Designing your Social Media Presence
The head of your company passed you in the hall and asked, “Why couldn’t I find you on LinkedIn? I want to make a connection with you!”
Companies are expanding their use of social media to external stakeholders for a variety of reasons, including, as cited by Social Media Today (2014):
- Customer Service – successful use of social media provides channels to customers that allow for real-time communication that can be used to
- answer questions
- solve problems
- support the sales process
- convey care for customers
- solicit customer feedback
- Brand Building – by increasing exposure through more channels brands can be strengthened by
- building awareness and identity
- associating a “voice” with the brand
- reaching more customers
- enabling competition with larger companies
- expanding reach to global markets
- while making relationships more personal
- Reputation Management – through monitoring of online presence that enables companies to
- become more accessible
- drive more traffic to web presence
- link to other partners
- respond swiftly to negative comments and complaints
In addition, companies are employing social media internal to their organizations. Towers Watson (2013) found in their surveys that “56% of the employers surveyed currently use various social media tools as part of their internal communication initiatives.”
- Internal Communications – serving as official and unofficial channels of communication for the purposes of
- sharing company-wide official information
- introducing and reinforcing company culture
- facilitating communication among employees across organizational boundaries
- supporting collaborative work
- building a sense of community
There has also been a rise in “social recruiting,” employers, recruiters, and job seekers employing social media to find jobs and hire candidates.
- Recruiting – by performing web searches
- Employers and recruiters seek out prospective employees to obtain more information about them, both professional and personal; examine examples of their past work; and gain insights into potential “fit” with the organization
- Job seekers are using social media to gather information on potential employers, checking their outlets for information company culture, management, benefits, and employee opinions
A survey of recruiters reports that overwhelmingly, recruiters who use social media use LinkedIn to post jobs, search for candidates, contact candidates and do pre-interview vetting (Jobvite 6th Annual Social Recruiting Survey). A new survey from Careerbuilder found
- 43% of employer respondents use social networking sites to research job candidates, and that
- 51% of those employers who researched job candidates found content in their profiles that caused them to not hire the candidate
There is a possible downside, too, so be careful. To understand why employers disqualify candidates, view the survey results at Employers Passing on Applicants Due to Social Media Posts Continues to Rise and read this article On LinkedIn, A Reference You Didn’t Write. You’ll also want to read this article: How to Use Social Media to Land a Job.
For these reasons, understanding how to effectively employ social media is essential, whether you are required to use it to perform your job or you want to optimize your presence to attract future employers. In this assignment we will explore LinkedIn, the social media platform designed for use by the business community.
Work through the assignment in two parts, with your LinkedIn profile as the final deliverable:
- Perform an exploration of your career path that helps you gain clarity about your desired profession. Structure your thinking as if you were developing a Personal Career Path Statement. This is to guide your exploration.
- Create (or revise) a LinkedIn page that reflects the career exploration that you performed
Step 1 – Using a variety of Library and Web resources, perform an exploration of your career path to inform your LinkedIn page.
To guide your exploration, consider the items listed below. You may also include (on a limited basis) information you learned in the “Trends in my Profession” assignment. This part does not have to be submitted in an assignment folder, but the ideas you find should inform your LinkedIn page.
- Situation analysis of the career market that includes:
- Macro-level: What is the market like for this type of career path in general? Is the industry demand increasing, decreasing, or remaining steady? Is it better in some areas than others, etc.?
- Competitive environment: Who are the other competitors seeking positions in this profession? Are there potentially other competitors in related industries? Can you identity particular individuals who are your main competition (which will be the case if you are competing internally). How do you compare to these competitors?
- Internal environment: What are the needs in the particular companies/organizations that you are targeting?
- Your goals and objectives: Make them specific. What particular positions do you want, and what is your time frame for obtaining them? It’s a good idea to have some steps along the way. Include plans for expanding your skills along the way.
- Other important elements
- Identify the industry and employers you are targeting.
- Identify the most important key skills/benefits you deliver to your industry, employer, or customer, for example, unique insights into a particular job function, well-honed people skills, and extensive experience in a particular area.
- Identify your main competitors. If you are looking industry-wide, these may be graduates of other schools or those with similar or different qualifications; if you are looking to be promoted within a company, the competition may be particular individuals in your company.
- Describe how are you different from your competitors in a positive way that makes you stand out from the other competitors in the market.
Once you complete this advance work, create (or revise) your LinkedIn page.
Step 2– Create (or revise) a LinkedIn page
- Create or revise an existing page. Start to communicate your value and/or availability to the target companies/organizations by drawing on your Personal Career Path Statement. Other resources you may consult are listed below:
Once you have created your LinkedIn page, go through the LinkedIn Checklist (Optimizing Your LinkedIn™ Profile: A Checklist) and make any revisions you think are necessary.
- Post the link to your profile in the assignment folder.
- Also post the PDF of the page to the assignment folder. To create the PDF, right click on the LinkedIn page. Select “Print,” and then “Save as PDF.”
- If you revise a LinkedIn page, you need to submit a copy of the original LinkedIn page to compare to the newly revised page. To post a copy of the original LinkedIn page to the assignment folder, create a PDF of the original page. To create the PDF, right click on the LinkedIn page. Select “Print,” and then “Save as PDF.”
- Post in this week’s Discussion (LinkedIn) and reply to your classmates’ posts.
- If there is a security clearance or other reason you should not create a LinkedIn page, please contact me, your instructor, for an alternate assignment.
Rubric Name: TGS Communication Rubric-LinkedIn (Revised Summer 2016)