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7 tips for making sure social media doesn’t kill your career

(Social Media) Most careers now depend on our digital footprints, so without being disingenuous, how can we make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot online?

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Social media can definitely hurt your career

If you’re job hunting and have half of a brain, you probably already know that you shouldn’t tweet pictures of yourself taking hits from a five foot bong, and you shouldn’t tag yourself in photos on Facebook laying out topless on the beach, but there are some less obvious ways you may be sabotaging yourself.

Have you considered the frequency and timing of your social media use, or who you’re friends with online as part of what an employer sees? In many cases, that’s their first impression of you, before you ever even land that interview, so make sure you are polished in a meaningful way.

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To unveil these less obvious tips for making sure social media doesn’t kill your career, we tapped Eamon Collins, Marketing Director at PageGroup, which he offers in his own words below:

1. Don’t be too active on social media at the wrong times

If you’re constantly tweeting, sharing and liking content during the day when you’re supposed to be working, then at some stage your boss is going to wonder if you’re really committed to your job.

Try out the Stay Focused chrome app that blocks you from accessing certain sites e.g. Twitter and Facebook when you’re working.

2. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that what you share is private

Because you’re not friends with your work colleagues, you think what you talk about can’t be found? Wrong!
Default settings for most social networks are set to open, so unless you’ve changed your privacy settings, it’s likely an employer or recruiter can see everything about you.

Learn how to update your privacy settings on the main social networks with our social media guide.

3. Think about the repercussions of what you post on social media

There are many examples of people who’ve lost their jobs due to social media mess ups. A high flying PR director (who should have known a lot better) tweeted this just before getting on a plane to South Africa:

justine sacco

She’d lost her job by the time she’d landed…

If you’d think twice about saying something in a work context, it’s probably not a good idea not to post it.

4. Don’t treat all social networking sites the same

Although the line between personal and private social networks is becoming blurred, when it comes to your career there are definitely some networks that you should be more concerned with than others.
In a recent study, 94% of recruiters who use social media to find candidates said they used LinkedIn, but only 34% say they use Twitter.

Focus on keeping the most corporate social networks, e.g. LinkedIn, as professional as possible. See tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

5. Don’t let your past catch up with you

It’s important to remember with the internet that once content goes live online, it tends to stay around.
To make sure there’s nothing from your past on the internet that you’d rather forget, Google yourself. And if there are things showing up there that you don’t want to show up, you need to do some reputation management work.

6. Don’t forget who you’re friends with

A friend request from your boss can be a big deal on social media. Whatever you do, you shouldn’t leave your boss’s friend request hanging.

You’ve got two options. You can set yourself up on Facebook and Twitter so you’re unsearchable or unfollowable (find out how in our social media guide). If you don’t want to do that, then it’s time to clear up your profile, accept their request and be much more careful about what you post in future.

7. Don’t fail to keep secrets

Tweeting about things that you shouldn’t is social media 101. But when things are supposed to be secret, like pay negotiations, a new job offer, or confidential discussions about mergers and acquisitions, your indiscretions can be a big deal.

In one of the most famous incidents, infamously nicknamed “Cisco Fatty,” a graduate student landed an internship at Cisco, and then tweeted;

“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”

Needless to say, the tweet went viral, and his offer was withdrawn.

The takeaway

As Collins said, some of this is social media 101, but you’d be surprised the caliber of people that violate these basics, so keep them in mind as you travel along the path to success, and don’t tweet so blindly.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Social Media

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?

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Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

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Social Media

TikTok enters the e-commerce space, ready to compete with Zuckerberg?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Setting up social media for e-commerce isn’t an uncommon practice, but for TikTok this means the next step competing with Facebook and Instagram.

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Couple taking video with mobile phone, prepared for e-commerce.

Adding e-commerce offerings to social media platforms isn’t anything new. However, TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, is rolling out some new e-commerce features that will place the social video app in direct competition with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram.

According to a Financial Times report, TikTok’s new features will allow the platform to create and expand its e-commerce service in the U.S. The new features will allow TikTok’s popular users to monetize their content. These users will be able to promote and sell products by sharing product links in their content. In return, TikTok will profit from the sales by earning a commission.

Among the features included is “live-streamed” shopping. In this mobile phone shopping channel, users can purchase products by tapping on products during a user’s live demo. Also, TikTok plans on releasing a feature that will allow brands to display their product catalogs.

Currently, Facebook has expanded into the e-commerce space through its Facebook Marketplace. In May 2020, it launched Facebook Shops that allows businesses to turn their Facebook and Instagram stories into online stores.

But, Facebook hasn’t had too much luck in keeping up with the video platform in other areas. In 2018, the social media giant launched Lasso, its short-form video app. But the company’s TikTok clone didn’t last too long. Last year, Facebook said bye-bye to Lasso and shut it down.

Instagram is trying to compete with TikTok by launching Instagram Reels. This feature allows users to share short videos just like TikTok, but the future of Reels isn’t set in stone yet. By the looks of it, videos on Reels are mainly reposts of video content posted on TikTok.

There is no word on when the features will roll out to influencers on TikTok, but according to the Financial Times report, the social media app’s new features have already been viewed by some people.

TikTok has a large audience that continues to grow. By providing monetization tools in its platform, TikTok believes its new tools will put it ahead of Facebook in the e-commerce game, and help maintain that audience.

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Social Media

Your favorite Clubhouse creators can now ask for your financial support

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Clubhouse just secured new funding – what it means for creators and users of the latest quarantine-based social media darling.

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Woman talking on Clubhouse on her iPhone with a big smile.

Clubhouse – the live-voice chat app that has been taking the quarantined world by storm – has recently announced that it has raised new funding in a Series B round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.

The app confirms that new funding means compensation for creators; much like the influencers on TikTok and YouTube, now Clubhouse creators will be able to utilize features such as subscriptions, tipping, and ticket sales to monetize their content.

To encourage emerging Clubhouse creators and invite new voices, funding round will also support a promising “Creator Grant Program”.

On the surface, Clubhouse is undoubtedly cool. The invite-only, celebrity-filled niche chatrooms feel utopic for any opinionated individual – or anyone that just likes to listen. At its best, Clubhouse brings to mind collaborative campfire chats, heated lecture-hall debates or informative PD sessions. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m actually obsessed.

And now with its new round, the video chatroom app will not only appear cool but also act as a helpful steppingstone to popular and emerging creators alike. “Creators are the lifeblood of Clubhouse,” said Paul & Rohan, the app’s creators, “and we want to make sure that all of the amazing people who host conversations for others are getting recognized for their contributions.”

Helping creators get paid for their labor in 2021 is a cause that we should 100% get behind, especially if we’re consuming their content.

Over the next few months, Clubhouse will be prototyping their tipping, tickets and subscriptions – think a system akin to Patreon, but built directly into the app.

A feature unique to the app – tickets – will offer individuals and organizations the chance to hold formal discussions and events while charging an admission. Elite Clubhouse rooms? I wonder if I can get a Clubhouse press pass.

Additionally, Clubhouse has announced plans for Android development (the app has only been available to Apple users so far). They are also working on moderation policies after a recent controversial chat sparked uproar. To date, the app has been relying heavily on community moderation, the power of which I’ve witnessed countless times whilst in rooms.

So: Is the golden age of Clubhouse – only possible for a short period while everyone was stuck at home and before the app gained real mainstream traction – now over? Or will this new round of funding and subsequent development give the app a new beginning?

For now, I think it’s safe to say that the culture of Clubhouse will certainly be changing – what we don’t know is if the changes will make this cream-of-the-crop app even better, or if it’ll join the ranks of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in being another big-time social media staple.

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