For the millions of professionals that are active social networkers, the first question that comes to mind when managing digital profiles is often, “Should I have two separate accounts for my private and professional lives?”
As a recruiter, I vote…no! Not only does having two profiles for each social media channel create extra work for you, it can make engaging and connecting meaningfully with others, including potential employers and staffing firms, harder. According to the Jobvite 2012 Social Recruitment Survey, 92% of U.S. companies used social media as part of their recruitment efforts. With that in mind, you can’t afford not to use online networking to your advantage.In my last post about recruiting with social media, I touched on how the surge in connections over LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook has created increased transparency between candidates and companies. A lot of people struggle with this increasingly blurred line between public and private. Here’s how you can tactfully blend your professional and personal social media presence to connect with others through a powerful online brand.
- Make yourself easily searchable. Use your real name (not a variation or an alias) so that both friends and colleagues can find you, and you will develop a bigger, more engaged following. Then, subscribe to people and organizations that interest you both professionally and personally—and start discussions with them! The more information (as long as it’s positive and appropriate) that candidates provide online, the easier it is for them to develop actual relationships with peers and the easier it is for employers to determine if they would be a good fit for the company culture.
- Make it clear what you’re passionate about. When applicable, leverage your personal passions to foster stronger professional connections, and vice-versa. Even activities that you don’t think are necessarily professionally relevant—like previous volunteer activities or a spoken language—might spark the interest of a potential connection or reveal a new side of you that colleagues didn’t know before. When I ‘m recruiting and come across a candidate’s tweets about his or her trade or industry trends, it shows professional enthusiasm and I am much more excited to connect. Posts that would be considered “personal” are fine too, and can set a person apart from the cookie-cutter candidate.
- Know what’s appropriate and what’s not. Peter Shankman from PR Week says: “There is no professional or personal anymore. There’s simply your brand. Everything you do affects your brand, and it’s up to you to determine whether your brand is affected positively or negatively. That’s it.”
If your organization is a part of your online presence, every single aspect of your profile is tied to the brand’s reputation: photos, interests, updates, and comments. Stay away from posting anything that you wouldn’t want your manager or your grandmother to see.
- Don’t just regurgitate corporate information. It’s great to endorse and repost content from other organizations (or your own company), but try to put a personal spin on messages so that there is added relevancy for your personal network. Having employees act as advocates of a brand “humanizes corporations and amplifies the brand’s voice through the microphone of a powerful personal brand,” says UberVU in their whitepaper on “The 3 Social Brand Personas and How to Manage Each of Them.”