7 ways to make social media work for your career & your life

Whether you like it or not, social media has transformed how everybody does everything over the past 10 years. I am sharing 7 ways to leverage your timeline for your benefit.

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Everyone hates social media until you launch a business! Have you seen those friends who have acted high and mighty when it comes to social media and then launch a business and are suddenly trying to get you to buy what they are selling? Barack Obama used the power of social media to mobilize grassroots and people on the ground into a powerful movement.

Since then social media has been a powerful medium of transformation: socially, politically, professionally and in business. Almost all large and small businesses have social media accounts and influencers have also taken off as they/we locate ourselves in this space.

How can you use social media for the benefit of your career? I am sharing 7 ways to leverage your timeline for your benefit.

1. Do a social media timeline purge

Clean up your timeline and create an echo chamber of inspiration! Here are some steps that you can take:

  • Unfollow accounts that do not build you up and leave you feeling worse about your life

  • Unfriend offensive people from your timeline and if need be block them

  • Unfollow friends whose posts don't add value to your timeline. You don't have to unfriend them but if you're tired of seeing their meals and other posts unfollowing them will solve the problem on Facebook.

  • You can unfollow on Instagram and reconsider further down the line

2. Follow accounts or pages that build up

3. Update your social media presence

Now more than ever personal branding is taking precedence. Assess your social media accounts: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter. Consider having a cohesive social media presence and decide to engage in a consistent manner. Post appropriately on the appropriate platforms. I use my personal LinkedIn and twitter accounts professionally so in these platforms, I post things related to my work and most of my connections are professional.

I have seen people use their LinkedIn like Facebook:

Remember that if you wouldn't say it at work, you shouldn't post it on a network that mostly has your professional connections

~ Dr. Brenda the Career Slay Mama

I have a lot of personal connections on Facebook. I have Career Slay Mama accounts where I post on all things faith, career and motherhood - consistently.

Whatever you choose, be cohesive and consistent.

4. Get professional head-shots

Getting professional head-shots done for your LinkedIn account. There are number of photographers who can do a head-shot shoot where you get 5 photos. Next time you are taking professional family photos, get some head shots of just you - you're likely already dressed and made-up. You don't have to invest a lot if this is not currently in your budget. Dress up at home and have your partner or a friend take pictures of you with a neutral background and some good lighting on your face. You'd be surprised what a cell phone camera can accomplish.

5. Go from lurking to engaging

You've been passively following people on Instagram or you have liked their pages on Facebook. Take this one step further by actually engaging! Don't just lurk or like, ENGAGE: write a comment, share their content on your page, pose questions. Reply to their tweet. Gone are the days where you passively interact with those who inspire you, encourage them/us to keep creating content. Social media has made it possible for you to contribute to conversations, so don't be afraid of your digital presence or traces - so long as you are contributing constructively, it will leave you both the better through the interaction.

6. Join Facebook Groups

If you're not yet ready to leave public comments on social media, consider joining Facebook groups. There are Facebook groups for just about any interest or hobby. I have found these to be a great resource for local information. Here are the different types of Facebook groups you can leverage for yourself as a career mom/parent

  • Local neighbourhood Facebook group - for local buy and sell, finding out events happening, exchanging with those close by

  • Cultural Facebook group - to bring together like-minded folks from your community

  • Professional networking Facebook groups

  • Mommy Facebook group - essential particularly if it is a local group. You can ask about daycares, find out about upcoming closures and eventually even hang out - once COVID19 is done.

In these groups as well go beyond lurking and reading passively or searching previously posed questions. Respond to posts and even ask questions. It will provide you with a sense of connection.

7. Be intentional

Know what your priorities are for the year. Is it fitness? Is it career development? Is it crafting more with your children? Is it connecting with working moms? Once you are clear on your top 2-3 goals curate your social media feed and your interactions so that it helps you enhance this. Be intentional about the groups you chose to join and the accounts you choose to follow. If there are accounts that no longer serve a previous interest, do leave the group or unfollow the account.

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