Social Media No Longer for Play; It’s for Work!

Social Media No Longer for Play; It’s for Work!

With the digital divide between blacks and whites experiencing a steady decline in the past decade, most African Americans now have access to the Internet and computers.  In fact, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 7 in 10 blacks use social networking sites, while only six in 10 whites do the same.  Additionally, nearly half of black Internet users visit a social networking site on a daily basis versus only one-third of white Internet users.

While social media sites like Facebook may offer fun games and opportunities to interact with friends, many social media users are missing out on the professional benefits of using sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Now is definitely the time to embrace career opportunities via social networks. CBS News reports that the unemployment rate among African Americans in the United States is now at 16.2 percent, compared to a national average of 9.1 percent.  Pair that information with the fact that the 2011 Kelly Global Workforce Index found that the number one way to find a job is online.  It’s time to get into gear online!

Getting started using social media for business can be difficult, if you do not have a plan.  Here are three tips for using social media to advance your career or business:

  1. Create a profile on LinkedIn. Fill out your profile completely. Feel free to use my profile as a template. Human resources professionals search LinkedIn daily to find talent.  Also, use the “Jobs” tab to view open positions.
  2. If you’re on Facebook, evaluate and update your profile. Take down all of the party pictures, unfriend any friends who are likely to post inappropriate information on your profile and add your professional information on the “Info” tab.
  3. Make your social media profiles public. You want potential clients, employers and influencers to find you and send opportunities your way!  Remember to remain mindful of everything that appears on your profiles.  Let your personality show, but post business- or industry-related posts as well.

Crystal Washington is a marketing strategist, social media consultant, keynote speaker and the co-founder of Socialtunities, a workshop that helps business owners and professionals leverage social media opportunities for business and career.

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