Over the last few years I’ve given a lot of thought to how I want my social media profiles to look and what message I want them to convey, on both a personal and professional level. I want profiles to be inspirational, entertaining, and representative of my personality and myself. Alternately, on a professional level I want my profiles to convey my skills, work ethic, creativity, and motivation. Ideally I’d like my personal and professional goals to be accomplished on separate profiles; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all profiles I want to keep personal, whereas LinkedIn is ideal for helping me launch my professional development. Realistically I know that rarely is any situation black and white; I expect that future employers might search for my Facebook to gauge who I am and how I might represent myself as a brand representative on my personal social media profiles.
My social media goals are to maintain social media profiles that are representative of my personal self and my professional self without becoming unbalanced in favor of one self or the other. I want to be able to have a potential employer to look at my personal profiles and see not only who I am as a person, but who I am as an employee. I think personality can play a lot into whether an individual fits into a certain firm; if a firm is very serious and buttoned up, someone exuberant and creative might not feel comfortable on a daily basis. To achieve this, I’ll need a plan. What social media platforms will I use? Facebook, LinkedIn, and my blog quickly come to mind as bi-purpose platforms. Twitter, perhaps? I find this particular platform less open to use as a dual role platform; my general feeling is that a Twitter account is either personal – and contains jokes or comments potentially not suited for work and potential employers – or used professionally as a vehicle for advertising, or to reference industry relevant news and articles. Pinterest, Instagram, Vine? There’s potential there, although again, my sense is that these platforms may be harder to use to represent two separate, yet intertwined, identities.
There are dozens of other social media platforms out there; if I got creative I might be able to find a way to use each of them for both personal and professional aspirations. I’m very interested in pursuing a career in either marketing or conflict management for organizations. I know that any career in marketing will deal heavily in social media and digital advertising, given recent evolution of the marketing industry as part of the digital age; it’s probably about time I start exploring more social media platforms – learning about them, trying them out, and identifying their strengths and weaknesses.