So You're On The Internet, Huh?by Alexis
How do I know I've fallen victim to the social media plague? It may or may not have something to do with checking Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook before going to sleep. And before getting out of bed in the morning. And skimming through updates periodically throughout the day. I mean, really, have you seen the "Social Media" folder on my iPhone? I need a folder for my folder. And then if I could just take a screenshot of that folder in a folder and Instagram it, my day would be complete.
Look, I work for a social media agency. It's part of what I do. Being able to be fluent and understand the complexities of each platform has such great value for this line of work. The ability to know the ins and outs of each platform helps establish Carrot as an expert in the industry. But there's a delicate balance you have to strike with your online presence. As cliched as it might sound, being "online" and having a "brand" (ugh, I hate myself for saying that) is all about curation and providing some sort of value to your readers/followers/stalkers.
Funny enough, it's because of my involvement in Tumblr that I wound up at Carrot, in a round-a-bout way at least. You see, I have a blog. No, not one of those blogs. I don't post my deepest, darkest secrets. I mean really, my parents read it. But this blog is about me. It consists of photos I take, food I make, food I want to make, music I listen to, and funny things that happen to me on any given day. I've been told that my blog "sounds" like me, that the tone represents my personality, and that you can get a good sense of me as a person from reading it. And this should be your goal.
Ultimately, it was through someone I met at that startup that I got the job at Carrot. So forget what everyone says, being on social media can be good for your career. However, I think the real question is, what sort of things can you post that will help you get a job, rather than hurt your chances. And, frankly, I think the answer is to be yourself; focus on a specific interest you have (for me, it's eating as much dessert as I can possibly stuff into my body), and connect with people you find interesting. Keep your internet presence friendly and never hesitate to reach out. The truth is that most people are more than happy to talk to you over a cup of coffee. But, don't come off as creepy. I think you know what I mean: "Hey I saw on Foursquare that you love Mudspot in the East Village and go there every weekend. Wanna get a cup of coffee there together?" No. Please don't take that route.
Use common sense. But really, become a pseudo "expert" at something. Okay, maybe expert is too strong of a word. But essentially, showing your interests in a positive light on social networks will connect you to those with similar interests. Connect, reach out to people, and be your genuine self. Positively contribute to the online community and your efforts will pay off in dividends. See you on the internet.