Your time is precious, your time is limited. Yet the demands on your time are ever-increasing, no more so than in the area of social media. So what are you going to make your social media priorities for the coming year; where should you focus?
The answer to this question will in some ways be unique to you. The candidate audience you want to reach and your own professional goals will influence where your social media priorities for the coming year should lie.
But to give you some food for thought, here’s a list of social media priorities that I think are worth considering this year and that should provide fertile ground for cultivating your own social media action plan:
>> Invest time in Google+ and Google+ Communities. While Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter continue to grab the headlines, Google+ has been quietly building up a substantial user base. Sure there are lots of accounts that are rarely used – but then don’t you bump up against this same problem of “inactives” on your other social media platforms?
Google+ Communities have added interest group functionality to the Google+ platform and made it easier for people to congregate and interact on topics of interest. I expect this to impact favourably on the usage levels Google+ enjoys in the coming year.
But the over-riding issue for me – and what may make this one of your social media priorities – is the overlap between Google+ and Google search results. Can you afford for your recruiting brand not to appear highly in Google search results? Professionally can you afford for your own name not to appear in relevant search results? As Google integrates Google+ information into its search results, failing to have an adequate presence here could both harm your social media reach AND impact your search engine visibility. Ignore at your peril…
>> Update your LinkedIn profile to leverage the new functionality. LinkedIn has undergone fundamental changes of late – no more so than in the way your profile information is displayed. Critically – and what may make this one of your social media priorities – is the new functionality users have to customise their profiles by embedding graphical links to external resources in their profiles. What video, article, company info, etc. links and graphical imagery would enrich your profile – and cause readers to take the course of action you’d most desire them to take when they view your profile?
This is a change that has passed many by. You’ve seen the new-look profiles, but had you realised the new options open to you in terms of how your profile is displayed? If not, perhaps it’s time to investigate further. I know I will be investing time in getting this right over the coming weeks.
>> Grab your copy of your Twitter archive. One of the biggest shortcomings of Twitter has been its lack of historical timeline. If you’ve wanted to go back and search for previous candidate interactions or articles you’ve shared, until now that’s been difficult owing to the search functionality displaying only the last week of tweet history. But with Twitter having enabled users to download an archive of their entire twitter history, one of your social media priorities for the year could be to get your hands on your archive and figure out what new social engagement is made possible with this information.
>> Remove the noise from your social streams. With the usage of social media having been supercharged in the last years, so too has the amount of “noise” or unwanted updates appearing in your social media streams. Review the platforms where you plan to invest your time this year and take a moment to figure out how you can remove the noise. On Twitter you may want to group those you follow into lists, so you can focus your attentions on those connections who most closely fit your immediate business priorities. You may want to unfollow those who don’t interact or those who use Twitter purely to pump out automated RSS feeds of content.
On LinkedIn you may want to hide from your updates stream the content of those who you find are adding no value. There’s always a reluctance to do this; what if by doing so you miss out on an opportunity that you would otherwise have seen?? In my experience, this is completely outweighed by the fact that you’ll be more likely to see relevant updates from those you can help if you keep your streams clean.
Whichever platforms you are using, pay attention to the ways you could de-clutter your social streams. The upfront investment of time in doing this will quickly be repaid as your productivity is boosted on an ongoing basis.
>> Unsubscribe from notifications. Think of your working day. In what ways does social media distract you from the task at hand? What notifications do you receive that interrupt the flow of your day (LinkedIn Group Updates, Twitter notifications that your tweets have been marked as a favourite, etc.)?
Now consider which of these interruptions you actually act upon.
If you’re acting on information contained in notifications – in a way that fits with your overall social media goals – then chances are those notifications are worth keeping. But if you rarely act on those notifications, they’re just swamping your inbox and sucking time from your day. Make it one of your social media priorities for the year to remove these distractions so you have more time to focus on what’s important.
Review the social media platforms you have joined. Just because you have had an active presence on a platform up until now is no reason to continue. Do you have time to do each of them justice? Are the returns you are getting from that platform worthy of your continued participation? Are there things you could do to maintain a presence in a far more time-efficient manner? What other platforms might you find time for if you were more ruthless in cutting back on unproductive social media activities?
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