How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform
When it comes to figuring out the best social media platform to use in your career, the first step is to prioritize what’s important to you. Is it expanding your reach? Is it generating more leads? Is it finding work?
From there, it’s about determining which platform will give you the right exposure with the right audience. Is your brand very visual so it lends itself to platforms like Instagram or TikTok? Is it focused on real-time events, and would it work well on Twitter? Or is your audience diverse and requires a combination of platforms such as YouTube and LinkedIn?
Let’s dive into popular social media networks to learn more!
LinkedIn takes the cake as the world’s largest professional networking site, with over 280 million monthly users. Regardless of your industry, if you are looking for a job, clients, or to learn more about your desired field, it is important to create and optimize a LinkedIn profile. This is because LinkedIn provides a venue for professionals at all career stages to develop relationships with industry leaders, recruiters, hiring managers and potential clients.
To make the best use of LinkedIn, it is important to leverage your online connections into deeper, long-lasting professional relationships. The easiest way to do this is by sending a personalized message with every connection request. It is common for professionals to receive numerous requests daily, so do your research, be polite and connect based on common ground. We recommend connecting with Yorkville Alumni to get started.
When using LinkedIn, consistency is one of the best ways to build community. This is because the more active you are, the more likely it is that your connections will remember you. Remain consistent by posting interesting articles and sharing your work. In addition, support those that you admire by re-posting, liking, and commenting on their activity. At the end of the day, building strong connections is all about quality, not quantity!
Whether you’re a content creator, graphic designer, or small business, Instagram can help you build brand awareness and generate leads. In particular, Instagram is an excellent platform for creatives who work visually. After all, the main intention of the platform is to share and find the best photos and videos possible.
Instagram is known for being a platform that is very personal. In fact, accounts that show the creators face receive 38% more likes. Therefore, it is recommended that you answer questions, host Instagram lives, and post stories of your day-to-day life to increase your follower count.
Finally, choose your profile type wisely. Instagram suggests that the Creator Account is best used by content creators, photographers, artists, and influencers; whereas the Business Account is suitable for retailers, local businesses, brands, organizations, or service providers. Before creating a professional account, do your research and learn which account type will work best for you.
If you’re not on TikTok already, you may think that this platform is all about challenges, trends, and dance videos. However, there are also a lot of opportunities for professionals to connect with their audience on a personal level. In fact, TikTok users spend a whopping 52 minutes a day using the platform, so it is great for developing a strong sense of community.
It is highly recommended to use TikTok if you work with video content, whether in front of the camera, or behind the camera. Therefore, if you’re a filmmaker, actor, or editor, you might want to consider this platform. Considering your audience is a key factor in determining if TikTok is right for you, as 75% of all users are between 18 and 34 years old.
Similarly to Instagram, TikTok users seek out content that they can relate to Instead of going against the trends, go with them! After all, TikTok’s algorithm curates user feeds based on what they have previously watched, liked, and interacted with. When asked in the 2022 GlobalWebIndex survey how users use TikTok, most respondents answered: “to find funny/entertaining content.” Develop videos that make your desired audience smile!
Facebook is the world’s leading platform when it comes to monthly users, attracting 2.9 billion each month, and tends to be most popular with older millennials. If you are job searching or looking to expand your professional network, then Facebook groups (communities built around a particular niche/demographic/interest) are for you!
To find relevant groups, search the platform for keywords related to your field and location or ask for word-of-mouth recommendations. After you join target communities, don’t forget to put the social in social media by being generous and curious. Make an intro post; comment; ask questions; share content that is useful to the community (not self-promotional), and you’ll be rewarded with genuine connections that you can translate into real-world opportunities.
You don’t need to create a business page and you don’t even need to make your personal profile public to make the best of Facebook group networking. However, we advise that your profile name and photo remain the same across all your platforms so that you are easily recognizable when making new connections. After all, you want your professional brand to be identifiable!
If you have graduated or are nearing graduation from Yorkville or Toronto Film School, we recommend staying in touch via Yorkville Alumni Group!
Compared with LinkedIn and Facebook, the Twittersphere moves at breakneck speed. As a platform where users spend only 6 minutes a day and yet is their preferred space to get their news – this is a feed that favours direct, current, instantaneous content. If you are looking for an opportunity to network, establish your brand, learn more about what’s happening in your industry and, certainly, if you have a flair for writing – then this is the platform for you.
To make the best of Twitter, make sure you are first curating your feed so that you are following thought leaders, companies and hiring managers in your field of interest. Take time to craft a bio that speaks to your professional brand, and make sure your settings are such that anyone can DM you, leaving the door open to recruiters and new networking connections.
Build community by supporting those you admire through retweeting/quote tweeting and commenting on others’ content. Use hashtags to both look for jobs (e.g., #nowhiring) but also to find and weigh in on trending discussion topics relevant to your field. The joy of Twitter is its ability to connect you to the bigger industry conversations happening right now.
There are countless additional platforms that cater for niche audiences e.g., YouTube, ArtStation, Behance, Github, Snapchat, Pinterest and so many more.
The key is to do your research and learn where your target audience – whether that’s clients, potential hiring managers and/or peers in your field – congregate online. Learn more about their age, location, and social media habits as well as how to play to the algorithms of each platform before you invest lots of time. It’s better to do one platform well, than five without a clear strategy. And keep your eyes peeled for new opportunities; platforms evolve, pop up and disappear every year as technology marches forward.
From Social to IRL
Social media is a powerful tool to help you establish your professional reputation and to meet others online in your field. To really leverage your time and efforts, transfer these new virtual connections to one-to-one meetings. Ask to meet new contacts for a ‘coffee chat’ or informational interview and transform your social connections into opportunities IRL.
By Alexandra Stancato, Career Advisor & Emma Hartley, Alumni Liaison Specialist
This blog post is an abbreviated version of Career Services’ webinar “Leveraging Social Media as a Creative”, click here to watch the full video.