Valdosta Daily Times


March 23, 2014

Brittany's Budget Diary

Stop thinking you are above social media

SAVANNAH — Contrary to popular belief, there is a professional and monetary benefit to using social media. I don’t completely blame you for repelling virtual interaction; teenagers and people like me have really ruined it for the rest of you with our selfies and incessant archiving of every meal. Personally, I know I need to chill out, but when I eat a banging sandwich topped off with a Coke zero, I’m going to want to talk about it.

To be honest with you, the benefits of using social media really outweigh the pitfalls, as obnoxious as they may be. A lot of people don’t realize that using social media can actually increase your worth as a professional and potentially make you more money. I’m not just talking about making a Facebook page for your business either. I’m talking about personal profiles that brand you. So stop being a social media snob, and take my advice. Here are four things you should be doing to increase your personal worth.


1. Get a LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a social networking site for people in professional occupations, also known as the “grown up Facebook”. It’s not a place to post pictures of your dog or baby, or make hundreds of albums devoted to your vacation. Rather, it’s a virtual resume. For example, my LinkedIn profile features a summary of my professional background, my current job and an outline of my responsibilities, my past jobs and a brief overview of my responsibilities at each of them, my certifications, educational background, awards and honors, a list of my publications, and some PDF’s of my writing samples.


The great thing about LinkedIn is that it gives you an opportunity to connect with professionals in your field and across various other fields. You can keep tabs on what your colleagues are working on, the professional articles they are reading, and can even join groups that will notify you of job postings that are curtailed to your background and interests. A lot of companies have begun using LinkedIn to headhunt potential employees. I know several people personally who have the jobs they have now because they were found on LinkedIn. LinkedIn can also help you get promotions if you are connected with your superiors on the network. Every time you hit a work anniversary, or gain a new certification or award, it is reflected in your profile and updated on the home feed. If your boss sees you achieving all these certifications and awards, and really going the extra mile, you could get a better job and more cash in your pocket.


2. Get on Twitter . . . And use it correctly

Twitter is a social networking platform that enables users to post 140 character messages or “tweets”. While Twitter is the platform of choice for today’s younger generation, it is also a great place to improve yourself professionally as long as you are following the appropriate people. Whether you are in marketing, education, non-profit, or business, you will surely find top professionals in your field using Twitter. These professionals often tweet advice and informative articles that expand your thinking, and improve your overall outlook on a subject. For this reason alone, signing on to Twitter each day is like attending a mini-conference in your field. These nuggets of information have the potential to improve your job performance and keep you sharp in your field, therefore making you more eligible for promotions or new jobs. It’s always impressive to site a recent news article or publication in a meeting or a job interview.


3. Utilize the Google+ profile

Google+ is a social network and identity service that functions as so much more than just a social networking site. While it has many functions, I only want to talk to you about the personal profile. If you have a Gmail account, use Google Drive, or any other Google services, you already have a blank profile that is just waiting for your personal touches. Like LinkedIn, Google+ allows you to profile your educational and professional background and link with other professionals. Utilizing this profile also increases your Search Engine Optimizations (SEO). This means when a company is turning to Google to look for professionals in that field, you’re going to come up in the search results if you have the correct key words in your profile.


4. Be really active on Faceboo

Facebook is the one social network as a professional where it is okay to post family pictures, pictures of your dog, and status updates on your vacations. In fact, you want your superiors to see you as a person and not just an employee. If your boss gets to know you on a personal level, they will become more connected with you and are more likely to give you a raise and even a promotion. Even in worst-case scenarios, say your company needs to lay some people off. Who do you think will get cut first? The single employee who posts pictures of their bar hopping, or the married with kids employee who just sent their oldest to college?


That’s all I have for you this week budgeteers. Don’t forget to like me on Facebook at, and follow me on Twitter @BDenneyMcClure.

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