If you’re trying to jumpstart your career, take a good look at your social media profiles and make sure you’re not making one of these mistakes.
Social media is more than just your primary source of puppy and kitten videos. It’s a hub for connecting with others, learning new ideas and sharing information.
Why does this matter to a careerist? Because your social profiles are a one-stop shop for job leads, networking, industry information and other resources that can help propel your career.
Using social media the right way gives you access to people who can impact your career, for better or worst.
Social media is important, so don’t waste your shot to make a positive impression. Are you making these social media mistakes? (Click here to tweet this question.)
Misattributing quotes or information
Ever see an awesome quote or powerful statistic on one of your social channels and share it without checking the information? If so, it’s time to change that.
Misattribution is a major faux pas that has become far too common. Though people know everything they read online isn’t necessarily true, they don’t always take the time to research before sharing.
Here’s a practical example:
According to Pew Research Center, 72 percent of adults in the United States were using social media as of May 2013. For 18 to 29 year olds, 89 percent reported using social media.
Notice how the statistic is supported by the time period the data came from and the facility that provided the research? If you so choose, you can go to Pew Research and see the study results for yourself. It gives substance to the information.
You don’t have to go into as much detail in a social post, but you definitely want to make sure that information is right before sharing it.
Sharing incorrect information, even if it’s trivial, can damage your credibility. Take the extra step and find the original source before sharing, especially if it’s a social media account for business.
Participating in every single trend
Social media trends aren’t for everyone. If your social profiles are used for work purposes, don’t jump into a trend unless it makes sense for the company or brand.
Even if you don’t use social media for work, it can still impact your career. If a job recruiter finds your profile, do you really want his or her first impression to be your results for “Which (Insert 90s Movie Title Here) Character Are You?”
#RememberWhenEveryoneWasUsingComicallyLongHashtags? Or doing the Harlem Shake? Some people love seeing a page full of social trends, but others find it irritating.
Don’t rely on memes to tell your message. If you can incorporate social trends in a smart or interesting way, go for it. If you’re just doing it because everyone else is, don’t bother.
Not using analytics as part of your strategy is a wasted opportunity. Do you know how many people see what you share? Does anyone click on the links you share?
Analytics can help you figure out how engaged your followers are. You can learn what is and isn’t working and make adjustments.
What you measure will depend on your goals. If you’re trying to find a job and sharing your portfolio through social media, you can measure whether people open the link or not.
If you’re an entrepreneur trying to build brand awareness, tracking your mentions and social shares could do the trick.
You don’t have to be stuffy or super serious in your social efforts. Just be smart.
Erin Palmer is a writer and editor who tries to make the most of her social media channels (though she can’t resist a puppy video). She’s been published in The Chicago Tribune and The Huffington Post, yet she still gets excited every time she sees her byline.