Skip to content

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Career (in 2024)

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Career (in 2024)

Using social media to grow your career is an art form.

You need a delicate touch to harness the power of social media platforms to get seen, heard, and in the know with the right people. 

Long gone are the days when your LinkedIn profile was an afterthought. Social media is the way to go if you want to be known within your industry in today’s world. A 2022 study by Zippia found that 78% of employees polled used social media to find new opportunities and networking. 

Is that awesome? But where do you start?

Which platform do you use? How often do you post? What do you post? It is all so much!!

But fear not; we are tapping into our team’s years of experience to give you a comprehensive guide on using social media to take your professional status to the next level.

Let’s get started!

How To Use Social Media To Build Connections and Grow Your Career?

Step 1. Clean House

Social media became trendy overnight. 

Suddenly, everybody, including grannies and pop-pops, had a profile, and we all had a front-row seat to the drama that unfolded from oversharing.

If you’ve had any online presence over the last ten years, you’ve probably racked up a few active profiles for years. The person you were ten years ago is still alive and well for the world to see- including future colleagues and bosses. 

Time to clean house, friends.

As you enter a more mature career phase, it’s time to put away the old you. Any posts with questionable clothes, behavior, or language must go.

Consider closing profiles altogether if you don’t frequent the platform often enough, especially if the people you want to reach aren’t networking there. 

It is better to pick one platform and do it right than to try to do them all poorly.

Step 2. Pick Your Platform

This takes a little bit of legwork. 

Not all platforms are created alike, and not all have the same demographic. 

Your industry and end goal will help you determine which suits you best. Sprout Social does an excellent job breaking down all pertinent data per channel each year to help you figure out where your people are most likely to congregate. 

But for the consummate professional, two platforms stand out: LinkedIn and Polywork. While Polywork is still in its infancy, LinkedIn has a robust platform of 900 million users in 200 countries. It boasts the ability to post articles and create newsletters along with all the trappings of social networking.

Whether it’s B2B or B2C, LinkedIn gives you the most bang for your buck for networking with industry voices and an outstanding 22% increase in feed engagement by the end of 2023.

Step 3. Build A Strong Presence

Social media users are savvy.

Years of being bombarded by hoaxes, pranks, and fake news have made them jaded and keen observers of human behavior.

In short, they can smell a fraud from a mile away. 

Building a solid presence means being authentic and sticking to your core values; this is true for your personal life as it is in your professional life. 

Because you want to use social media to grow your career, you must do all dealings and conversations with honesty, integrity, and decorum. People will engage more with someone willing to give and take advice rather than someone who knows it all and is unwilling to learn. 

In platforms like LinkedIn, where the community of professionals is highly educated and willing to go the extra mile to help, this is especially true. You will gain more followers from having insightful conversations than anything else. 

Step 4. Optimize Your Profile

When you think of optimization, you usually think of web content, but did you know there is a way to optimize your social media profiles, too?

There is!

LinkedIn has SEO, which finds and pushes out user content. If this is your platform of choice, you have to make sure your profile is on point. Start with a high-quality image and make sure your headline and about me page are eye-catching. Semrush has a fantastic guide on how to do just that, with loads of examples.

Instagram, TikTok and X, can likewise be used to highlight your best business features. While the character limit may sound inconvenient, it helps you narrow down your pitch and what you want your audience to know most about you.

Whichever platform you choose, make sure you give your profile a makeover before you start networking. 

Step 5. Share Engaging Content

Sharing good content sounds like a no-brainer, but it takes finesse to know what your audience will be into. Depending on your profession, your audiences may have specific preferences, so you must pay attention. 

Always strive to add value to your community or industry by consistently posting a mix of text, videos, and photos to show your expertise.

Choose the best time to share your content and check back into your analytics to see how your posts are performing. A good rule of thumb is to review your analytics once a quarter; that’s three months of posting to see an actual pattern, so stick with it. 

Once you see what your people like, you give them more of it, and your network will grow in time. Patience here is key. 

Step 6. Engage In Industry Convos

Getting involved in industry conversations is necessary if you want to be known within your field. 

Search out hashtags pertinent to your industry and start talking to people. It sounds scary, but it’s not. 

Your conversations will flow naturally since you have already positioned yourself as an authentic individual willing to help and offer expertise.

But don’t talk out of your ear! 

Make sure you are up to date on the latest trends and industry news so you are speaking from a place of knowledge when you engage. If you have a new perspective to share, that’s even better.

Engaging in this way not only provides excellent value to your community, which means more followers for you, but it also sets you up as a thought leader. 

So when someone has a question or needs advice, guess who gets that DM?

Step 7. Follow Companies and Influencers

Companies and influencers are great places to start when you are looking for meaningful conversations to get into. 

Depending on the industry and the platform, some businesses will have excellent engagement on their channels where you can fit right in. So follow them and influencers who share similar content. 

On LinkedIn, for example, companies don’t get a lot of play on their pages, but it is a beautiful place for influencers and getting insight from them consistently. Unlike other platforms, where getting an influencer to respond takes a miracle. 

On the flip side is X (formerly Twitter), where some companies have carved out a little slice of fandom for themselves and regularly engage with their followers.

Follow, chat, and share with these two types of profiles, and you will be amazed at the wealth of knowledge you accrue in a short amount of time.

Step 8. Collaborate 

Collaborations are tricky and not feasible for everyone. 

Collaborations are about relationships. First, you have to get to know a person over some time before you make that ask. 

Don’t message someone after one interaction and expect an answer. Most people online are weary of getting DM’s from people via socials. They either want to sell something, or they want something from you. 

So take it slow, build those relationships with a firm foundation, and then find ways to collaborate to your mutual advantage.

Some Tools to Help You

That was a lot of information, but if you are going to use social media to get ahead, you have to ensure you are doing it right. 

To help you along, here are some tools.

Hootsuite is a beautiful scheduling tool that allows you to load your content ahead of time and even optimizes the times you should post. They have a free version for personal use with everything you need to get started. 

Canva is another great tool we’ve mentioned before. 

Think of it as graphics software for non graphic artists. They have a free version, but the images DO contain watermarks. The yearly subscription is a steal for all you get with it. Create social posts and audiograms and edit videos along with access to thousands of templates for everything you can think of- Canva is a must-have. They also have a built-in scheduler, so get two tools in one.

Time to Get Social 

Being a professional in the 21st century requires 21st-century tools, which is why using social media to grow your career just makes sense. 

While it does take commitment to post regularly, the connections you make and the knowledge you build over time could be the stepping stones you need to get ahead.

So go out, get your professional headshot, and channel your inner influencer. 

You will get your creative juices flowing and become an active participant in what happens next in your career. 

Clean your social footprint, optimize your profiles, and engage with all the wisdom you’ve gained from your experiences. 

New doors that you didn’t even know existed may open to you.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get social!

 

Latest Posts

Sustainable Education

4 Ways Sustainable Education Can Build a Better Future

Career Transitions

Navigating Career Transitions: How to Successfully Make The Move Step by Step

Daily Motivation

Get Daily Motivation and Inspiration from the Success Thought of the Day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *