5 Tips To Enhance Your Professional Development Strategy Through Social Media

5 Tips To Enhance Your Professional Development Strategy Through Social Media
Summary: Who would’ve thought that social media can be a powerful tool to enhance your professional development? Back in the day, our mothers would complain about us spending too much time on the computer doing useless stuff.

How To Enhance Your Professional Development Strategy Through Social Media

That was the time when majority of us think that social media is just all about going out there and making friends. This is a very big misconception; we are now at a time where websites and applications are more powerful than just increasing our number of online friends. With the wide array of online training courses in various industries nowadays, we can conveniently enhance our skills to build our professional network. So instead of just bumming around the worldwide web, we might as well put our time to good use and improve our professional strategy while we’re at it. Here are 5 tips on how to use social media platforms to enhance your professional development.

1. Keep Personal And Professional Profiles Apart

One of the common mistakes in building your professional network is combining your personal and professional profile together. These two should be kept apart to distinguish pleasure from business. You don’t want your boss or your potential investor to see how much you spent on retail therapy that one time you were so stressed out at work. That would be an absolute disaster. Instead, keep a business profile that highlights all relevant training you have completed such as leadership training, strategic sourcing certification, etc. That way, people in the industry will see how competent you are instead of how lackadaisical you are outside work.

2. Choose Your Friends And Followers

Do not treat your professional page as you would a dating site. Your friends and followers should only be those who have the same professional interest as you. Treat your profile as though you are presenting yourself for a job application where everything is purely business. This would be the best time to showcase your skills and also find what people in your field have done and what they have taken up to advance their careers. If you see an expert in the industry who has recently attended a training that will also benefit your career, look up what online training platform he took and see if you can join the next session. Activities and updates like these are more beneficial to you rather than seeing too many profile updates of those whose industry is not even related to yours.

3. Maintain An Updated Profile

Don’t create a profile just for the sake of having one. People in the industry are watching. You may not know it, but they are also viewing other profiles. That’s why it’s very important that you keep an updated profile. If you recently attended a course on learning management system, attended a seminar or went through a training program in your current organisation, update your proficiencies real time because you never know who will come across your page.

4. Don’t Limit Your Profile To One Platform

Although LinkedIn is known to be the largest professional network, it’s not the only platform you can use. Facebook has business groups you can join that have members of professionals in the same industry. Twitter also has users you can follow for your business needs. Google+ has circles you can connect with that can help keep you updated on what’s latest in the business. YouTube has a number of videos that can support leadership training and other online training courses. You can explore all these and more to enhance your professional development.

5. Be Accommodating

Social media is an open platform. Your posts invite questions and comments from those who read them. Take time to answer messages, even in brief. This will encourage people to revisit your page for future posts. Build professional relationships with people in the business. These people may be looking for professionals like you or may be able to vouch for you later on when the need arises, so treat everyone with respect and sincerity. You don't know where a lead might get generated from or opportunity for new business might arise, so give everyone due respect.

With these tips and some brainstorming, you can use social media platforms for more than just a time kill. Networking is necessary in any profession and there is no better way than doing some networking over social media channels to enhance your professional development.