What’s the Payoff for Your Social Media Investment?
Social media is fun, but is it worth your time?
All that sharing and liking and tweeting is a great way meet and keep in touch with friends. While doing that, you’ve seen the marketers there with you… suggesting products and inviting you to their online stores.
They of course invest dollars to reach you this way. But as a job-seeker or for professional development, you can market a most important product… your career… without reaching for your wallet.
The investment is time. Returns depend on how strategically you use that time. The impact could be greater than any billboard or bullhorn marketing campaign. Unlike print and broadcasting, social media communication is interactive. People like, comment, and share it.
Your weekly self-marketing budget would only be measured in hours; and just a couple of them. Facebook, Twitter, and the other social media services charge nothing to register and to create a profile. Yet those same services provide real returns:
A search of Twitter keywords or hashtags can bring immediate answers to your questions. A raft of 140-character comments flows down the “Twitter stream” when corporate sales records are set or headquarters move to a new city.
Here, time brings dividends. Influence accrues over the weeks and months. Regular posts to a blog and Facebook bring “likes” and “follows”. A few people may respond right away. As you continue to post, Twitter-tweet, and Pinterest-pin that number grows. You’re building an online community!
Credentials and Credibility
Read the discussions in LinkedIn groups and answer a few profession-related questions. Share comments and bring insight. Your reputation grows with your online community.
Job postings appear real-time on LinkedIn and Twitter. Job boards are great and should not be overlooked. Still, social media provides two-way channels for dialog. Like and follow your favorite companies. Use comment functions to ask questions.
If the knowledge, influence, “creds”, and opportunity would be a benefit to you, today is the best day for that next step in your career journey. It begins with a decision to be strategic in social media use. That doesn’t require giving up on the fun stuff on Facebook and Twitter. It means investing thought and time to do more with those (and other) online services.