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Lovely: Professionalism in social media is the new trend



Social media is here to stay. That is something that professionals around the world can agree on. And as it has been integrated into our daily lives, it is going to be integrated into our professional lives as well. College students’ ability to understand what it means to use social media professionally is becoming one of the most important things they can do to succeed.

How to be professional on social media

The professional world has a few approaches to using social media. According to the Harvard Business Review, professionals can opt to use the Open strategy, where they use their social media as they please and allow any audience to view it. This strategy allows professionals a platform with which they can connect on a personal level with the public, and if used correctly, can further the public approval of a person or business. If that is too personal, professionals might choose to use the Audience strategy, where they limit their social media following to close friends and family. This method allows professionals to create boundaries in their life that give them privacy and keep their professional lives professional.

Regardless of the way that you decide to handle your social media, it still needs to be representative of a professional human being. This is good to keep in mind during these wild college years because of the age-old saying that “everything on the internet is there forever.”

Why be professional on social media?

The ability to represent oneself positively over social media is essential to show to a future employer because you might be the next person to represent them. And while you won’t necessarily be the face of the company, the company must feel comfortable hiring you. In most serious hiring processes, you will be asked to provide the username of all of your social media platforms so that the company can create a judgement of your character.

“Your social media presence is the most prominent way you are out there online,” said Lisa Heyamoto, senior instructor of journalism at UO. “It can be a real help by boosting and connecting you with the right people and also a real hindrance, and you don’t want to be held back when you are supposed to be launching yourself as a professional.”

Creating content that is representative of the kind of person you want to advertise to potential employers is essential when formulating a post on social media. This is especially relevant in business and journalism professions. Applying for a job and knowing how to use social media platforms in a positive way will give you the upper hand compared to other applicants. Companies use social media to communicate with the general public, and if you can navigate platforms with the a company’s goals in mind, you are already a fantastic candidate for hire.

What the professionals are saying about social media professionalism

When UO professors were asked about the importance of social media professionalism, it was clear that understanding how to use it and apply it to the professional world is a key strength that we can bring with us to an employer.

“There is no denying that social media is here to stay, and those of you that are millennials have been digital natives and been using social media for a long time. Organizations have begun to realize how important that is as a tool in their strategic communications,” professor of public relations Connie Chandler said. Using this advantage will help us on the path to success. We will be the group that will lead the way to connecting with each other on a global scale.

Skills like problem solving and investigating are things that our generation does every day using these kinds of platforms. And again, these skills are especially relevant when working in fields that deal with world-wide information.

“In the journalism world you are dealing with information – that’s your job and since that is what social media is as well, you should probably be really good at it,” Heyamoto said. “You should be writing well, your grammar should be on point – it should be insightful but concise.”  

The importance of presenting oneself on social media platforms as a professional, or at least someone who is respectable, is the new “thing.” It has become necessary to take successful strides toward launching careers out of college. Social media professionalism should be the new trend. Tell your friends.


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Sarah Lovely

Sarah Lovely