If you are a student looking to get into PR then you are probably already aware of a number of social networks that are popular with Marketing and Social Media agencies. Though the names of them might be familiar to you, in this blog post I aim to show how you can use the main social network giants – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogs, tactically to increase employability and accelerate career progression.
Twitter is an easy way to connect with people who you might not ordinarily be able to contact or follow. When I started out on Twitter (a pre-graduate job-seeker), I followed a number of Marketing, PR and Brand gurus for insights into the industry. I also followed PR companies I was interested in; many firms now post links to their most recent campaigns or blog posts on Twitter, or at the very least have an active HR tweeter. Twitter therefore provides an opportunity to swat up for an interview or to make initial contact.
Now that I’ve got my job in PR, I follow a number of magazines and bloggers to stay in touch with the world of media and the wider blogosphere. As media and blogger relations is an important part of the job, following and talking to these writers and bloggers is a good way of building relationships, which can benefit both traditional and digital campaigns later down the line.
Over time, and the more you tweet to people in a conversational way, the more of a community you will build around yourself, which as well as being fun, is also key to being an influencer yourself one day.
- Personalise it (the background of my Twitter profile is from a photo that I took – you won’t find it on anyone else’s Twitter background, though I appreciate that it is a bit girly for some!)
- Tweet responsibly – remember that all tweets can be traced back to you and seen by anybody
- Connect with people – don’t just write ‘I’m doing this’ statuses. Who cares? Have a convo!
As you probably know, Facebook is a hugely popular social network with more than 500 million active users. Though it is used by PROs in digital campaigns, what I will focus on here is how to use Facebook in order to best PR yourself.
When applying for jobs, it is now inevitable that HR will type your name into Google to take a peek at your social networking sites, in order to gain an insight into your real personality. With this in mind, it is important to check your Facebook privacy settings; if you don’t want a prospective employer to see what is written on your wall or what pictures lurk in your photo album, then make sure your settings are private so only friends can view them.
Additionally, remember that you can use Facebook to showcase yourself to a potential employer. Though only friends can view my wall and photos, I allow unknown contacts to view my work, education and contact information, so that my public ‘for strangers’ page performs a bit like a CV.
LinkedIn is like the business equivalent of Facebook. It is a site where professionals can network with colleagues, potential and past employers, and can be a useful tool for job-seekers. The profile page that you create acts as an online CV, detailing your experience, your education and your goals. In addition, past colleagues can recommend you to future employers – in fact, some businesses offer bonuses to those who recommend someone from within their network.
I created my LinkedIn profile whilst job-hunting in January and ‘connected’ with people I met on work experience or placements, leaving personalised messages to say ‘hello’, and thanking them for the opportunity. It was through this contact that I was able to gain an internship at Cohn & Wolfe, so it really does work!
My LinkedIn page also acts as a bit of a hub, providing links to my other social networks such as Twitter and my blog.
I first created my blog, ‘Shelley George PResents…’ when job-hunting at University. Much of the advice to aspiring PR professionals talked of the importance of optimum online presence, and stated that a blog was a good way of influencing others, making yourself known, and showcasing knowledge and writing skills.
I use WordPress.com for my blog but another good site is Blogger.com. It is really up to you what you blog about, but remember that the content can be seen by anyone, and at any time can come back to haunt you. I started off just writing about PR, but as time has gone on, I’ve brought a bit more of my own personality to the table, blogging about topical things that I like in general as well.
To round things up…
That brings me to the end of this post. Though I’ve tried to be quite thorough, I know that I have barely scratched the surface on this topic. There are a number of other social networking channels that are hugely popular too, such as FourSquare, Flickr and YouTube – all of which can be used pre and post job hunting to aid communications strategies and Personal SEO.
I hope you have found this useful. If you have any questions, or anything to add, please pop it in the comment box below! I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
[tweetmeme source=”Shelley_George” only_single=false]