Top 4 Tips to Create a Strong Presence Online

Top 4 Tips to Create a Strong Presence Online

By: Nicole Strutt | Special Projects Assistant
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As students we are told to be careful about what we say on Twitter and Facebook, whether it be swearing, mentioning controversial issues or uploading questionable personal photos. However what is mentioned significantly less is how we have the power to generate positive press for ourselves using technology. Below are some tools that can be used to generate a positive presence online

1. Understanding your objectives through social media

First, it is important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with the current social media tools available to ensure a strong presence online. Asking questions like, “Why am I using this tool?” and “What do I want to achieve by using this social media platform?” will help you get an idea of which social media platforms are most successful to reach those goals. For example, if you want to get a job through having a strong online presence, it would be important to showcase your skills and experience on LinkedIn in a way that engages employers. Whereas if your goal was to create a personal brand for yourself, using the likes of Twitter and a personal blog via WordPress might be a different way to express yourself and increase your presence online. 

2. Choosing your social media platforms

Now that you have a vision for what you want to achieve, it is time to activate the tools to accomplish that vision.

While LinkedIn is an excellent platform for exploring careers, connecting and maintaining professional relationships in order to find internships and jobs Twitter is a great way to discover key professionals in the industry you are interested in and gives you the opportunity to become a part of that network. In addition, Twitter also gives you the platform to establish your own personal brand.

The goals you are looking to accomplish influences which social media or combination of social media tools you should use.

3. Implementing Strategies to achieve your goals with your Social Media platforms

Common goals that surface when using social media to increase presence online are:

Landing a Job

LinkedIn is a valuable tool that can be used to find jobs, whether you are enrolled in university, or have already graduated. LinkedIn offers the resources to research employers you might be interested in and shows you the connections that you may have with those employers in order to help land you a job. Resources that are available on LinkedIn include the Alumni Tools and the Introductions feature that assist students and alumni in landing a job.

The alumni tool shows which alumni from your current university have connections with your current network on LinkedIn. This way if you have a second degree connection with alumni from Simon Fraser University, you have the opportunity to ask a first degree connection if they could either introduce you or refer you for a particular job.  

The introductions feature on LinkedIn allows you to utilize your first degree connections (those that you know personally) to connect with second (people who your first connections know) or third degree contacts (people who your second degree connections know). This can only be achieved through having an established presence on your LinkedIn network.

Establishing a Personal Brand

Twitter

Picking a display picture that embodies your personality and fits with the job you are looking to find is recommended. In addition, focusing some of your time on Twitter to your passions (for example the Vancouver Canucks) is a great way to show off your personality and have people remember you. Last, leave a lasting impression with your followers, by being responsive to people’s tweets online establishes a positive presence for yourself.  Everyone wants their voice to be heard, so replying to one of their tweets automatically puts you in their good books.  

4. Blogging and Writing

The great thing about living in the 21st century is that writing for a student run newspaper means that it will also be available online. Being a contributor to the Peak Newspaper at SFU or contributing to a blog can show employers and professionals that you have an opinion, and shows off your ability to write on another level.  Ultimately you are consciously creating public press for yourself, so when an employer or another person decides to Google your name, you can be confident that your presence online will be a positive one.

Closing Thoughts

Having a positive online presence can often make or break you when you are searching for an internship or full-time job. The reality is that no information is entirely private anymore with the internet being so prevalent in our lives, so it is important to regulate what people see about us to the best of our ability. However it is important to treat the internet and social media as a platform of possibility. We have the ability to show professionals in the workplace as well as our peers that we are interesting people through our blogs and Twitter that they would want to work with and hire. So get out there and show your personal network and the world what you have to offer!

 Beyond the Article

 *Lead image: creative-commons licensed photo by Rosaura Ochoa

Posted on February 07, 2014