Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Using social media as job search and career development business analysis resources 15: coordinately using a range of social media resources to develop a more effective online presence

This is my fifteenth installment to a series on the points of intersection between business intelligence and its gathering, and social media and related interactive online channels as sources of actionable information and insight, as they can be applied to job search and career development (see Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3, postings 397 and following for Parts 1-14.)

I have just completed a five part subseries as a part of that, on more effectively using each of a succession of different social media tools and channels as part of this effort, in creating a more effective online professional message, image and presence. And I broke down that flow of discussion as follows:

1. Part 10: professional online profiles,
2. Part 11: participation in online professional groups,
3. Part 12: blogging as a means of developing a more widespread positive professional reputation,
4. Part 13: use of short messaging service tools (e.g. Twitter), writing to or editing for professionally oriented wikis, and file sharing, and
5. Part 14: adding video and multimedia to this mix, and in a variety of ways.

My goal for this series installment is to in effect tie all of that discussion together, by delving into:

• How combinations of social media tools and channels can be tapped into and used together, coordinately to share a larger and more effective message,
• And to more effectively convey that message to a wider and more far-reaching audience that will want to connect back to you too, and because of what you post and share.

And at least as importantly as that, my goal here is to discuss how effective, wide ranging use of online social media can help you to enter into conversations, and with people who you would not otherwise meet or even know of, where that connectedness can help you to advance your work life and career.

I have already begun addressing the first of those goals: message synergy, in the course of writing my most recent five installments leading up to this posting. So, for example, I have already at least briefly made note of how a site such as Twitter can be used with its short messages and its support of hyperlinks, to drive traffic to your other, larger-content messages. To continue with this specific social media synergy, a site such as Twitter can be used to direct people viewing your tweets to essentially any other online resources that you would want them to go to next: your online social media professional presence with its messages definitely included.

As a starting point there, let’s consider what for many professionals is their core work and career oriented social media entry to their overall social media presence: their LinkedIn profile. And I raise this choice, as a starting point for discussing where a site such as Twitter can offer the greatest value:

• To highlight and direct others to your newest, freshest, most timely social media content.

LinkedIn profiles and similar online professional resume-like resources tend to be relatively static, changing but for the most part only occasionally and certainly for offering significant new content updates. So you are probably not going to want to point back to that specific resource daily, unless you in some significant way update it daily. That stated, it can still be valuable to link back to a more slowly changing resource such as your LinkedIn profile when it is significantly changed (e.g. if you have for example, just landed a new job, or if you have just reached a benchmark of peer recognition through it, such as a 100th endorsement for your professional expertise there – or a 200th, or other memorable round number.)

• But to stress this point, a resource such as Twitter is preeminently more valuable in highlighting and pointing to new, fresh content and to new and emerging conversation-enabling opportunity.
• Look for that opportunity in change, and in the value that you can create from it and share through your networking and through social media – value that you can create for yourself and for those who you social media connect with. And look throughout your online presence for material that you can point others to that is in some way new or updated, as a core part of realizing this.
• And prepare and upload your new and updated content with a reading and viewing audience in mind, and with an awareness that many if not most of the people who you are social media connected to are primarily going to be interested in what you have to share in an immediate now and next.

If you offer online and social media content that is more frequently and significantly updated, as for example from at least relatively consistently posting to a blog or from posting YouTube videos, that gives any tweets that you offer to help connect together your professional social media presence, a more audience-attracting freshness and timeliness.

Note that I just posited that a site such as LinkedIn with its option for posting more complete professional profiles, can serve as your core social media point of content, that other social media forum and channel offerings ultimately connect back to and support. But I have also just offered Twitter as a resource that can serve as glue in helping to bind all of this together: that main professional online profile, and anything and everything else that you professionally post through social media that you could point to through it.

And this brings me to the second synergy creating set of issues that I would address here in this installment: using social media channels and resources to enter into conversations. And this, I add is also where I begin delving into a set of resources that I said in Part 14, I would address here but that I have not touched upon up to now: instant messaging and texting, skype, and related audio/video calling and conference calling resources.

• Ultimately, the primary overall purpose of your online professional message, and certainly in a jobs and careers context,
• Is to enter into wider-ranging conversations, with a wider and more diverse community that you can create value with, promoting and developing your career in the process.
• Your professional profile, and all else that you offer, display who you are as a person and professionally and what you have to offer. And their primary purpose is to serve as an invitation to actively network and to connect.

In this context, I cite as a particularly relevant background reference, my four part series Jumpstart Your Networking (see Social Networking and Business, at the top of that directory page where I have listed this series separately from the rest of its postings.) I specifically recommend reading this in anticipation of further discussion to come in this series, to clarify what I do and do not mean by “networking.” Very specifically and as an important case in point here, when you only network connect with or Facebook “friend” someone but never in any way contact or communicate with them, you are not meaningfully networking with them at all. Real networking begins with connecting but gains its meaning and value from communicating. And this is where those online and telephony tools just cited above enter in, as well as direct face to face meetings and other forms and media of communications.

I am going to turn to that in my next series installment. And in anticipation of doing so, I note here that I will also discuss best practices for more effectively using these tools, and in ways that work both for you and for those you would communicate with as part of your professional social media networking – and where issues such as time zone differences are only one factor requiring consideration. Then after that, as promised at the end of Part 14, I will turn to consider what others share about us online and through social media. And with that in place, I will finally discuss Facebook and how it fits into all of this, and as both a positive and as a negative and both for what we ourselves post and for what others post that involves us.

Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3 and at the first directory page and second, continuation page to this Guide. And you can find this and related material at Social Networking and Business and its continuation page too.

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