Now more than ever, you are what you post on the internet. Your “internet footprints” are larger than ever, and if you’re not careful, those prints can come back to bite you in the ass. Always be cognizant of the implications of what you post, and consider if what you are posting is consistent with the image you want for yourself. I often see ridiculous tweets, and am baffled by what must have been going through that person’s mind when they posted it. Here is one that really blew my mind:
“Ok im going to sleep now time to dream about my fat bitches, n im talking fat bitches with at least 4 rolls”
Wow. Can you even imagine if an employer saw that? Or what about a new connection you just made? Thoughts like that only belong in one place, and that place is your own mind. The way to best use social media is as a tool, not as a personal mind dump to post any and everything. Each tweet is literally visible to millions of people. Down the line, a tweet could really damage someone’s career, especially if their employer wants to do any easy/routine digging. Furthermore, this is all particularly relevant if you have any interest in a government job.
Around my sophomore year in college, I started learning why social media is so important for building valuable connections. That’s when I really began networking on LinkedIn and began using Twitter in a more professional manner to try and create a reputation for myself as a problem solver. Before you leave college make sure you have the following:
1. At least 150 connections on LinkedIn.
Anytime you meet someone of importance, make sure to add them on LinkedIn and follow up with a message.
2. Post interesting articles to LinkedIn and view a lot of people’s profiles. This is a great way to get noticed.
3. A solid Twitter following that is based around your career and not just your friends from Facebook.
Tweet with keywords in your message body. I guarantee you if you tweeted something like “10 SEO tactics to help bolster your customer acquisition ” that you will get at least 1 follow from an account that is about SEO (search engine optimization).
4. A solid reputation and being recognized within your network as a valuable resource.
This takes a lot of time, and a lot of effort. Be there for people when they need you and be generous.
Social media, when used effectively, can make you seem like an expert in your respective field. It’s a very powerful tool that few leverage to its full capacity. Even I am not using social media to its full potential, but I am continuing to experiment with different tactics and strategies to help make my personal brand a very respected one. It’s not easy, but nothing in life worth having is.
If you do not have a LinkedIn, create it and here is your first connection: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kareemagha