A social presence is a norm in our current society even if we don’t realise it, with 1550 million active facebook users and 316 active twitter users most people have a social presence and with linkedin having 97 million active users, it’s evident job prospects can be a motive for having a good, professional social profile. With social media growing each year, a useful skill is knowing how to use it well, especially if employers are wanting you to market them and you can initially prove how well you can do that with how you market yourself.
How to create a professional online profile?
- Make it clear who you are – your usernames and profile names and profile images across social medias should be consistent and display your name, rather than anything overly casual so that you’re easier to find and so that it’s clear your purpose is professional and not for personal use.
- Make your purpose and skills clear – employers and people who may want to collaborate can’t know what you’re capable of unless you share that on your profile. Cahootify has a feature where you can clearly display your skills, and LinkedIn is focused around this idea. With Twitter you can share media relevant to your profession and your own work whilst having your current profession and aspirations in your bio and on Facebook you can create a page on which you can upload your own media work to share with others.
- Get linked to current professionals – follow others linked to your topics of interest so that you can keep up to date with information and possibly communicate in order to gain attention from each other’s following and collaborate on future work, especially in the media field.
- Keep content professional and accessible – if you want to be seen as a professional then what you share ought to link to the subject (which you can find by sharing other professionals work or using sites such as Klout which give information that you’re likely to be interested in) and you shouldn’t have to worry about what people may see – if your profile is private then there’s no point trying to appear professional to potential employers or colleagues as they won’t be able to see it.
Good Twitter Example:
Bad Twitter Example:
And now, there’s a new network designed just for those wanting to market themselves in the media industry:
Cahootify is a social media platform that those aspiring to involve themselves in the film industry can involve themselves in, in two ways: showcasing their existing work and searching for people to collaborate with for future projects. People looking for something to work on can simply select ‘projects with needs’ and then search for a project to work on and offer to partake. Once the project, whether it be a short film or audio file, has been completed, it will appear on the profile of those who were involved and their roles so that users can easily show what they have done and already completed projects can also be uploaded so that users can tag themselves in them with their role. This means people who have one skill but need others to complete what they can’t do can easily connect with them, by either searching for them or being found and create the desired finish product and have a collected place on the web to showcase these. A finished project with the users role involved also means that the skills they associate with themselves become confirmed so that not only do users have the freedom of folksonomy so that they can define themselves how they please, but other users who are interested in their involvement can see evidence of their skills, making the site more reliable and easier to show what you’re capable of.
As a site, Cahootify is a social network as it allows individuals from across the world with a variety of different interests, such as writing, acting or marketing, and those with a different level of experience in film to discover each other and make connections as they choose by being able to browse through profiles in the taxonimical order or amount of projects, assignments or recent profiles and you are then able to message them individually. This is what separates Cahootify from other film-enthusiast websites such as GoInToTheStory, IndieTalk and Filmmaker which are more based on sharing opinions on already existing films and sharing tips rather than creating together or looking for potential work, making them appear more as online communities than social networks.
However, once a group of people who have decided to come together to create a project begin to collaborate on Cahootify, it becomes an online community as there is a shared interest in something and that is to create and complete a media based project – although it could be said that the whole website is a community as everyone has the shared interest of wanting to create media. A feature the site could add to improve its functionality is adding a group chat feature that a member of a project was automatically added to once accepted in, with features particular to aiding the creative process, such as labels next to the name during the chat saying the role of each person and easily being able to embed image and video. Also the ability to upload media straight to the website as currently you need to embed a link from soundcloud, youtube or vimeo so this may be useful for the site itself when people choose to share their work as it would get traffic to the website and it would be more useful for the users to keep all of their projects in one organised place rather than having some projects on soundcloud and some on youtube. However, Cahootify does offer widgets that allow you to post a link to the page you’re on, on the websites Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ so that viewers from that site can be taken to view your Cahootify profile and in future it may be useful for Cahootify to have a widget of its own so that it can be displayed on profiles on other social media which allowed widgets such as WordPress and Youtube.
Although Cahootify itself doesn’t have features such as group chat or a way to upload straight to their website, this means users will have to use media such as Skype or Facebook chat and this highlights that you ought to be active across all social networks in order to successfully promote not only yourself when looking for job prospects but the work you’ve created and will create; as networks like Cahootify may be the reason online communities and work is created, but the other social networks are the way this is shared and enjoyed as those who aren’t professionals may not have the time or motivation to research into media projects but may enjoy watching them once presented on their social media of choice. On Twitter this may be through the retweet feature or pinning a tweet showing your work such as a video to the top of your profile, on Facebook it may be sharing the video so that everyone on your friends list or on a group page has the option to view it and blogging sites such as WordPress allow users to embed media.