5 ways to use social media to build your personal brand & help your job search

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Spring is just around the corner and now is a perfect time to spring clean your social media. Twitter, Facebook and the like are for sure a treasure trove of cat videos, gifs and other humorous bits to procrastinate your day away, but social media – Twitter in particular – can be a powerhouse career tool if done correctly.  Here are five things you can do today to harness the magic of social media to build your personal brand and boost your job search.

1. Give your LinkedIn a make-over.

If you’re on the job prowl, the first place you should start with your social media is on LinkedIn. Show your page some love by refreshing as much as necessary. Think your photo, positions, volunteer work, summary, skills – anything and everything. Don’t forget to give yourself a new header image if you haven’t already and a personalize URL for easy sharing.

Spend some time really digging into what you write beneath each position. LinkedIn is a great place to expand a bit more on what’s in your print resume, but don’t get bogged down in the job description and minutia of your day-to-day. Focus on your accomplishments and impact right up front and highlight the key functions of your position if you really feel inclined or they’re a little out-of-the-ordinary.

2. Find & join a Twitter chat (or two).

Twitter chats are the hidden networking gems of social media, especially for PR people. Depending on your interests, joining an industry-focused Twitter chat can be a great way to make new connections, meet and learn from industry thought leaders and establish yourself as someone in-the-know.

New Pros hosts them, PRSA hosts them, some of your favorite PR veterans host them – there’s really no shortage of chats. My favorites are the New Pros #NPPRSA chats (third Wednesday of most months at 9 p.m. EST) and PR Daily’s weekly #RaganChat (Tuesdays at 3 p.m. EST).

3. Make connections.

Social media is all about connecting the world, right? Find and follow some PR pros you admire and reach out to them. Build a relationship by commenting on their posts, resharing them and connecting with them to chat. Most PR pros are more than willing to chat and share their expertise, so building a good repertoire is easy to do.

4. Join a Facebook or LinkedIn group.

Just like there are a number of great Twitter chats, there are some pretty awesome Facebook and LinkedIn groups out there for PR people too. Unlike Twitter chats though, these groups aren’t limited to a specific date and time or even a set topic that everyone will talk about. These groups encourage members to post their own topics or questions as they come up and for everyone to engage at their own pace. Group moderators will often post topics or questions as well to keep the conversation flowing. Two of my favorites are Shonali Burke’s Social PR Posse and PRSA’s New Professionals Group. Both are closed groups, so you’ll have to request to join, but both are very worthwhile.

5. Share your stuff. Share relevant stuff. Share all the things.

Consistency is key and content is king, right? So put them together to build your personal brand on social media by sharing industry pieces you like, news articles you think deserve some attention and your own content. Using a scheduling platform like Hootsuite or Buffer to make sure you have content being shared consistently, not in a giant rush all at once and then not again for weeks. Don’t forget to add your own commentary or insight. Repurposing your own content – whether it’s something on your own personal blog or something you guest wrote and published elsewhere – and scheduling it out for later on is also a great tactic for keeping yourself fresh in your followers’ minds.

Want to talk some more about social? Join PRSA’s New Professionals Section on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. EST for February’s Twitter chat. We’ll be talking about social media and PR trends in 2017. Follow along and join the conversation using #NPPRSA.

robyn-rudish-laningRobyn serves as PRSA’s New Professionals Section’s programming co-chair and is a communications and PR pro currently living and working in Columbia, S.C. In addition to volunteering with PRSA’s New Professionals Section, she also serves as the 2017 VP of Communications for the South Carolina PRSA Chapter and brought together the chapter’s first New Professionals group in 2016. She’s a native of southern New Jersey and currently resides in Columbia, S.C., by way of Pittsburgh, and currently works as the communications coordinator a statewide non-profit organization. In her spare time, Robyn likes to cook, read, spend time with her tail-less cat Izzy and write for her own blog – and almost always with a cup of tea in hand. Find her on Twitter & talk to her!

#AskNewPros: Social Media Certifications

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This is part of our recurring #AskNewPros series. Do you have a burning question for PRSA New Pros? Ask us!

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Are there any certifications you wish you had or programs you wish you were familiar with walking into the job market?

These days, it’s incredibly common for young professionals to include “social media” in the Skills section of their resume. But isn’t there a difference between knowing how to share a photo on Instagram and being a true social media practitioner? Absolutely!

To stand out from the crowd, and help hiring managers understand that you really do have the ability to strategically use social media to reach audiences and convey key messages, consider receiving a certification – perhaps from the Hootsuite Academy or National Institute of Social Media.

tnqz_lgmJim Mignano is a Senior Account Executive at Text100 Global Communications specializing in technology and healthcare. He currently serves as the President of PRSA Rochester, and you can always find him on Twitter at @J_Mignano.

The Pieces of Your Online Puzzle

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What results do you find when you Google yourself? Nothing much? While a squeaky clean search result may seem ideal in some industries, it isn’t in Public Relations and most other communication fields. 

Having a solid, consistent but authentic personal brand online puts you ahead of the competition professionally. The perception you give online is the ideas and feelings employers, clients, and other professional connections get before meeting you in person.  

When building your personal brand, think about what you want to be known for? What are you good at? What sets you apart from others? Think about what your “thing” is and build a brand from it. Great personal branding gives you the chance to show the world you practice what you preach; if you’re good at writing, building networks, or organizing events show that skill online through blog posts, pictures, and video. Your interests, who you follow and what you post on social media, also reflect who you are. Be sure that your profiles are curated to reflect what you are passionate about. Even if you aren’t quite sure what it is you are passionate about, the topics you frequently post on can give you some clues.

As a new professional finding your niche, keep in mind that it is okay to have a fluid brand and have many “things” early in your career. We are multifaceted people, with multiple interests. The beauty of having a personal brand is the ability to not be stuck in one line of work; your personal brand can and should grow and develop with you. If you decide to leave your full-time job and freelance, move from Public Relations and focus on Marketing, or publish a book that has nothing to do with Public Relations, you can do so without being tied to your current industry or profession.

The pieces found on your website, social media accounts, articles written by you and about you are creating the puzzle that is your personal brand–make it a beautiful picture.

i-zthGPGn-XL-230x300Jasmine L. Kent, a member of PRSA-LA, is a fan of all things food and beverage, pop culture, and media. Combining all three passions, Jasmine builds community through engaging online marketing and dynamic events as a communications professional in Los Angeles, CA. Keep up with her on Twitter at @JaVerne_xo or visit LoveJasPR.com.

You Can’t Just “Tap” Into Influencers

Influencer marketing seems to be the latest buzzword over the last few years and platforms like Klout, Get Little Bird and Traackr have dominated this space when it comes to identifying influencers within specific markets.

At W2O Group, we have proprietary methodology that combines quantitative scoring and human intelligence to identify the top 1% of influencers (in a specific category, topic, geography, language) that actually move the market when they speak.

Before diving into influencers you must first understand the market and how it’s shaped. (Click to Tweet!)

Influencer MarketingWe look at the market through the lens of the 1:9:90 audience framework. We didn’t create this model but we have perfected it over the last 7 years in activating programs and the model has proven to be true regardless of what vertical or industry you work in.

The “1%” drive the market based on their actions – what they write/tweet about or what they say at events and interviews. They are influencers and are seen as subject matter experts for a specific topic.  Our algorithms show that there are never more than 50 people who drive the majority of share of conversation for a brand or a topic in a given country or language.

The “9%” are highly active online. They recommend, share, sign up, download, comment and other actions that let their community of peers know what they think about certain topics. In many respects, this group serves as the “trust filter” for the rest of the market.

The “90%” are the great majority of any market. They lurk and learn. This group is satisfied with using search for discovering new products or consuming the content of their peers. They decide how compelling the 1% and the 9% really are in telling your brand’s story based on their purchase behavior.

In the upcoming PRSA webinar, I will go deep in explaining how we arrive at identifying the 1% of influencers; and then provide very actionable examples of how you can activate those influencers across paid, earned, shared and owned media channels.

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Michael Brito Michael Brito leads social strategy for the W2O Group – an analytics driven marketing and communications firm. He is also an Adjunct Professor at San Jose State University and author of “Your Brand, The Next Media Company”.  You can connect with him directly on Twitter and LinkedIn