by Jazmin Idakaar, Information Professional
previously published 9/10/13
Social Media 101 – It’s Never Too Late to Get Social with Your Media!
You’re in library school with only a few more credits to go before you graduate.
Or you finished school already and now you’re job hunting.
Or maybe you got your degree a while back and you’re ready for a change of pace.
You want to network and get your name out there and find an internship, your first library job, or transition into a different library position, but there’s something holding you back – your online presence is lacking, or *gasp* non-existent.
Whether from fear around privacy issues or a lack of comfort with technology, you may not have engaged much online, and that can hold you back. Fortunately, there are some easy, and relatively painless, ways to step up your digital footprint to show employers that you’re engaged and immersed in current technology and trends.
Facebook – Not just for Candy Crush Saga
Facebook isn’t just for reconnecting with old school friends and playing games, though that can definitely be fun. Facebook can also be a great tool to get your name out there if you do it right. If you’re on Facebook already, consider making a second professional profile, one with a nice headshot (or other semi-formal photo) and your job history. If you’re not on Facebook yet, now might be a good time to start. Use this profile to connect to co-workers and check out businesses on Facebook. Your posts should be light on the personal stuff and focus more on posting about topics that are related to the field you’re interested in. Post interesting, relevant links, and remember to include your own thoughts as well.
Some job-related Facebook apps include: BeKnown, GlassDoor, and Jobvite. Some job websites will give you the option to link to your Facebook or pull employment info from it, so a professional profile can come in handy.
LinkedIn – Facebook for Professionals
If you’re not in favor of using Facebook, or want to add another networking site to broaden your networking sphere, consider using LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to connect to coworkers, classmates, fellow interns, and companies. You can create a profile quickly and easily by uploading your resume and listing your skills. You can join groups that are related to your field like ALA, HigherEd Jobs, and INALJ, and post questions and comments. It can be a good way to network online as well, so make sure to keep your messages and posts professional and grammatical.
Twitter – Tiny Text, Big Impact
Twitter is a site for writing short posts that you share online, also known as “microblogging.” Posts can be public or friends-only. You can find out about jobs, network with librarians, and “tweet” about whatever you like. Some Twitter feeds that post about library jobs include LibGig, LAC Group, and Library Jobs London. Jessamyn West, Roy Tennant, and Joe Murphy are a few thought-provoking librarians to follow.
WorkFu is a site that uses your Twitter account to build a profile and connect you to jobs. It is very sleek and offers a mixed visual/text resume format, while also being quite easy to use.
To Automate or Keep it Manual
One way to help simplify your social media output is to use a site like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. You can set up posts ahead of time and choose which social networks to post to. You can even have the same item post to multiple social networks at the same time. You can use Hootsuite (a web-based app) to set up posts on Facebook profiles and pages, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn profiles, Google+ pages and more. The first 5 feeds are free to add. Over 5 feeds will cost you. Tweetdeck offers similar functionality, plus it is available as a Chrome browser app or you can download it for Windows or OSX.
To Sum Up
Social media and social networking can sound like a lot of work, and honestly, it really can be. Posting meaningful content and responding can take time and brainpower in a schedule that is probably already quite busy.
But it can also be a lot of fun. #Fakelibrarianfacts and #LibrarianProblems on Twitter are guaranteed to give you a laugh. And sometimes social media can give you an inside look at the struggles libraries face, whether it’s libraries trying to rebuild after a disaster, or fighting to keep libraries open and staffed with professionals.
Hopefully this mini lesson in social media will help you get your online networking and engagement started or revive it from disuse. And remember: Meaningful social media activity is focused on the social (building and growing your social network) rather than just the media (links, posts, etc).