Wondering why you should bother with social media? What’s in it for you? Do you really need to be on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ ? I hope you are pleased to hear that I’ve given it some thought, on your behalf…
Firstly, let’s get the worldwide web into perspective and imagine it as your town. You live in your house, go to your job (if you have one) and you are on the look out for your dream job (or maybe your dream client, if you’re in business). Now, let’s go for a virtual walk down the High Street. The purpose of the walk is to get you noticed by someone who may have your dream job on offer and/or for you to do some research about what might be available.
As you walk along the High Street, you bump in to folks you know; friends, acquaintances and people who you would like to get to know. Each time this happens, you have fleeting conversations called tweets – you’re on twitter. You find out who did what, who’s doing what and when. You might even hear about a job opening that you can research later! Quickly though, because we’re all in a hurry!
Next stop is for a coffee at the Facebook Café. We can relax in here with our friends, have a proper catch up, look at someone’s baby photo’s, see someone else’s wedding pictures and even watch a funny video of a cat being cute. You’re also likely to hear someone having a moan about their job, their boss or their colleagues and you make a mental note to avoid working there… Or you might think that what they are moaning about sounds trivial to you and watch to see if they are going to leave because that would mean there would be a vacancy, wouldn’t it? On the other hand, someone may have just started somewhere and you hear how brilliant it is! Horses for courses, as they say.
There’s a notice board in the Facebook Café where businesses can advertise what they are up to so you have a quick scan over the Business Pages fluttering on the board to see if there’s any potential dream job companies or jobs on there.
Time to go! Next stop is the LinkedIn Wine Bar on the corner. It’s a swanky sort of place where everyone is looking their best because this is where the movers and shakers go to strut their stuff. People can get a bit bored of you banging on about your job search in the Facebook Café but not here! They’re all at it! It’s the place to go to tell people what you’ve achieved in your career so far and what you are planning to do next. You go here to see and be seen. You can ask for introductions to some of the people you probably wouldn’t meet anywhere else but that you know could help you get where you want to be. You can also catch up with previous colleagues and bosses and even ask them for recommendations and endorsements.
Better still, being a member of the LinkedIn Wine Bar, the management team even suggest who you should meet, which groups to join and what vacancies you should investigate.
So, Google Plus, what can you possibly do for me that I can’t get in the Facebook Café or the LinkedIn Wine Bar or by tweeting with folk on the street?
Oh my goodness! Just look at it! This building is a vision in glass and chrome and it’s VAST. It’s the world’s reference library, being updated by the second and it has the answers you need to virtually any question you could have. But it’s so much more than just a library. Becoming a member of this library and visiting it regularly means that you have access to a range of member benefits.
Shhh! You can just go here for some peace and quiet. There are no adverts or sponsored posts to distract your attention. You can come in, research not only certain individuals and companies but also content and use the information you uncover to aid your dream job search. You find more deep and meaningful conversations going on in here and you can join in if you want or just listen and learn. You can ask questions and provide answers for other people, enhancing your reputation as you go by developing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
You could even write your blog here as there is no limit to the posting space.
There’s also a bit of Google magic that enhances your photo’s, makes them high resolution, sorts them into stories for you and even gives them motion!
Circles. Are you someone who likes to be organised? Do you find the thought of organising your Facebook friends and twitter followers into lists a bit overwhelming? Well, here’s the great news. From the get-go you can organise your contacts on Google+ into circles which are fully customisable. I have circles for my friends, my family, my ex-dfs contacts, my prospects, my clients and others. You might organise yours into current colleagues, prospective employers, recruitment agencies etc. The contact does not know which circle they are in (so you can’t offend anyone!) and they could be in more than one.
Targeting. As well as being able to find your contacts easier in these circles, you can also communicate with specific circles individually. For me, this means I don’t share the same information with my family as I would with my prospects or clients. You can also read the news stream by individual circle which is great for focusing on the job in hand. For example, you could read all the posts from your prospective employers without being distracted by embarrassing videos of your friends on a night out!
Google+ has over 500 million members, worldwide and 350 million are active but it’s common to discover that you don’t know any of them! This makes some people disheartened. However, what would it feel like to be the first of your peers to get the hang of Google+ and the one who gets recognised for being in at the start! How attractive would you be to an employer if you could add Knowledge of Google+ to your skills list?
It’s not the end of the world if your friends aren’t “with it” yet. If you find something you want to share with someone who’s not a member, you can still share it with them by simply entering their email address. You’ll soon entice them in; it’s a big building and it’s really not that scary once you’re on the inside!
Google and LinkedIn like one another so if your profiles are up to date on both sites, the chances of you being found in a search by your profession/dream job should be higher.
Posts and content are permanent but also editable and download-able so no need to get paranoid!
So, what exactly can you share? Everything really. Questions and answers, thought-leadership, advice and tips, links to articles, resources and your own website, other social media, photo’s and videos, including YouTube videos. Anything that’s going to show you in a good light to the people who can help you get to where you want to be.
That advice goes for the wine bar, the café and on the street too, doesn’t it. You never know who you’re going to bump in to and who might be watching you and who might be about to make a decision about you, based on that experience.
Finally, the language barrier. It’s easy so don’t fret!
You have a personal Profile just like on twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
You attract followers like on twitter. (You can follow people and companies without them following you back.)
You can have a Business Page just like on Facebook, if you are in business.
+1 is the equivalent of a Facebook ‘Like’ or a Twitter ‘Favourite’.
Sharing (an arrow to the right) is effective because you can choose with whom you share (from one or more people, to one or more circles or public.)
Tagging: You put the + sign in front of someone’s name and they get tagged in the same way as the @ on twitter.
#Hashtags work here really well, helping you and others to search for relevant content. Google+ will even add them if you forget!
Hangout is the word for a one to one chat or a free video conference call for up to ten people.
Events can be added and shared like on Facebook.
Communities are the equivalent of Facebook and LinkedIn Groups.
Google is Google Plus. You already use Google to search for information.
Google+ membership means you can stay in the building and take advantage of all the other social and business benefits that it has to offer.
Of course, you should still tweet with people on the street, call into the Facebook Café for a gossip and have a schmooze in the LinkedIn Wine Bar. All of these places could be where you find a lead to your dream job.
Google+ is a place where you can stand out though. With less competition, you’re in at the start of something big here. Time to show your leadership skills. Time to step up and stand out from the crowd!
Time to find your dream job!
For further help with social media including Google+ and any other career related subject, please drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading. If it’s your first time here and you like it, please do follow the blog. That way, you’ll never miss a post!
Best wishes, Louise.
Copyright 2014 Louise Jenner