These days, you are what you show online. With a constant flow of family pictures and Saturday night shenanigans, your Facebook profile might not be very distinguishable from your offline presence. This may not matter so much in a bubble with your friends and family, but you should think about the rest of your social media universe, as well.
You can shape your social media presence to show the best, most professional you to your field. Here are 4 reasons to curate social media presence carefully.
1. Your Social Media is an Open Book
Whether it’s potential employers, network members, or collaborators, your social media brand will likely be one of the first things that turn up. You want them to see a clear, engaging portrait of you—one who doesn’t use sloppy language, send questionable pictures, or behave inappropriately. We all have stuff we’re not especially proud of, but those things are best kept in a private account completely unlinked to your professional account, or maybe a folder marked “please burn.”
2. It’s an opportunity to clean house.
If you do have unprofessional content floating around your social media or want to show that your goals have evolved beyond “being president someday or something,” going in with a focused eye can help you keep content that shows who you are and where you want to go and get rid of clutter that doesn’t relate to your career goals now. It can also give you a sense of who’s coming and going from your social networks and sharing your content.
3. You Can Find a Relevant Audience
Once you’ve figured out what you want your social media brand to say about you, that can help you find your community and build your voice in that community. Finding like-minded people and sharing content and opinions are a brand-builder, if you have your base brand settled.
4. You’re Able to Take Control of Your Destiny
When you build your public social media brand, you get to set the tone and establish a theme across your accounts. Whether that’s coordinating colors or making sure that your own personal logo appears wherever you do or making your visual content (pictures, infographics, etc.) look similar, you want people to associate your content with you.
Who are you, and what do you want to do? It’s all in your (virtual) hands.