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Posted at: Feb 14, 2018, 12:50 AM; last updated: Feb 14, 2018, 12:50 AM (IST)

Harness social media power

A balanced approach is the key to staying clear of the social media slip ups

Offline-Online

  • Utilising the social networking websites for getting in touch with like- minded professionals, seeking newer opportunities to work in, promoting one’s own work and getting visibility for it can be extended offline too. Online communities that one engages with have sometimes on websites an allowance of face-to-face meetings with a proposed plan of professional, meaningful discussions. This, too, is a great way to explore a variety of career growth opportunities and network in real life.
Harness social media power

Swati Rai

At a time when even a chat service on one’s phone is a medium to broadcast messages and opinions to public, can one realistically obliterate and be oblivious of the impact social networking sites could have on a professional’s career  growth? As a working professional in the corporate sector or owning one’s business, social media can be a positive stepping ladder to success. While family and friend networking websites are the best left to share personal memories,  professional websites such as VisualCV, Opportunity, LinkedIn etc. can help you build a sound professional network over the years, share your expertise and promote your work. There are also, however, way of leveraging optimally, other social networking sites for career growth, depending upon the filed one is in. 

Here’s what you’re missing out on if not on professional social networking sites, but do also exercise discretion and restraint as the case maybe.

Company policies

Most companies have a stipulated course of action for the employees in so far as the usage of social media networking websites is concerned. Reading the fine print on such policies is important. When working in sensitive, national security related departments, this check becomes especially important. Correct use of social websites respecting the robust policies and sanctions of the companies, is the way forward. 

Building on professional capital

Domain-specific professional capital and expertise can be built. Thus, for a photographer Flickr serves as the digital footprint and portfolio, for a writer or a blogger websites that host texts becomes a way to showcase one’s writings, for a corporate professional communities on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin become the passport to network, connect, learn and grow. 

Sharing is caring

The purpose of being on networking websites is to share your knowledge and gain from others in the domain of your operation. Professional leaders gain credibility by empathetic sharing, responding to professional queries and also publishing one’s thoughts, take and stance on such websites. It is good to have your social networking sites display a personal stamp, packaged honestly with the required disclaimers of keeping company’s views separate from your personal ones. It is also a must-do to actively engage in dialogue on such platforms- and remember, it’s a two-way traffic on such websites. Your engagement with a professional on these sites will generate the same reaction from the recipient. Therefore ‘lurking’ or merely browsing through profiles and shared insights will show you as a non-reflective stalker and might just be more detrimental as a professional. Having a weighed opinion, defending an argument, providing well-researched grounds, is what will lend your social networking sites a real life presence. The trouble arises when the real-life professional presence is a pale shadow of the virtulal one- so watch out!

Mind your step

While social networking websites are best to reach out to an audience you may not have had a chance to meet or even know if, yet, watching out or the many pitfalls will stand you in good stead and provide longevity to the roadmap of your success.

Be original: The web can ensnare you in copying and pasting and labelling the matter as yours. Watch out, as plagiarism and copyright issues are called out best when the whole world is watching — case in point — the social media. Also having a unique voice of your own will cut through the noise and clamour and lend you credibility as a professional. Engage and be participative. Hovering over people’s profiles and thoughts is akin to being non-existent on social media.

Self-promotion overload: There’s a thin line between constructively sharing relevant professional input and blatantly bragging and blowing one’s own trumpet. Timely and suitable posts as and when the professional need is felt, is the key to maintaining one's social media presence. Also, regular updates and participation is also a must have.

Maintaining a networking site presence is hard work. Being actively participative and not being able to contain extreme opinions might also run counter to the proposed plan of achieving success. There’s of course the aspect of coming across as an armchair warrior thinker and a laggard — happy keying in actions, and not taking them.

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