What if I told you that at this very minute your personal brand and future career is being shaped? That every tweet, every status, every Instagram photo, and Snapchat picture you post today has an effect on how others perceive you tomorrow. I’m not just talking about your peers, but also employers, bosses, CEO’s, innovators, and big-time influencers. Your tweets are reaching someone, no matter how informative or silly they are, someone is reading them, and they’re not one of your followers. This is what at times is very hard for the mind to rap around, but social media can be your greatest asset, or the tool that gets you fired from your job, and possibly destroys your career.
Most of you have probably heard or read of someone getting fired for what they’ve said online. Last month, a teenage girl was fired from a job she hadn’t even started working at yet because she tweeted her disgust about working at the pizza shop. What you say can have dire consequences, which is why social media in most cases should be used with discretion and a sense of professionalism in mind. We’re living in a time in which everything we say on the Internet is documented and held under a microscope, and it’s time we start using social media the way it was intended.
Because trolls and childish commenters don’t deserve the light of day on a professional matter such as personal branding, I’m going to focus on how it’s essential to post mature and valuable content that will be worth reading and responding to. If you’re someone who takes professionalism and your career seriously, you’re going to prosper on social media because very few millennials are taking advantage of such a powerful tool that could change their lives around.
Companies and businesses are constantly searching on Twitter for content to respond to, retweet, and acquire clients and customers. Are you one of those tweeters who continues to write good and valuable content? Well keep it up because you will get noticed eventually. Take advantage of the voice social media has given to you and show the world (literally) what you know. Your tweets are reaching people across the country and in your own back yard.
When it comes to Facebook, are you engaging with your favorite fan page when they post content? Are you offering any valuable advice in the comment section, or giving a worthy response with your opinion that could change other’s perceptions? If not, start now. You can become an influencer just by consistently engaging on these pages, and who knows, maybe the social media department of these magazines or companies will take notice. Great content is never overshadowed because people will read it. Sometimes the responses aren’t aligned with your opinions, but you’re creating buzz and traffic for that fan page, and that’s important. Engagement and traffic is just as good as money for these social media pages, and if you’re bringing that in the right way, you have no idea where that might lead you.
There was once a time in which you had to apply for a job, seek out openings, and hope you offered more than the other applicants. Today, it’s the opposite. Companies and businesses seek you out. They want talent and young professionals who are ready for the work force. Admirable characteristics have become a lost art these days, but for those who still carry themselves like the people and professionals who came before them, they will find jobs and attract businesses and influencers to them and in essence, they also become influencers themselves.
It’s 2015. Millennials need to understand that every tweet, status, or blog post is their personal brand. We’re not Generation X or the Baby Boomers, our personal brand isn’t created the minute we step into the work force, it’s being built right now.
Twitter is an extremely powerful platform that could make anything we say go viral or reach people of importance. That’s why I recommend making accounts private if you have no regard for your own image and brand. The things I see people my age sharing on Twitter is outrageous and downright embarrassing. On the flip side, I see many people who are gifted with great talent and ability, but never use Twitter to their advantage or completely misuse it.
Social media, if used right, can propel your career to levels that people our age 20 years ago could only dream of experiencing. Our career’s fate could be sealed by one tweet or status, and that’s why Twitter should be used with discretion and professionalism.