Do you think assistants should use social media for professional purposes? Now I think a lot of you might have guessed where I stand on this question? If you answered positively then yes you would be correct I think using social media for your professional development and networking is an absolute must! That must, however, does come with a big but! There are many many positives but there are some negatives, and you do have to be careful to not damage your reputation in any way. Here are my Social Media do’s and don’ts for assistants. We have lots of blog posts on Social Media if you would like to learn more.
Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for assistants
Don’t forget that everyone is different especially when it comes to humour. You might think you’ve written something hilarious but someone else ..… well… might not!
Do keep your personal and professional accounts separate. If you intend to use your account for your life outside of work, I would suggest you think about which colleagues to connect with socially because you never know what could get back to senior management.
Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your manager to see. No matter how much you want to vent your frustrations don’t! I wouldn’t recommend this for your accounts either!
Do use social media for different aspects of your career. Twitter is great for networking and hearing from other assistants, LinkedIn is great for professional development and job hunting, Facebook is useful for sharing useful articles and receiving updates from relevant companies.
Don’t use abusive language. Being a bit controversial is good, but offensive is bad!
Do post pictures of yourself and your environment ensure they are professional and not too revealing! Pinterest is a fabulous website for posting images and sharing photos with other assistants.
Don’t overshare. You may have strong beliefs or feel overly emotional but social media platforms are not the place to share these thoughts. Instead, you want a delicate balance of showing your personality while remaining to the point and professional
Do share links and interesting articles you have read as this is a great way to interact with your network and provide support for others.
Don’t spend all day on your social networking sites, remember you still have to do the work you are talking about on social media! Have a specific reason for visiting a website and stick to that a few times a day as it can be easy to fritter away the hours on Twitter, Facebook etc.
Do encourage your company to use social media to interact with clients and potential leads. If you use social media make your manager aware that you have this skill set and can help the company with their social media strategy
Don’t go full steam ahead on all social media platforms if you are new to this. I would start with LinkedIn, build your profile and join a few groups so that you understand how the community works.
Do participate in the conversation. It is easy to lurk behind the scenes particularly when you first start with social media, but you must get involved to get the most out of these networks.
Don’t just do social networking; you still have to network face to face by attending events and training sessions. If you are going to any events, do tell everyone in your network just in case you can meet in person.
Do keep an eye on your reputation, Google your name every now and again to make sure your details are up to date and remain professional. This is especially important if you are looking for a new job. I would recommend you set up a Google alert specifically for your name, this is free to do and again helpful when job hunting.
Don’t overload your network with just your updates, make sure you spread over people’s updates and comment on other posts and interactions.
Do promote yourself and your achievements. There is never anything wrong with strutting your stuff when it comes to your career, and as you know us assistants are not the best at congratulating ourselves when we really should be!
Don’t neglect consistency. If you are going to network using social media ensure you log on at frequent intervals to keep up to date with all of your network’s news. Using automated platforms such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite are useful for keeping updated.
Do use social media to engage with potential suppliers and resources for the office. Twitter and LinkedIn are great for seeking recommendations and finding new and exciting suppliers.
Don’t neglect to proofread your updates. Trust me; there will always be someone out there correcting your mistakes!
So that was my do’s and don’ts for assistants using social media. As I said at the beginning of the blog I would highly recommend using social media as I think it does help assistants realise that there is a worthwhile debate going on and we should be discussing with each other how best to do our job. It isn’t easy and knowing that other people are experiencing the same thing is comforting!
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