Columbia University School of Professional Studies hosted Career Week 2018. They hosted a Social Media Series that featured keynote speakers, panels and workshops all aimed to help students understand the presence and impact of social media on their future careers. Before this series was not very active on social media, because I didn’t see the value. I preferred face to face interactions. What I learned was that if you approach social media as a tool and structure its use, then you can command it to build strong relationships with influential people and to influence others.
As I thought about how I can use it in my life, I realized I need to create a rigid strategy to avoid bad habits wasted time. I began to formulate my strategy by listing the platforms I want to utilize. I stated with the ones I currently have: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram which I haven’t used. Then the ones I don’t yet have, but want: Online blog, YouTube, Personal Website, and GitHub. I drew them in a diagram to visually see how they can connect. I then tried to summarize in one sentence why I needed each one.
Facebook reflects me personally as well as it is a platform for family and friends to connect with me. LinkedIn is the professional version of that as well as a very useful tool to track my career and manage its trajectory. Instagram is where I want to express my insights to common problems that I experience and offer solutions to prevent or help others with the same problems. This more personally reflects my passion to help others. An online blog is where I can share useful insights on industry related issues and trends that will require more time and space to explore those topics. YouTube will serve a similar purpose to Instagram, but reach a different audience as well as provide the resource to combine the content shared on Instagram into one complete short video that is beyond their limits. A personal website is one more step to differentiate myself from the average applicant and combines the benefits on Facebook and LinkedIn serving as a more complete picture of who I am as a person. GitHub is the technical platform for me to demonstrate my hard skills and competencies in my industry.
One last piece is scheduling and managing for all these platforms. My strategy is to only regularly interact with no more than three: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. For these I plan to interact weekly with planned content. For the rest LinkedIn, Online Blog, Personal Website, and GitHub I plan to update no more than monthly. This limits the amount of time spent worrying about what needs to be updated and when. It also provides a framework to schedule specific times to update each platform. The only regular planning that needs to take place is then in the content that will be posted through each platform. The easiest way is to use one theme for each week or to combine content from multiple weeks and expand on that.
I strongly urge anyone who read this post to the end to create their own social media strategy. This is only one approach of many.