Social media has played such an integral role in my life, not only have I used social media to land dream jobs but to grow my brand and my businesses. To be quite frank, I’m unsure if I would be where I am today without it. When I first began using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I wasn’t intentional about my actions, it’s only until I started my blog and began using it for marketing and promotions, everything fell into place. Social media is not only key when promoting a product, service or business, but a must if you are promoting yourself or looking for a job! If you are looking to get your foot into a door, pull up a seat at a table or land your dream job, there are things that you MUST do when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkendIn.
After graduating from college, I did not have any plans to look for a 9-5, my goal was to dive fully into my budding business, but because of my actions on social media, I scored not one, but two amazing opportunities in my field that were too good to pass up. Both of these job opportunities helped me to build authority in my field, bolster my brand and provided me with experiences I wouldn’t otherwise have. So how do you use social media to land your dream job or amplify your name?
Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years.
- Create A Profile: You have to be in the room to have a seat right? If you’re not on social media, it’s time you joined the party. A lot of people choose not to join these platforms because they value their privacy and their time, but if you use it correctly, you won’t have to worry about either. Yes, it can be addictive but you’re not on social media for personal reasons. You’re here to network, build the right kind of community and get closer to your goals. Use the platforms that most suit you and your goals, contrary to popular belief, you don’t HAVE to be on all. When signing up for any platform, use the appropriate name and create a professional profile. If your name is John Doe, use it, refrain from using ghost names or inappropriate names like @buttermyhotdough. It’s just weird, and no one’s going to take you seriously unless you’re promoting butter, or you’re trying to write for the Food Network!
- Have A Game Plan: In everything you do, you have to have a plan, even if it’s a rough couple of sentences on a paper. What do you want to get out of social media? Who are you trying to reach? What’s your dream position? If your goal is to become a travel writer, you have to position your accounts to reflect that. Everything from your social media bio to the people you follow and engage with and the content you post should reflect your game plan. Follow relevant accounts like Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure or Fodors, find the editors and writers and follow them as well. Use your accounts to share your work, write travel stories, share photography, this is your chance to show what you can do.
- Network The Right Way: Aside from following relevant players in your field, you have to engage with them. If something they do resonates with you, or you just want to support them, give them a thumbs up, a like, a comment. Remember, to be thoughtful in your comments and really show your strengths. Comments like, “cool”, “yes!!!!!”, won’t get you noticed, but a well thought out one like, ‘I recently visited The Bahamas and I also had an amazing experience. My favourite part of the visit was diving into their rich colonial history and learning about their fight for independence led by Sir. Lynden Pindling in 1973. What were your thoughts on the Burma Road Riots?”. This comment resonates because you are showing that you are more than just a bot, but you are providing meaningful thoughts and showing your ability to strike up an engaging conversation.
- Be Careful What You Post: If your sole intention is to use your professional accounts for business and your brand. Do not get distracted. Do not mix professional profiles with business profiles unless your brand is positioned for it. My brand essentially is about me, so I often times can get away with it but I’m still overly cautious. Stay clear of debates on politics, religion or sexuality and profanity. Think like you have the job already, and you don’t want to lose it. Most businesses will check your social media accounts for offensive or off-brand posts.
- Be Active: One thing that many do not find attractive about social media is how much time and effort you have to invest in it to get a return. While this might be a hindrance to some with a busy schedule, treat it like you would a job, just with a little more fun. Carve out 20-30 mins of your day to post, interact and research opportunities. Put yourself on a timer to limit yourself if necessary. If you can spend more time, then fine, just don’t burn yourself out.
- Don’t Quit! One of my rules of social media is to exercise patience, a lot of it. Nothing happens overnight, and if it does, congratulations because you’ve done what many others have not! Just like anything in life, it takes time. It takes time for your channels to grow, for you to attract the right audience and to find attractive opportunities. If you stick with it, you will see results.
Related: How To Start A Blog In 2019
I have used social media to brand myself as a social media specialist, a travel and lifestyle blogger, an influencer and a digital media consultant! I have travelled around the world blogging, writing and doing what I love to do for my brand and my clients. As much flack as social media and its users get, it’s a gem when used correctly. It would be 10x harder to run a business or promote yourself without these useful tools.
If you want to use social media to land a dream job, score an amazing opportunity or to hustle for side work, these tips will no doubt be useful for you. Remember, you have to do the work, you have to go after what you want. If you see an opportunity, seize it!