Back to Work Blog Series: Becoming a Powerhouse on Social Media

Welcome back to the Amy Mac Blog Series Back to Work: Everything You Need to Know to Get Back in Business — a playbook of strategies to dust off your skills, your resume and your moxie as you change careers, launch a business, or head from the mom force to the work force. Catch up on previous posts here.

In the last post we talked about mastering the buzz of your business ... meaning if it's trending in your industry you can spout statistics, give your opinion, and talk about how a national trend affects the local market. And a great spot to show you're in the know is through social media.

For many people, social media was just taking hold when they stepped off the career track. Today it's a critical component in a job search, providing prospective job hunters a convenient way to jump back into the conversation. Not only can you gather information by being active on social media, you can prove you have an understanding of using different social media sites to drive key messages (a requirement for many jobs these days), all while staying in the conversation with key industry players. Follow these steps to building your social media presence ... done well, it could provide the connection to landing your perfect job:

5 Steps to Becoming a Powerhouse on Social Media

Prioritize your engagement. There are so many social media opportunities, so many sites, so many platforms it can be overwhelming. Determine which sites best meet your needs and focus your efforts there.

Linked In. This is a must for any job hunter. Set up your profile here first and start connecting with everyone you know that already has an account. From there, you'll find connections in the industry. Before you know it, you'll have an extended virtual network spouting job opportunities right and left. 

Twitter. Twitter is fast becoming the top social media trendsetter and trend-spotting site, but I only recommend a presence on Twitter if you plan to “tweet” and engage frequently — at a minimum twice a day.

Facebook. Most folks use Facebook as a way to connect with long-lost friends and as easy, mindless entertainment versus as a way to do business. Your focus here depends entirely on your industry. It’s the perfect venue for retail, restaurants, photographers and writers because photos, specials, sales, insider information on specials, along with easy-to-read, funny or informative articles allow users to keep the relaxed vibe.

Pinterest & Tumblr.  Sites like Pinterest and Tumblr are fantastic if you're in a image-dominate industry. For example, if you’re planning to jump back into retail or interior design, building boards on Pinterest allow you to cultivate and display your taste online. For industries like accounting or banking, it’s unlikely these sites will contribute significantly to your mission, so consider them a hobby and use your time accordingly.

Write one consistent bio and post it to every site. A succinct, captivating bio (sometimes called executive profile) is a very brief overview of who you are and what you do -- and a critical piece in the personal marketing toolkit. The trick to hitting the sweet spot with a professional bio is being relatable in a compelling way. Aim for a bio that piques — and holds — the reader’s interest, encouraging them to want to know you a little better, and ultimately become a loyal member of your audience. 

A charming photograph beats a faceless Avatar. While a professional headshot is preferable, if you aren’t ready to invest in a professional photo session, have a friend take a shoulder-up photo of you after you apply your makeup, touch up your highlights and just generally get spiffy. You don’t necessarily have to be in professional dress, but wear something that exudes your ability to step back into the world of customer connection.

Set up a schedule and stick to it. Don’t take the time to set up your profile on social media sites then ignore them for weeks or months at a time. Set a schedule to post and interact on that site, then stick to it.

Follow trends on social media. Search for leaders on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. Not only will these sites provide relevant content, data and trends, many also post job openings.

Next up in the Back to Work Blog Series: The Secrets to an Attention-Grabbing Resume.

Thanks for reading! (and please ... if you have any questions related to going back to work, send them my way!)

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