Millennials get credit for being the most digitally literate generation, but only a small percentage actually actively engage in social media. So, during lectures at Brigham Young University last week, I urged all PR students to ramp up their engagement in social media.
Social media options are overwhelming, which perhaps explains the reluctance of some to venture much beyond texting. But to succeed in business, students and aspiring professionals must embrace the top three social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Before dabbling with the dozens of other platforms, you must build solid bases in these Big Three of business—beginning with LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile arguably is more important than your resume, so spend time developing it. Besides a quality photo and results-oriented bullet points under each position, expand your connections. Shoot for the coveted 500+ connections level. Follow influencers and companies in public relations since they will appear on your profile page.
Next, focus on Twitter. Follow thought leaders and colleagues in your profession, not just celebrities and media stars who are unlikely to follow you back. Set an initial follower goal in the triple digits, then shoot for 1,000. Decide on your personal brand objective and regularly tweet relevant articles and comments. Retweet and Favorite tweets of others. The influencers notice who does so.
Facebook can be more personal, but be mindful of what you post. Again, think of your personal brand before you post something that contradicts what you want others to think of you. LIKE pages of organizations and individuals who are influential in the profession.
Finally, it’s okay to try out the dozens of other platforms, some of which are more fad than lasting. Just remember to focus first on the “Big Three” of business. If you veer off the top three platforms, try to confine yourself to the next tier of social media platforms that have varying degrees of popularity in the business world.