Social media offers career opportunities across geographical borders. Stories of people getting great jobs through online connections are commonplace nowadays.
As a professional, you can enjoy more value from your career by building a great professional brand image on social media. Wondering how? Let’s find out.
1. Create a Formal Username
After making up your mind on the social media platform that best suits you, you need to create a formal username that reflects your brand. Your username is part of your online identity. It’s what you’ll be known for, so creating the right username is very important, as it sets the tone for what your followers and the public should expect.
As a professional, your username should be simple, self-explanatory, concise, and formal. It should reflect your career. A good formal username consists of your first and last name. Avoid using nicknames and slang.
2. Fill Out Your Bio Completely
Your bio is a brief that introduces who you are to people on your social media account. Most online users don’t fill out their bio, let alone fill it out completely. They leave people guessing who they are and what they are about.
Filling out your bio honestly and completely is an opportunity for you to present yourself how you want people to address and perceive you. It also shows your audience what you do. This is your chance to clearly state your job or career.
While filling out your bio as a career person, think of it as a 20-second elevator pitch. Go straight to the point. A comprehensive bio can get you job offers and opportunities.
3. Use a Professional Headshot as Your Profile Photo
First impressions are critical, and your profile picture makes that first impression. Pictures speak a thousand words. Let your profile picture speak well for you, showing you in a very good light.
Your chosen professional headshot for your profile photo on social media should be the one that captures you in your professional element. What does it say about your job or career? The objective of your headshot is to further reinforce your personality, professionalism, and branding.
4. Write and Speak in a Formal Tone
Writing and speaking in a professional tone on social media shows that you know what you’re talking about. Ask yourself: How would I communicate if I were in a business meeting? Imagine that you are in that meeting, talking to business-minded people.
The use of formal language shows you are serious-minded and will attract fellow serious-minded people to you. Writing and speaking in a formal tone is direct, concise, and respectful. Don’t use informal shorthand, abbreviations, or contractions when typing or speaking. You present factual information with both grammatical and political correctness.
5. Restrict Your Posts to Your Work and Field
One of the advantages of restricting your posts on social media to your field is that it helps give your content direction and structure. It keeps your posts professional and prevents you from intentionally or unintentionally posting something that would ruin your career.
Focusing on your line of work or career also benefits you with job opportunities. Employers will be more inclined to hire you when they see that you focus on a particular niche. A lot of employers these days are social media savvy and scan through the profiles and posts of prospective employees.
6. Take Photos and Videos That Show You Off
The photos and videos you post on social media as a professional should reflect the realities of your job, business, or career. If you want to be seen as a corporate expert, let people see that image in your posts. You need to post images and videos of yourself at meetings, in the boardroom, making presentations, etc.
For instance, if you want to go on Instagram Live, do it in your business or office space. While it’s good to create a favorable perception about yourself, don’t overdo it with deception. Otherwise, people will see through the deception when they get closer to you and deem you as a fake.
7. Talk About Your Work in Your Posts
Talking about your work and how it’s done in your posts shows how invested you are in your career, job, or business. It also builds confidence in prospective clients seeking to engage you for your services. Posting about your work on social media allows you to showcase your skills. If you are working on an exciting project, don’t hesitate to talk about it.
By doing this, you can build meaningful relationships, which is one of the positive impacts of social media in society. While posting about your work enhances your brand image as a professional, you shouldn’t share sensitive work information. Otherwise, you’d expose yourself to danger.
8. Post Helpful Tips in Your Line of Work
Posting helpful tips in line with your work is a great way to display your expertise and build trust among your followers. Your followers will engage more with your posts when you share valuable information. In the long run, you’ll build a community of people that respect you and trust your professional judgment.
For instance, you can grow your career by publishing useful information on LinkedIn and other social networks. Sharing helpful tips in your profession will serve as motivation to people who are aspiring to get into your field. They will see you as a role model and a source of inspiration.
9. Jump on Trends in Your Field
Trends fuel engagement on social media. They are a good way to gain visibility. However, as a professional, you shouldn’t partake in just any trends. Stick to the ones that relate to your field. When you participate in trends, you’ll gain new audiences.
You’ll also come across as a fun and relatable person, and not just another rigid professional. Jumping actively on trends in your field shows you are current and social media savvy. It also opens you up to networking opportunities with other professionals in your field.
10. Steer Clear of Controversial Topics
Controversies may give you good visibility, but they could also hurt your brand image as a professional. So, it’s in your best interest to avoid controversial topics. The online audience is diverse with different views, especially on sensitive subjects such as religion, politics, sexuality, race, etc.
You could say something that will outrage people, and it’ll affect your brand image. Steering clear of controversial topics doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an opinion on issues. But before you jump on that controversial topic, ask yourself if it’s worth it. What do you stand to lose?
Social media is about perception. You can make people believe whatever you want them to believe. In this case, you are selling a professional brand image. You have to come ready in all aspects.
Grab the opportunity to connect with your followers and other professionals on social media. But bear in mind that they would relate to you based on the brand image you create for yourself. So, be intentional about how you look as well as what you say and do.
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