A lot of people ask me about the role of social media in the world of hiring. Recently, I wrote: Regarding social media… A lot of people are all over social media, giving a little piece of themselves wherever they can so that they are “involved” and “present” on multiple channels. Part of career efficacy and differentiating yourself means knowing your sphere of influence. It’s not an issue of quantity but, rather, one of quantity. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the push to be everywhere. Be only where you need to be – where you are building/cultivating a base of people who care about your message.…
Many people feel less significant and out of the loop because they are not tackling the various social media outlets. In response to the above, someone e-mailed:
...I am not on Twitter. Recently, I had a friend say "You're not on Twitter. Get with it. You'll never get a job unless you're on social media." Your recent post made me feel better about that, but I do know that there's a lot of importance placed on social media. I have a great network, a solid circle of influence and feel OK in that regard. However, I do recognize the importance of stepping into these new media outlets...
This writer brings up an interesting point that I think many people care about. There's a certain judgment that surrounds whether or not someone is on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example. There's an arrogance that prompts some people to believe that "if you're not on _____, you're not worth my time."
I think stepping into these new media venues is important – maybe even becoming mandatory – but the above thinking is flawed.
Because social media is, well, social, it's easy for this sort of judgment to occur. People don't necessarily know anything about your network or the quality of work you produce, but they DO know what you're doing on Twitter etc., if anything. So, you could be rocking your work world in a less transparent way, but if you're not on Twitter, it's easy for people to say: "She's not on Twitter. She's not an influencer."
This social media snobbery is growing and more and more accomplished professionals are quick to remind people that a social media presence is not everything.
So, I'll return to what I said above... Be where you need to be in order to ensure that you have a core of people who care and who are influenced by your message. Now, I fully recommend engaging in social media. Just don't let it define your career success or who you are as a person. Manage your social media presence so that it’s an authentic expression of you, on your terms and so that it doesn’t dilute the work that you do.
Not everyone who matters is on social media – many of those people are doing great work. Conversely, I know plenty of people on Twitter who do a lot of talking and have nothing to back it up. That's a shame.