Following are notes and key resource links from my BlogTalkRadio Show on “How to Apply Social MediaTools for Career Development” which aired last Friday, July 26, and is available as a podcast at this link.The purpose of this program was to explore how to best use free or low cost social media applications to advance learning in your field, sharpen your "market niche," and network for future job opportunities. While we focused on using your LinkedIn profile, connections and search, other tools included Twitter, Facebook, Google+, various Google apps, and video/podcasting.
I was delighted to be able to interview the following two experts
in this field...
- Lindsay Kelley, a partner at the Alignment Group in Baltimore. Lindsay's company focuses on creating alignment between an organization's sales and marketing teams through proper communication, lead generation, and working sales deals through the pipeline to closing utilizing sales 2.0 tools.
- Colleen McKenna, a LinkedIn trainer and speaker, also in Baltimore. The mission of Colleen's company, Intero Advisory, is to connect insight, opportunities and talent to professionals and businesses as they navigate ever-changing career and business landscapes. She has trained and coached over 3,000 business professionals since 2011.
Key General Take-Aways:
- Value of Digital vs. Real Relationships: Digital reinforces traditional, inter-personal relationships, and digital is a great way to stay in touch. One’s goal is to not only establish relationships but to build and manage them.
- Message Consistency and Variety: Keep online and real behaviors consistent, but also try to differentiate: e.g. your Twitter profile, while still professional, can be a bit more playful, while your LinkedIn profile might be more formal.
- Personal branding: differentiate yourself; find your “digital voice”. You are your own brand – this takes some getting used to after many years as being typed with the company or agency you work for. You need to build some personality into your profile, stand out, avoid a “cookie cutter” profile summary.
Your Social Media Strategy:
- Many of us (especially over 40) are not digital natives, so we need to learn in a different way, and to implement our social media strategy step-by-step. But we should not wait to get started since the technology is always changing, and one just builds up a greater learning curve.
- In using LinkedIn, be strategic and selective in connecting with others. “Don’t just connect with everybody”…although your openness to new connections may vary depending on whether you are in a stable position, looking for a new job, or making a significant career transition.
- A goal is to be coming up 1st, 2nd or 3rd in Google Search results (your activity online helps boost these results).
- Make a decision on what suite of social media tools makes sense for you. Gary, for example, has decided to use LinkedIn (a big focus), a Blog (TypePad), Twitter, and occasional BlogTalkRadio podcasts. But your own choice of tools may vary depending on your goals.
- Be mindful that these tool choices may change given the fast pace of social media technology. Over the past three months, for example, LinkedIn has made more changes than occurred over the preceding year!
Social Media Applications:
*LinkedIn: useful for both indirect networking and direct job hunting. A good quality photo is essential, and your profile should tell “your professional story”. Take some time to develop a good “headline”, using a few key words – especially important if you are in career transition. Recruiters scan LinkedIn sites to get a quick impression, and a good photo, headline and profile summary help get a recruiter’s attention.
*Google +: This app has been on a “roller coaster” in terms of usage and acceptance, but it is now emerging as the “informal business social network”. Since it is on the Google platform, Google+ is very good for search results. You need to “dive into” using Google+, create “circles” for target audiences, or share more broadly on public spaces. Check out YouTube videos on how to use Google+.
*Blogging: Periodic blog articles show off your expertise and “give you a leg up.” WordPress is currently the most popular and powerful blogging platform that is freely available.
*Facebook: another big platform. Be careful what you post (“would you share that with your mother?!”). Be mindful as you post info on Facebook. Consider how this might look to a potential employer.
*Twitter: useful, but if your number of followers grows to say 1,000, you will need another tool to better manage it. A tool such as Hootsuite, for example, allows you to check key hashtags, streams and “chunk down data.”
*Foursquare: a handy app to locate a user’s whereabouts. Colleen used it to follow up a colleague who was late to an appointment because he arrived at another coffee shop address. She used Foursquare to locate in real time where he was and apprise him of her own location!
*Simple Google Search!: This can be a great way to find relevant contacts and content. For example, Gary came across Lindsay and Colleen during a general social media search. He stumbled upon their lively MPT-PBS televised interview last fall (another great example of how traditional and online media can intersect and be mutually reinforcing!)
- Smartphones (whether Android or iPhone) are key and ubiquitous tools. Today there are more cell phones than toothbrushes, and many of us have grown accustomed to using our laptops and smartphones simultaneously!
- The Flipboard app is very helpful in aggregating links and allowing the user to more efficiently scan through web info on your phone or iPad.
Online blog and other tips:
- Check out Colleen’s blog on Intero Advisory for some specific LinkedIn tips
- This fall Colleen will also be presenting in person at the Recruit Baltimore event before a corporate recruiter audience
- The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, Transform Your Career, by LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman, as suggested by Colleen
- Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype, by Jay Baer, as suggested by Lindsay
Gary closed the show with thanks to his guests (including our Twitter facilitators: Ali Lemon Bojanowski of Zest Social Media Solutions, and Lindsey Stemann with Intero Advisory in South Carolina), plus a future program note…
Gary’s next BlogTalkRadio interview will be on the subject of “Is Knowledge Management still Relevant”, featuring two well-known experts in the field from the D.C. area, Madelyn Blair and Mark Addleson,
This show will take place on Friday, August 16 at 12:00 Noon ET, with program details to be announced in the near future on at the Collaboration Tech Talk site.