Social Media Basics for Career Breakers

By The iRelaunch Team

Social media has drastically changed the way we connect and communicate, and all indications predict it is here to stay. In a 2017 report released by We Are Social and Hootsuite, statistics show 2.8 billion social media users globally, or about 37% of the world’s population. That more than doubled the number of new users reported the previous year.

While it may seem many social media sites are more personal than work-related, it is critical that you familiarize yourself with the major platforms so you can be on equal footing with others in your workplace. In addition, many companies use social media to market their products and services, and you need to understand how they work and who they target. Following is a list of some of the most popular social media sites, along with key information that will put you “in the know.”

  • Facebook. The most popular of social media sites, Facebook reported an average of 1.4 billion active daily users in December 2017. Users enjoy status updates, photos and videos from friends, family, and brands they follow. Learn more about using Facebook personal profiles and how to manage your account.

    Millions of businesses, big and small, use Facebook’s apps and services to connect with real people on any device. Facebook Blueprint offers a selection of free eLearning courses designed to help you learn more about how businesses use Facebook for marketing.
     
  • Twitter. Once nearly as popular as Facebook, Twitter now is often overshadowed by the rising popularity of Instagram. However, Twitter still remains as a contender in the world of social media with over 330 million users. Tweets are limited to 140 characters or less, and can be accompanied by photos and short videos. Twitter’s popularity is partially due to the fact that users can follow any other Twitter user with a public profile. This is of particular interest to public figures; whether celebrities, politicians or corporate executives. Learn more about using Twitter in this helpful Get Started Guide.
     
  • Instagram. The “younger sibling” to Facebook has become wildly popular. It has grown rapidly, now boasting over 800 million users. Instagram features highly visual news feeds, placing emphasis on photos and short videos. This social network is most popular with teens and young Millennials. Follow these steps to get started on Instagram.

    Big corporations, small businesses and artists display rich media representations of their products and services to attract followers, and pair their posts with corresponding hashtags to further engage their audience. Learn more about how businesses use Instagram for marketing.
     
  • Snapchat. Snapchat has enjoyed a consistently rising number of users. Currently, over 178 million people actively use this social network. Snapchat appeals to younger mobile users, who access snaps and stories from people they are personally acquainted with and brands they wish to discover. Some businesses have adopted Snapchat as a marketing channel because of its wide reach, especially with younger users. Visit Snapchat support for more on this growing social network.
     
  • Pinterest. Although many associate Pinterest with recipes and crafting inspiration, this social network is quite a powerhouse. At 200 million users, Pinterest features a warehouse of information and inspiration. Pinterest is an electronic means of creating “idea books;” users peruse the highly visual newsfeed and can save ideas to a board for future reference. They also have the ability to “buy now” from brand-sponsored pins. Learn all about Pinterest in the network’s Help Center. Some businesses also create boards to attract and inspire new followers and build rapport with their existing audience. Discover how brands use Pinterest for marketing.
     
  • LinkedIn. Known as the social media network for professionals, LinkedIn boasts an impressive 467 million members. Users typically connect with other professionals in virtual networking environment. LinkedIn members benefit from creating a profile that highlights their educational achievements, professional experience, volunteer activities and searching for job opportunities. Businesses create company pages, post job opportunities, and use LinkedIn during the recruitment process. Visit the LinkedIn Help Center for information on navigating this social network.

Even though this is a comprehensive list of the most popular social networks, it is by no means a complete one. When preparing for an interview with a company, it is recommended you search for that brand’s presence on each of these social networks. Take note of what they are posting and what kind of interaction has been taking place with their audience. What you learn may provide you with a slight edge when you are talking with that company’s representatives in your interview.

ICAEW Career Breakers Community, together with CABA will be hosting a series of events to help you get your LinkedIn profile into tip top shape.  Keep an eye out for dates.

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  • Good overview. I learned so much about social media during my career break - professional firms seem to have come relatively late to the party. LinkedIn is widely used by companies and recruiters alike, and is a great way of keeping in touch with your network as you build it. I did a very useful online course in digital marketing during my career break which I can recommend, and at a very low cost. Contact me if you would like further details. It has come in useful already in my first contract since returning to the workplace, albeit part time, last month.