Almost 1.5 billion people use Facebook. Twitter, Google+, and Instagram aren't far behind. As those in the world of marketing know, social media isn't just for connecting with family and friends; it's essential for branding, word of mouth, and networking. This, of course, makes social media very important in the job world, too. Especially when you're seeking a new one.
According to Staff.com, 92% of companies use social media to find and screen candidates. That number is only increasing as social media continues to grow.
The Many Uses for Social Media in Your Career
Nowadays, finding a job is more about who you know than what you know.
Social media does just that — it provides you with a network of similar people and connects you to careers you may not otherwise know about. So, where should you start?
Don't stop with LinkedIn and Facebook. Twitter and Google+ are huge. Believe it or not, YouTube, Instagram, Pintrest, and the Vine can all help you get a job, promote yourself as a freelancer, or advance your career. If you have the time and the know-how, there's no reason you shouldn't be involved in a variety of social media platforms.
Promote Yourself and Grow Your Brand
Whether you work in the IT field or run your own small business, get involved with social media by connecting with others.
Share newsworthy stories, keep your profile and resume up-to-date, chat with others in your line of business, and connect with others on a more personal level, too.
Remember, the only way to learn social media and get it to work in your favor is by diving in headfirst. The more you use it, the more it's going to help your career (of course, you might want to visit Facebook outside of office time...unless your boss agrees that it's part of the job he oversees!).
And if you get really good at social media, you may even be able to turn it into a career in and of itself. If you're a marketing, advertising, or digital media professional, the transition should be fairly easy.
How Mastering Social Media Can Turn Into a Career
Jobs in social media include social media manager, copywriter, or online community manager.
Keeping Social Media Work-Oriented
While most people use social media for personal purposes, companies are using it for more important reasons, like finding qualified candidates, growing their business, or freelancing their work out.
That being said, it's always in your best interest to keep your social media pages professional. Sure, you can post pictures of your weekend ski trip or child's birthday party, but keep the drinking photos and crude comments to yourself.
Keep in mind, you can actually have personal pages and professional pages.
Overall, having social media skills can separate you from other qualified candidates.
Companies want to hire people who understand how to use social media to their advantage. You can take a class to further your skills or create pages and spend a few hours each week learning the ins and outs.
Get social media to work for you, and the job market will love you for it.