Social Media Know How

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Instagram. Pinterest. Like most people, I started out using these social tools for distinct purposes. LinkedIn was for connecting with current and former colleagues. Facebook was for updates on [then] college classmates, and rekindling on long distance friendships. Twitter was a little harder to figure out, but once you got the hang of it, you realize the value of information that can be said in less than 140 characters. It’s a rare day when you don’t interact at least once with these forms of media. While they were first intended as recreational use, in our world today, they serve a strong professional influence on how we work and play. According to recent studies on social networking, content related to improving oneself professionally is most preferred (15%), followed by content that helps people make business decisions (10%). But how far do we go in blending our personal and professional life via social media, and where do we draw the line? Can we distinct ourselves on a distinct level without harming “work rules”?

There is this fear of putting our true selves on the Internet, and while you should always practice professionalism, we are real people who can bring a lot of talent to the table. Broadcast that via a tweet, instagram a photo of the event you co-ran, LinkedIn message the person you met at the alumni board meeting. Social media is an opportunity to brand yourself. Yes, you have your work skills, your college and graduate projects, and your references to back you, but by personally advocating your worth, you are adding that much more to the table. Only good things can come from demonstrating passion and respect, so make it public.

If you are going to use social media as permanent ink towards your personal and professional identity, associate notable charisma to make you memorable. You work at a non-profit firm? Might not remember that tomorrow. You work at a non-profit firm, but also run marathons for charity fundraising? Will remember that. People want to relate to you. Make yourself relatable.

You cannot assume people will develop a relationship with you if you’re not willing to share a part of yourself with them. That is Networking 101, and instead of letting social media take over human interaction, take advantage of it, and let it help you. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the better resource you will be for others. Share the wealth. There is no such thing as work-you and home-you. There is only what you choose to share and where you choose to share it. Be smart, post wisely, and brand yourself genuinely!

About the Author:

As the Assistant Director of Admissions and Industry Engagement, Avalos serves as a liaison for the industrial sector of energy, engineering, construction, manufacturing, logistics and distribution as well as aerospace and defense. She works to build alliances with these local companies, helping them to leverage Northeastern’s resources for workforce development, corporate education, co-op, and research opportunities. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources from High Point University, where she also served as a Senior Admissions Counselor. Meighan is currently enrolled in the Master of Education program at Northeastern University–Charlotte.


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