How to strengthen your social media presence

by Monica Mihai

Digital Marketing Manager

Why should you care about it?

Establishing a presence on social media is a vital part of raising your professional profile, as platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have been gaining more and more momentum in professional development. Many employers now screen potential candidates by checking their social media presence aligns with the organisation’s values, while many job seekers now find professional opportunities via social networking.

…and we completely understand why it’s becoming ubiquitous! Social media is a fantastic way to show the world who you are, what you stand for, what your aspirations and interests are, to showcase your work, ask for opinions, socialize, virtually meet new connections.

The possibilities are endless.

However, many professionals still view social media as a “fun” activity, without taking it too seriously, but overlooking the power of social platforms in terms of building your professional brand can be detrimental to your career trajectory.

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Not to worry – we’ve devised a few simple steps you can take to enhance your social presence.

Set a clear objective

First things first: ask yourself what do you hope to achieve? Setting out a clear direction will simplify your efforts. Visualise your desired outcomes and start from there:

  • Are you looking for a new position?
  • Do you want to be known as a thought leader in your field?
  • Do you want to network and grow you contacts on LinkedIn?

Once you decide on a main objective, you need to start thinking about medium and content. The next steps will guide you in the right direction.

Less is more: choose the right platform for you

Many professionals become enthusiastic – overly enthusiastic, some might say, and begin to invest time and energy into every single platform that’s out there. However, if you wish to see results, we recommend narrowing down your presence to one or two platforms for your career objectives.

LinkedIn is definitely the winner in this situation, as it is tailored to professional development. In addition, Twitter is a great way of showcasing your professional views, as it’s snappy, short and to the point, and you can follow and keep up to date with leaders in your industry.

That being said, Facebook groups are fast becoming an interesting option, too. They might prove to be a secret weapon for your career development, as you can take part in informal conversations with peers from your field and establish a network that will turn into a valuable investment over time.

Show off your interests

A fantastic way to connect with like minded professionals is to share your thoughts and ideas. For example, if you find an article that tackles a hot topic in your industry, posting it on LinkedIn along with a message that showcases your professional, informed opinion will get others talking. Social media is, essentially, a conversation, and you will be adding real value to it.

You’d be surprised how a simple question can lead to engagement. For example, let’s say you share an article about the HE sector, here are some questions you could ask:

  • “Which publications would you recommend to someone in HE ?”
  • “Are there any HE workshops or conferences you might recommend?”
  • “What’s your best advice for networking in higher education?”

The key is to ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation. Do not worry if you don’t have the time to craft original posts. When you share and comment on an article, you’re adding yourself as a voice to the conversation and encouraging others to engage with you.

Share your stories

Social media is beginning to have an almost anecdotal quality to it, as more and more professionals are sharing personal stories of job hunting, recruiting, interviews and workplace in the online sphere. They key to successful engagement is personalisation.

If you make it personal, you make it relatable.

Next time you share a piece of content, try to showcase its value by relating to it. It’s both a great way to show your personality and be relatable enough that people can’t help but chime in. Being yourself is a great way to add value.

As you may have noticed, these steps are not quick fixes, but long term commitments. By building these habits into your social media behaviour,  you will dramatically improve the quality of your online presence and see a visible impact on your online professional persona.

Monica Mihai is the Digital Marketing Manager of the AUA. Aside from comms, social media and all things digital, Monica is also passionate about professional development and transferable skills, and loves sharing the knowledge she’s picked up over the years. You can find Monica on LinkedIn and Twitter, in Krispy Kreme, staring lovingly at some donuts, or in Selfridges, looking guiltily at some shoes.