Careers Marketing

Think Before You Post: Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media for College and Beyond

Researchers have found that a person will spend approximately five years of their life over their entire lifetime on social media.  That’s a lot of time so you better make it count.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter give us a platform to connect with old friends and colleagues while making new ones every single day.  How can you make it a positive experience?  Associate Professor of Marketing, Dr. Marsha Loda, explains, “Posts that go viral almost certainly fall into one of two categories.  The content is either emotional or helpful, and photos or videos help create attention.  Notice how often viral posts elicit either smiles or anger.  Helpful posts pass along tips or information people can use.”

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your social media time:

Do be active on social media platforms.  Being open about your social media activity is a positive sign to admissions offices and potential employers.  Showcase what you are all about in the community and your hobbies and interests.  You’re a person with a story and they want to learn about you.

Don’t post inappropriate content.  Consider your school’s or employer’s code of conduct, values, mission statement, etc.  It’s important to maintain a social media profile that aligns with the brand of the school you are attending or the employer you are working for.

Do consider privacy settings.  Explore the privacy options available to you and set parameters that feel the best to you.  It’s fine to be an active engaged member of social media without overly sharing personal content.

Don’t forget to be well-rounded.  What are you passionate about?  Being able to relate to traditional skills that are sought after in business are important but displaying your knowledge and interest in other subjects is an added value as business spans across all disciplines.

Do interact with colleges, universities and employers you are interested in!  Follow, like and share their content to show your interest and enthusiasm.  Social networking is a great way to engage, ask questions and create dialogue.  Show your prospective school or employer that you are interested in building a relationship.

Don’t delete all evidence of yourself from the internet.  It may seem even more suspicious then finding questionable content of you online.  Your social profile should showcase how you add value to a school or employer.  Demonstrate that you have a healthy online presence.

Do see what’s already out there.  Take the time to Google yourself!  If you can see it then so can an admissions office or hiring manager.  Once you take inventory of what is out there you can begin to remove content you don’t want presented and build positive content that shows value.

Loda also says, “Just remember, whatever you post becomes part of your brand, either for your company or for you personally.  What do you want to be known for?  Each posts adds up, creating your image over time.”

Overall social media is a tool to enhance who you are and what you are about – take the time to make your online presence an asset and not a liability.