Using Social Media as Your Portfolio

Using Social Media as Your Portfolio

By: Sarah Saghah
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Whether you are promoting your own personal brand or company, social media can help increase visibility and be used to impress hiring managers who will search for your online presence. Better yet, you can use different platforms as social portfolios, whether you are in Communications, Engineering or English, to showcase your work and skills in a creative way, thus impressing hiring managers even further. Below I share five tips on how you can jumpstart the creation and management of your social media portfolio to ensure that your platforms are ready to impress. 

1.     Choose the correct voice and platform(s)

Different industries will require a different tone of voice and will benefit from specific platforms. For example, if you want to promote yourself as amicable and fun, an up-beat tone of voice would work well for any social media communications. Moreover, if the industry you want to work for is very professional, Instagram and Snapchat may not be the most appropriate platforms to use as a portfolio. However, LinkedIn and WordPress can be used to your advantage when sharing your skills and experience in a professional setting.  As a word of caution, consider setting your Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat platforms to private if the content does not portray the brand image you want to share of yourself.

2.     Use strong imagery

Photos are worth 1000 words, and humans are visual creatures; thus, it is important to use clear and high-quality imagery on the platforms that you manage. Do not underestimate the power of a good photo! For example, if you were to manage your lifestyle blog, what you are writing about should be clearly shown through high-quality photos of the items. This means that the colours should be accurate, the product should be visible, and the photo should be in focus and have good lighting. Not to mention your personal professional headshot. The same rules apply here for focus, lighting and the kind of image you’d like to project to your audience. For consistency of your messaging, an option is to use the same photo across platforms.

Example: Tara Milk Tea does a good job of showcasing her photography and design skills through personalized imagery on her Instagram page. The cover photo to this blog article is just one example. 

 3.     Create a community through engagement and mutual interests

One of the easiest ways to begin your own personal branding on social media is to contemplate and identify your interests. Once you have identified these, you will be able to create a community of individuals or organizations with matching or complimentary interests on social media, thus increasing your visibility and followership. To create this community, you can research others to follow and then create discussions with. Or, you may choose to collaborate with other organizations to further increase your visibility. Online collaboration will showcase your communication skills, as well as community involvement, and the content you post will help motivate you to stay relevant and consistent.

4.     Keep it updated and consistent

According to this research blog post by Buffer Social, there are best practices for how often we should be posting on our social media. Generally, the following numbers create a good guideline:

  • Facebook: Daily, or 5 to 10 posts per week. Your followers expect almost-daily updates, although be careful not to post too much as this may annoy them.
  • Twitter: 3 to 10 posts per day. Twitter feeds run quickly and contain a lot of writing, and your followers may be expecting real-time updates, so make sure to keep your Tweets up-to-date!
  • Instagram: Once every two days, daily, or no more than 2 posts per day. Instagram is a competitive platform, so consistent updates are necessary. Tip: Edit and save older photos that can be posted in the future if you run out of content.
  • LinkedIn: Daily on weekdays. Weekdays are a good time to post, as professionals tend to browse through LinkedIn during these days.
  • Blogs: Approximately 2 blogs per week. Too little may make your blog seem abandoned, and too many may create too much content for your followers to read.

Note that these numbers may vary depending on your industry, follower base and content, and that you should research your industry to determine which platforms are best to be active on. Moreover, it is best to be consistently active on fewer platforms than to be inconsistently active or inactive on many.

As for consistency, this goes a long way to building trust with your audience or followers, so that they know what to expect, and they might even come to recognize the tone and style of the kind of content you curate, comment on and post about.

5.     Manage your platforms better than everyone else

If you are looking to grow any of your social platforms to impress hiring managers, or if you are in marketing and want to improve your numbers, consider the fact that you need to manage your social media better than others if you want to increase your followership and engagement rates. This means posting higher quality content, or continuously improving your content, and engaging with your online community.

The best part about social media is that you can edit your platforms to your own liking to suit your own personal branding, as social media is a reflection of you. Take advantage of all the options available to you, and make sure you create complete online profiles. Lastly, feel free to read this article by Lifehack, which outlines six mistakes to avoid when building an online portfolio.

 

Sarah Saghah is a fourth year business student studying marketing, human resources and international business. During her spare time, she enjoys volunteering and browsing through social media. You can find her at her local BCSPCA, petting all of the kittens. Connect with Sarah through her LinkedIn or Instagram

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Lead image from TaraMilkTea. 

 

Posted on July 13, 2017