Morphing Into the IT Business Professional: Social Media 101

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If you’ve been on social media for a while, you probably noticed there’s a lot of information out there. Even though you’ve been engaging, how do you start to morph your current presence into that of an IT leader? Here are some tips to cut through the noise and transform your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles into a true online IT professional persona.

Plan Your Presence

Start by asking yourself what is important to you professionally. What are the issues and topics that you’re passionate about? Who do you want your audience to be? Are you looking for prospective employers? Peers? Mentorship or mentee opportunities? As you start to crystallize your interests and audience, you set the focus of your online persona.

Follow the (Other) Leaders

Identify peers that influence your work, publications that you read on a regular basis, and companies that you’ve collaborated with. In his advice for professionals looking into Twitter, CG Lynch suggests that “You don't need to know people personally, but they should relate to your interests … look for luminaries in your industry who often publish links to things they're reading with short comments on it.” If you need an idea of what other CIOs are doing, check out Vala Afshar’s The Top 100 Most Social CIOs on Twitter 2015.

Twitter and LinkedIn

Twitter and LinkedIn are the two primary social channels for professionals. With both channels, it’s key to remember your responsibility is to represent your brand. It’s your role to add value to both you, your company, and your followers by driving the conversation. Here are some useful tips on how best to optimize your presence for each.

Twitter

  1. Follow those who influence you: Consider industry leaders, colleagues, specific industry publications, and companies.
  2. Share what you already know: Retweet and mention articles of interest, as well as relevant industry events.
  3. Engage with others: Reply to those who tweet you. Take initiative and share your own interests, thoughts, and best practices.

LinkedIn

Jamie Shanks suggests that your LinkedIn profile “ … should be customer-centric, focused on what value you can offer to your prospects.” He also goes on to recommend viewing your profile as a digital business card rather than a resume.

  1. Be visible: Add a professional photo of yourself. According to Shanks, a profile with a photo is 11 times more likely to be viewed.
  2. Gear experience to your audience: Be specific regarding how your previous experience garnered value and results for your previous employers and clients
  3. Ask for feedback: Reach out to trusted colleagues to provide you recommendations and skill endorsements
  4. Create content: Similar to Twitter, you can blog directly on LinkedIn Pulse. For more, check out Matt Kapko’s information on Pulse and how you can start blogging.

Get the Two Talking

The beauty of social media is that you can promote yourself through both channels at the same time to deepen the value of your content. Say that you recently helped a client successfully overhaul a legacy platform, and you wrote about your experience on your company blog. You can use LinkedIn to provide an update that links to your post and simultaneously prepare tweets talking about your post to your followers. Or, perhaps you retweeted an article on cloud computing. You can also share that same article through your LinkedIn.

And there you have it! Quick and easy tips on how to boost your social media presence. Now that you’re ready to optimize, stay tuned for my next blog where I’ll go more in-depth on being a social IT professional. Until then, check out my last blog post, “The Social IT Professional.”

Leave your comments below or continue the conversation on Twitter (@jen_aust) and on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferaust).