Making the transition from student to young professional can sometimes be a difficult move, especially when it comes to your social media accounts. It is becoming more common for individuals to make their social media accounts in public school, which is not always the best idea. Images or posts shared can sometimes be inappropriate and as you have heard a thousand times, everything you share on the Internet stays on the Internet. So it’s important to be cautious of the posts you share right from the beginning to avoid panicking and excessively deleting content on all of your accounts. Check out this short clip for some other tips on cleaning up your social media.
By monitoring all content shared on your social media accounts, you are also carving your personal brand and establishing your online persona. As a public relations student, this is something we are constantly working on and striving to perfect.
For a Communications related job specifically, it is critical to have squeaky-clean accounts because your employer is going to want to see them. A public relations intern/coordinator is commonly in charge of running the company’s social media accounts, so they need to ensure you will be posting appropriate and relevant information. You don’t want your future employer seeing pictures of you partying excessively on a boat during spring break in first year, so either be cautious of what photos you share or make your account private.
Twitter can be a very difficult medium to monitor because it is easy to get up to thousands of tweets, especially if your account was created years ago. Spare yourself hours and hours of time sorting through your Tweets deciding what to keep and what to delete by monitoring your posts from the get-go. Unfortunately I did not have this mindset and going through my seven thousand Tweets was way too time consuming, so I ended up deleting my account and starting from scratch. A good rule of thumb is to only share content and photos you would want your family members to see. This way you are guaranteed to have a nice clean account that any employer would be happy with.
An alternative route to establishing your online brand through your social media can be through the use of a blog. If there is a topic you are passionate about I would encourage you to start a blog early. That way you have accumulated a portfolio of writing pieces for potential employers to view, and they will also notice your dedication. Common blog ideas cover areas of food and recipes, health and fitness, lifestyle and travel, etc. and a simple Google search can lead you to hundreds of examples and ideas. One thing to keep in mind is topics that you cover can be touchy, so proceed with caution before posting an opinion piece. Individuals can have very strong feelings about religion, race, politics, sex, etc. so I would recommend avoiding these areas. Not only could it attract negative attention to your blog, it could also negatively reflect your work to potential employers. Blogging Basics 101 has a great guideline to follow if you are just starting a blog or even thinking about it.
If a blog is the route you decide to take, it is also common to create associated Facebook or Instagram accounts to help advertise your service. Posting an Instagram photo or sharing a status on Facebook outlining your recent blog post or advertising an upcoming post can help direct traffic to your blog. This approach also allows for a second online presence. This way you have the ability to keep your personal accounts private while still having an active online presence for employers to see.
Remember, what you put on the Internet STAYS on the Internet.