Being able to promote yourself is a hugely valuable skill and with the plethora of social media sites out there, you have plenty of opportunity to do this. But what should you use where and how? Here’s a quick guide to getting started.
1. Create a blog
If you want to work in the marketing/PR sectors you are likely to be a creative individual. You need to use these creative skills in order to create a desirable online persona which will engage prospective employers. A great way to do this is to set up a blog so that you can keep all of your work in one place. You can then promote individual links to the blog post that you wish to talk about at that moment.
A blog is also a great vehicle to show employers you have the relevant skills they might be looking for in candidates. Use your blog posts to demonstrate analytical and commercial awareness – comment on recent advertising campaigns, maybe discuss your thoughts on a breaking news story where perhaps a brand has signed up a new celebrity to promote their products. Remember though to comment objectively. Don’t favour one brand too much and don’t be over critical. Keep in mind the companies you’ve applied to work for and post stories that are relevant to them.
There are plenty of free blogging websites out there and it’s a case of you choosing the one which will best support you in what you are trying to promote.
Wordpress is the most popular blogging tool which allows you to present your work in different themes. It also tracks the number of views for individual blog posts and lists top key words and links that brought people direct to your blog. This is a great feature for monitoring the success of your platform and of course showcases to employers that you have the relevant skills and understanding to market something online. Some other sites which are worth researching are Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, Webs.com
2. Promote via Twitter
It’s crucial that you set yourself up with a Twitter account – a public account so that everyone can see your tweets. The site has over 271 million users and all your potential employers will be on here.
Twitter really is a great platform for you to engage with a potential audience. Perhaps you’ve written a blog about a recent internship or commented on some recent marketing campaigns - what easier way is there to push your work out there than by writing a simple tweet about it?
Try to find a fun angle to engage your audience with your tweet – perhaps you can reference a recent news story in your tweet which leads nicely to your blog. Or pose some intriguing questions which will encourage users to click on your link. Try not to just ‘Ronseal’ your tweet – i.e., says exactly what it does on the tin!
It’s key you use hashtags to filter your tweets into specific searches too. This will enable you to be grouped with other tweets on the same topics, hence increasing your chance of the right audience finding your blogs. This is exactly what you would need to do if you were working in marketing and PR, where you need to promote a story, product or service. This is to increase the chance of your work being looked at by a relevant audience.
Another way you should be using Twitter is by following relevant companies and agencies you admire or wish to work for. You should also follow individual contributors, retail and marketing analysts, journalists and industry news companies. This will help you keep up to speed with market trends and there is always a possibility you could strike up an online correspondence which in turn could lead to the start of your new career.
3. The visual side: Instagram and Pinterest
Visuals prove a core part of anyone’s advertising campaign or brand so it’s no surprise the impact Pinterest and Instagram is having on the digital landscape and how companies are using them to enhance their brands and campaigns. It’s important you do the same with your work.
Consumers often respond more favourably to something which is visual, rather than having to scroll through a load of text, and for prospective employers, it could be the same. You may have worked on a great piece of design whether it be during your undergraduate years or through a work placement. Use these mediums to showcase the visuals and link back to your blog.
Don’t be afraid to post videos too or mini trailers to promote your blog posts. These are all invaluable skills that your future employer will be looking for.
4. Facebook and LinkedIn
Facebook is a very informal form of social media and is perhaps less valuable in a professional sense than the others mentioned above. However there is no harm in replicating your Twitter posts on here, especially if you have your settings open to all.
LinkedIn is of course a dedicated professional business network and it’s important you create a profile for yourself on here. Over the last couple of years, its functionality and how you can personalise your profile has developed a great deal allowing you to create a more engaging profile.
Whenever you undertake a work placement or internship, make sure you connect to as many members of staff as possible. This is also the place where lots of jobs are advertised and you may not come across the vacancies unless you’re registered here.