Social networking through sites like Facebook and Twitter has completely changed the way we interact with one another and the way you conduct yourself through your social media accounts is a direct reflection of who you really are. You’ve worked hard to position yourself for a great position with the company of your dreams. You’ve gotten good grades, you have great internship experience and you’ve demonstrated great leadership on campus. All this can be undone in a few keystrokes if you’re not careful. In today’s hi-tech world, potential employers use your social network profiles to validate your judgment and credibility as a candidate for jobs they’re posting. Thus it’s very important to understand personal etiquette on Social Media.
Having said that let me share 5 Do’s and Don’ts on social media.
- Offer information of value.
Don’t talk just about yourself and yourself. You end up looking so selfish and mean. Some tech savvy HR managers or recruiters screen what the interested applicants tweeted mostly about or posted- That is meant to gauge their level of passion in what they had applied for and to also check who they really are! Make sure you impress! A research done in the U.S showed that twitter users donate to charities more than others; why? It’s because on Twitter; tweeps do share links, Re-tweet nice links and pass the vibe around. Seriously this holds water because if you read nice articles why not share it with others? It doesn’t cost you anything! Pass the knowledge. We also checked what the interested applicants tweeted mostly about or posted- This was to gauge their level of passion in what they had applied for and to also check who they really are.
- Be accessible.
Your friends want to be heard. And the only way you can prove you are there is by listening and responding. Make it part of your strategy to address inquiries, complaints and compliments found online. A simple click on the LIKE button shows at least there’s someone there! People also pass a lot of vacancies online so be around to check them out. To those who are not very active- the HR may conclude that you aren’t really social & keep a lot to themselves. Thus unfit for customer service, front office and marketing & sales jobs
- Check out the people who want to follow you or be your friend.
Your mother was right when she said that people will judge you by the company you keep. I can easily tell what kind of a person I am adding by simply looking at the mutual friends. For me to know about all the opportunities and what’s happening where and when I keep a very resource network. Could be as simple as following someone on twitter; they post events, vacancies or opportunities available. That’s how I manage to be on the loop. Add likeminded people!
- Be careful with frequency.
Don’t over-post …but again don’t under-post. There is no magic formula for the number of posts per day. Each medium has slightly different rules of etiquette. On Twitter, for example, it is acceptable to post more than once a day. You don’t want your posts to be so frequent that they become irrelevant to your audience. If you have to post several times in a day just like I do please vary your content. So much frequency may also show you spend so much time on social media thus ‘stealing’ your employer’s time when hired!
- Spelling Errors.
Compose your posts, updates or tweets in a word processing document so you can check grammar and spelling before you send them. If you regularly post tweets or post full of errors people don’t really take your seriously. If you want to send the right impression out there; take your time and proof read. Such shows better that you’ve got a keen eye for details!
- Watch your language.
Don’t use too much slang. Unless, of course, you want to be a celeb or you manage Ghetto Radio’s account you can use informal language on a regular basis. Just make sure you are consistent. Just because you are a business student or recent graduate, doesn’t mean you have to lose your personality either, great brands are authentic so once in a while feel free to do posts in Sheng; they are more engaging if the bulk of your pals are in the 18-24 age bracket however maintain a corporate appeal(Look & Feel)
- Don’t be dull.
Coming up with fresh content and events to post about all the time is certainly challenging. However, you should try to vary the type of content as much as possible. And don’t just focus on self-promotion. If you want to be a thought leader, you need to acknowledge other industry-related articles on the web. Finally, focus on creating buzz worthy posts that people will be more likely to send it to their friends. After all, social media is all about creating a network. Just note; never post alarming posts eg on politics or arguments that don’t hold water-they just show how shall you are!
Don’t put anything on the Internet that you don’t want your future boss, current client or potential clients to read. This is so basic and helps a lot. As I said at the Aspire Leadership Conference in March 2012 don’t place your private life on Social Media. Don’t wash your dirty linen in public!
- Don’t drink & tweet!
Never post when you’re overly-tired, jet lagged, intoxicated, angry or upset. This is so important yet most people ignore it. You are always very eager to tweet when you get juicy details, when you are so happy or very annoyed. Same thing when some guy or chic messes up with you! Please avoid tweeting too much when you are drunk!
- Control the spam.
Even if you are spamming the Internet, you need to be aware that it won’t help you. Check your Face book account regularly to make sure that people aren’t posting spam on your feed. After all, it makes your profile look careless if it’s covered with junk. And when you are posting, make sure to avoid junky phrases or tons of special characters like, “WIN NOW!*!*!*!” that will turn people off from your profiles. Be warned that too much of push marketing or self promotion doesn’t help push your event, agenda, sell your product or meet whatever objectives you may have. People don’t want to befriend BILLBOARDS!
The writer is a Blogger, Marketer, Speaker and a Social Media Specialist based @KenyanMarketer and read more about him www.muthurikinyamu.blogspot.