futures team…
LinkedIn is more than an online CV. Tell people who you are. Not just what you have done. Write a summary that includes: What are you best at (value)? Who do you serve (motivators)? What is distinct about you (USP)? Get skill endorsements and recommendations from colleagues and peers.
You should also highlight your key achievements and results including:
- Education – modules, dissertations, extra-curricular.
- Certificates/Qualifications – sector specific, demonstrate CPD.
- Employment – projects, outcomes, skills.
- Volunteering – causes you care about, transferable skills.
- Link to other media to showcase your work.
And be active – share and upload articles and comment on posts/shares.
Twitter helps you build a brand more subtly by sharing professional interests, news, reactions and observations. It is also a space to demonstrate your professional strengths and passions, for example by sharing tips/advice/answering questions.
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Amber McGrathAmber McGrath
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