How Will You Use Social Media in 2020?

This is an updated version of an article from my Social Media column in the Career Development Network‘s  Newsletter – Volume 38, Number 1.

If you’ve been following this blog over the last several years, you know that there is a lot you can accomplish with social media. You’ve also heard about multiple platforms, from Twitter to LinkedIn, and many ways to participate, from networking to live chats.

social media in 2020

What can you do to improve your social media experience in the New Year? The first step is to take an inventory of what you are using and how you are using it. Then it is important to set goals for the future. Use the following checklist to both review your social use in 2019 and develop a plan for action in 2020.

Audit Past Participation

As you reflect on how and when you’ve used social media over the past year, what comes to mind? Which experiences were the most valuable to you in your career services context? Consider the following activities, and add others you’ve been involved with to the list:

  • Sharing information: You can benefit as both the sender and receiver of resources that are exchanged regularly through social networks.
  • Building and joining communities: If you’ve been active in the past year it’s likely that your accounts have more followers, and that you are following more accounts.
  • Networking with peers: We all stand to benefit from connecting with others who do what we do, and who work with clients and students in our target populations.
  • Participating in events: Social media makes it possible to learn from on-site conference and workshop sessions, even at a distance, by following the event hashtag (#) on social platforms.

Do you want to do more of these things or are there ideas here you have not yet tried? Start thinking about goals (more on that coming up)!

Conduct Profile Maintenance

Your social profiles may be overdue for some housekeeping. It’s not unusual to open a new account with good intentions, only to find it gets left behind when competing priorities overtake your calendar. Start your maintenance with the following steps:

  • List all of the accounts for which you are currently registered.
  • Categorize these according to use: 1) use often, 2) use rarely or never, but want use this year, and 3) use rarely or never, and probably won’t use in the future.
  • Delete those accounts in category 3, and then update the rest.

For the social profiles you use often, or plan to make better use of in the coming year, block some time on your calendar to review and refresh the details of each one. Here are just a few of the items you should include on an annual (or more frequent) maintenance schedule:

  • Update your profile picture. Have you ever met someone at a conference and realized that his/her picture must have been taken many years ago? Make yourself more recognizable by posting something current. [1]
  • Revise your bio or headline. Is your current profile information still relevant? Have you completed a degree or earned a credential that should be included? These bios introduce you to the world, so ensure that all of the pertinent details are in place.
  • Test links. If you profile includes links to a personal or professional website, online portfolio, or other resource, make sure that they are still working.
  • Provide contact information. If you are open to having other users contact you based on your social profiles, include some alternatives (e.g., email, online contact form, phone) and make them available

Review and (Re)set Goals

Are you using your social accounts and networks the way you thought you would when you set them up? Maybe you’ve tried several strategies that aren’t getting the results you planned for. It could be time for a change. What do you want to get out of the experience this year? Your goals might include items such as [2]:

  • Establish a brand for your center or practice
  • Publish updates on a regular basis (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly)
  • Share new types of resources, such as images and video
  • Engage in discussions through live events and/or online forums
  • Promote special events

Create a Task List for 2020

Taking some time to think about what’s working and what’s not, and setting realistic and relevant goals, will help you make the most of your limited social media time. Plan to accomplish several specific tasks in the coming months. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Make a list of the items you routinely share, such as event calendars, marketing materials, pictures, and links, and schedule these items for the coming year, and add something new to the list.
  • Create a roster of people you want to connect with in the New Year and begin making contact with each one through social accounts and communities.

Whether you are using social media as an individual professional or as part of a school career center or other career office, you can enhance your efforts with a little reflection, revision, and action.

References

[1] The Research and Science Behind Finding Your Best Profile Picture from BufferSocial – http://bit.ly/1ODrmVo

[2] Social Media Inventory Checklist: Are Your Social Marketing Efforts Outdated? From Business2Community.com – http://bit.ly/1Ps8OL2

Social Media -Have Things Changed Since Last Year?

According to the Pew Research Center, nope, not by much.

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Can you guess what’s hip with the young’uns (18-24)? If you said Snapchat and Instagram, you are on your game!

Other questions this article answers:

  • How often do adults visit social media sites?
  • Does that differ from frequency of young adults?
  • Who uses P*interest?
  • Does site preference vary by education level?
  • Are there racial/ethnic preferences for social media?

Why is this important? From both a counseling and marketing perspective, knowledge of what SM our clients or potential clients are using regularly is incredibly helpful, in that we can tailor our interventions as well as our advertising and outreach to the mediums that are most often used by the individuals we are seeking to help.

For access to the full article, click here.

Challenge Your Social Media Status Quo

This is a “reprint” from my Social Media column in the Career Development Network‘s  March-April 2019 Newsletter – Volume 41, Number 2.

This New Year isn’t so new anymore as the months pick up speed and calendars get full. One result is that my motivation for social media fades. I know I need to keep up, but as my time and energy start to wane, social media ends up on the back burner. If you are like me, it may be time to refresh your approach. Luckily, there are a few small steps we can take to get back on track.

social media inspiration

Set Up a Social Media Schedule

Develop a short list of social media tasks you want to accomplish every day, week, month, etc., and add them to your calendar! Social Media Today [1] provides a sample checklist to get you started. Making decisions in advance about what you’ll do and when can take some of the anxiety out of the process.

Create New Content

Sharing what others share is effective, and easy, but mixing in your own original posts is important, too. Constant Contact [2] created a 30-day content challenge with ideas like “Answer a Question”, “Share something funny”, “Give a shout out to another organization,” and many more. Explore the suggestions and add a few to your schedule.

Find Some Inspiration

When is the last time you followed new accounts and hashtags? It may be time to add an influx of creativity to your social media feed. Another Social Media Today resource [3] suggests five tools to find inspiration. One tool, Forecast, can help you find new events, while another, Feedly, helps you find new websites and forums.

What will it take to move you from passive to active with your social media accounts? It’s absolutely okay to take a break from social media (I even recommend it), but don’t stay away too long. Whether you are searching for a job, building a community, or extending the reach of your career office, find a way to jump start your social media efforts.

Resources

[1] Social Media Today. Your Ultimate Social Media Checklist. https://bit.ly/2NpnvEs

[2] Constant Contact. 30 Day Social Media Content Challenge. https://conta.cc/2k21rw8

[3] Social Media Today. 5 Tools for Social Media Content Inspiration. https://bit.ly/2BUHEun

Snap This! A Snapchat Experiment in Teaching Career Development

We had an amazing time at the NCDA Global Conference this year! Thanks to all of the organizers and attendees for the many effective learning and community-building opportunities. And a special thanks to all who joined our session on site! If you were not able to attend the conference, you can catch up on some of the event’s highlights by searching Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the event hashtag: #NCDAPhoenix.

In this post, we are excited to share our Snapchat presentation. It includes some Snapchat basics, along with a description of how we used Snapchat this past year in our courses – both campus-based (Deb) and online (Melissa). We each shared our goals for integrating social media, some lessons learned, tips for getting started, a list of suggested activities, and additional resources (also provided below).


Additional Resources

Are you using Snapchat with your students? If so, we’d love to hear more about your experience! If you aren’t using Snapchat, but are thinking about it, please add your questions to the comments here, so we can respond and continue the conversation.

Happy snapping. 😉

Gearing up for our #NCDA 2018 Snapchat Presentation

The 2018 NCDA Conference is just a little over a week away, and we are gearing up to share the results of our Snapchat Experiments. We are session #511 on Friday afternoon.

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We started this journey last August, and are just 2 weeks from its completion! We have integrated SC into different class delivery venues, ranging from completely face-to-face, to hybrid, to completely online. We aim to have something for everyone, from the pre-SC user to the expert. We’ll cover basics of SC, pitfalls to avoid, success stories and embarrassing failures, and leave you with a list of potential activities for those brave enough to venture into this crazy SC world. Download the app – we’ll be using it in the session! We’d love to see you all there!