Guest blogger Jason Mollica is the owner of JRM Comm. Formerly the public relations manager at a strategic marketing and PR firm near Buffalo, New York, he was responsible for educating clients on social media, strategic marketing plans, as well as media training. Prior to this, Jason worked at Niagara University in the Office of Communications and Public Relations. Jason’s research included participation in several seminars and was also chairman of the sector’s Social Media Committee at Niagara University. Through these experiences, Jason has seen firsthand the impact that effective social media marketing strategies can have on companies and organizations.
Social networking. We think we know it all sometimes. You’ve heard friends and colleagues say, “Facebook? I have 530 friends” or “I have 2,000 followers on Twitter, I’m a rockstar!” If it were only that simple, right?
I don’t think I need to tell you that it’s not (all) about followers, friends, and Klout scores. You need to have a good understanding how you can benefit from social media and how you can benefit others. Listen and engage those you know and want to know better.
If you don’t grasp the power of what social networking can do for you, someone else will. This is true before you graduate and even while you are a seasoned pro.
Here are four ways to use social networking to better yourself and your future job prospects:
• Keep your LinkedIn profile current and crisp: The stats don’t lie. LinkedIn is a popular place for recruiters and employers to look at your qualifications. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and has trusted recommendations. And I don’t mean ones from friends.
• Flickr can be used to your advantage: I’m working with a tourism client that uses Flickr to showcase photos of the area. This helps show what we have to offer and the great things to do around town. Show a potential employer (or client) the visual side of your skills.
• Pin it: Yes, Pinterest has exploded onto the scene. Don’t discount it. Understand how retailers are using it and adapt it to show a great campaign you launched, or even use it as a portfolio.
• Don’t discount blogging: In public relations, we do a ton of writing. However, I’ve seen a lot of bad examples of it. Sharpen your writing skills as well as your critical thinking and create a blog. It’s your avenue to expound on issues in PR, social and marketing.
The most important thing to realize is that we must continue to evolve as PR practitioners, marketers, and social media professionals. You may think Pinterest isn’t for you. Well, there will be someone else who will think it is for them and leapfrog you to get a job or new client. Don’t be the person who misses out… open your mind, keep sharp and, most importantly, ALWAYS keep learning.