Whether you’re enrolled in an undergraduate- or graduate-level online degree program, you’re sure to learn more about the advantages, possibilities, and potential downsides of online communication.
In the U.S., 3 out of every 4 adults who use the Internet also use social media.* That makes social media a powerful tool. But there’s a big difference between using online communication casually and using it for a specific purpose. If you master social media, you can more easily build a professional presence and potentially enhance your career. Here are some tips to help you use social media more professionally.
You can’t build an effective online presence without understanding the benefits of doing so. From a professional standpoint, social media allows you to:
Not every social media site is the same. Here’s a quick overview of the major sites and how professionals use them.
If you’re not familiar with all of these online social platforms, give yourself an education before you start participating. Many social media sites allow you to “lurk,” which is simply Internet slang for anyone who reads the posts of others without posting anything themselves. Observing in this manner allows you to see how other professionals are utilizing social media, and helps you identify those with whom you’d like to connect.
Joining a social media network is a lot like walking in the door at an in-person social gathering. Yes, you can eavesdrop by standing in the corner all night, but the real point is to mingle and meet people. How do you do that on social media? There are multiple ways to participate:
Behave in a respectful manner in all of your social media encounters, just like you have done conversing with others in your online degree program. Keep your posts, comments, and other interactions focused on productive conversations about your industry. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a personality or that you can’t disagree with someone. In fact, you want to show your personal side and well-reasoned ideas, because that helps make you more interesting and memorable. Just remember: You’re doing this for your career. Treat others as you would at your office or at a conference, and you’ll put yourself in a great position to benefit professionally from social media.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*Pew Research Center, Social Networking Fact Sheet, on the Internet at www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.