As a young professional that used available online social tools and platforms to land in the working field, I would recommend using social media to connect you into the workforce. Realizing I had a passion early in college, I have volunteered doing social media for organizations for nearly a decade. Being from Niagara’s South Coast, Port Cares was just one of those organizations. Commonly, a small business or non-profit organization doesn’t have the staff capacity to have a soul person dedicated to manage social media channels. Volunteering is a great way to 1. create an opportunity and 2. helps the organization gain awareness, the ultimate win-win scenario.
In my current role as Client Services & Digital Media Strategy at Chimpanzee, i’m an administrator for 40+ business pages on Facebook alone with a team offering strategic digital assistance. I’m also a mentor with Literacy Link Niagara in a reverse mentoring program teaching social media and other digital media skills to mentees in our community (another great volunteer opportunity).
Most of the emerging generation utilizes personal social media accounts, c’mon it’s 2017.. so here are a few of my tips and best practices to create opportunities and stay in the loop with a professional appearance on social media.
NEXTNiagara provides socials throughout the year to encourage meeting and greeting with other young professionals as well as with the business leaders in the community who attend our events. The networking doesn’t necessarily have to stop once the event does. We encourage each attendee to share their networking experience on social media to engage online with their new connections. You can quickly grow your online network through engaging with the network that the council shares upcoming opportunities through.
Creating a professional blog to showcase your personal brand and share your passion on paper (or a screen) is a great way to be engaged in your industry and make your mark. Show your passion, knowledge and true colours all while becoming a better writer and inspiring others. At an investment of $0, why not?
Far too often I hear discouraging words from others when job hunting. There are jobs out there, you just need to be engaged with the Niagara communities. Job banks are in fact using social media channels to push their job openings into your networks; think of it as a social job board. There are Facebook pages and groups created that are dedicated to sharing local opportunities and organizational needs, right here in Niagara.
The best advice I can give for LinkedIn is to stay up to date and put your best foot forward. Aim to have your most recent positions added with a description as to your main responsibilities in that position. Customization is key to your language and appearance. If you are just starting to job hunt in a new field, I would recommend putting an industry headline rather than most recent job title if you’re trying to get your feet off the ground in a specific industry. When inviting someone to connect with you, personalize the message to become memorable. Another very important element is your profile picture. Niagara College provides an opportunity to get a professional headshot taken at no cost a few times a year. Top Tip: Customize your LinkedIn URL with your personal brand or name. It will appear as linkedin.com/in/BrianneCarter, for example. I would recommend adding your customized LinkedIn URL right on your resume as a point of contact. Again, this is 2017 and employers are going to search for you on social media so sprinkle the breadcrumbs to the place you’d like them to land, as you lead them to your professional overview.
Social Trends for 2017
The social platforms are ever-changing and improving based on consumer needs. I will leave you with a few of the trends to be on the lookout for this year:
- Fraudulent News – Always check the source before sharing a news link to ensure it is real. Fake news is on the rise.
- Live Video Engagement- More and more social platforms are integrating live video for instantaneous updates.
- Instant Order Messaging – I’m a bit of an online shopping addict, and recently I’ve noticed more and more companies offering instant Facebook messaging with status updates to online orders.
- Mobile – Mobile will soon surpass desktop users for web and social with video engagement increasing tremendously.
- Sorry, Snapchat – As much as I love Snapchat, it’s predicted for Brands to convert to Instagram for ephemeral content and stories.
Brianne Carter, Communications Committee | NEXTNiagara Council Member