Why your social presence sucks

Why Your Social Presence Sucks2

//Photo Courtesy: Contra Girl //

Time for some tough love darlings.

Here’s the deal: The job leads, introductions, and valuable connections that are a direct result of social activity are so powerful that you, a blossoming career babe, can’t afford to suck at social media.

Last year, Jobvite reported that  73% of recruiters are using social media to vet candidates. Recruiters are now reviewing social profiles to uncover mutual connections and evaluate a potential candidate’s portfolio of work.

Those facts didn’t surprise me. And they shouldn’t surprise you. Instead, what I found concerning was that less than 50% of active job seekers are using social media for career gain. This statistic doesn’t even include inactive job seekers, in which case, we could gather that percentage would be even smaller.

So the problem is not the recruiter, the problem is the job seeker.  

If you’re a young professional in any field and you think social media is designed just so you can keep up with your college friends, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

Because for you bustling YoPo’s, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and yes, even the Twitter, are the best tools at your disposal to build your personal brand.

And while you may think the only benefit of social media is the ability to stalk your best friend’s boyfriend’s sister’s wedding album and play Candy Crush, I promise you, it’s not. And maybe you think you don’t need to build a personal brand, but I promise you, YOU DO.

Whether or not you’re currently looking for a job, it’s time your social presence started working for you. In an effort to not waste a single second, I’ve developed some strategies you can implement right away to get your brand in front of those recruiters.

So let’s get down to it. Here’s why your social presence sucks. And more importantly, here’s how to stop sucking.

You’re not focused.

Let me guess, your biggest struggle is actually deciding what to talk about social media in relation to your brand. Am I warm? You’re probably used to frequently posting or tweeting out funny videos or BuzzFeed lists, and occasionally an article or status related to your industry or topics you’re interested in. Here’s my challenge to you: Flip that.

Consider this: You may be a smart person who works for a non-profit, follows developing stories on education reform, and earlier this year, participated in a rally for Black Lives Matter. But none of that matters if your Facebook feed is full of silly puppy videos. Stay focused on who you are as a professional. Ask yourself what type of content do you want people assocaiting your name and profile with? The answer to that question should help you decide whether or not it’s in your best interest to share a piece of content.

And for the sake of keeping things light, I’ll allow posting one puppy video every couple weeks, because well… puppies.

You’re not consistent. 

One of the biggest flaws I see from YoPo’s is a lack of consistency and frequency on social media. I don’t expect your whole life to surround around social posting, but if you want to build your brand, you should consistently be in front of your community. For instance, when I log into LinkedIn, I often see the same ten people at the top of my newsfeed. Whether they’re looking for jobs or not,  their consistent activity puts them at top of my mind when I hear about an opportunity.

To get in the habit posting more, start with a realistic goal and stick to it. If you have to, narrow your focus on one social platform, perhaps the one where you feel you have the most influence. Once you get more comfortable with consistently sharing relevant content, it will feel more natural to post more frequently across all of your social platforms.

You’re sharing everyone else’s ideas. 

Nicole Yeary, founder of MsTech and my career confidant, once shared something with me, “Stop sharing everyone else’s shit.”  It was advice she had received from her mentor, and it really hit home with me. In the past, I’ve been guilty of simply sharing other people’s articles, videos, ideas, etc. on social media and foolishly thinking I was “part of a conversation.” When really I was just hitting a “share” button because I thought the title was cool. I was doing myself and my brand a disservice by not at least commenting on an article, or hell even sharing one of my own pieces on a particular topic.

Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great tool for curating content. But if your goal is to position yourself as a subject matter expert, then posting other people’s work without any original ideas actually hurts your brand. Think about it, sharing other’s expertise proves you’re good at finding resources, but it doesn’t prove that YOU are the resource.

Bottom line, keep retweeting, but spend more of your time articulating and sharing your own thoughts.

You’re connecting with the wrong people. 

One of my favorite things about social media is it’s ability to break barriers between regular peeps like you and me, and the people out there we strive to learn from and model our lives after. The reality is you CAN send Jennifer Lopez a message if you wanted to, just like you COULD tag Lena Dunham in an Instagram picture. Now more than ever you have access to influencers, both big and small, and you should take advantage of it.

What I mean by that is don’t limit your social network to just your friends. You have an opportunity to follow, connect, and interact with thought leaders in your industry and those are the people that should make up your network.

For example, if you’re an aspiring fitness professional, search by common fitness Instagram hashtags to find other influencers in your industry. Connect with them, comment on their photo, ask them a question. If people see you actively connecting with others in a given industry, it inadvertently builds your personal brand’s own credibility. So basically, start connecting girl.

Are you ready to stop sucking? Get out there and show everyone what you’re made of. 

Ready to get started with your social strategy?? Start by downloading my Social Media Strategy Map

1 Comment

  • Why Your Social Presence Sucks – Windy City Blogger CollectiveWindy City Blogger Collective
    September 14, 2015 - 1:34 pm