How Do You Want It?

How do you want it? Are you the type who goes for the basic package or the premium? Well, according to Shields, you can apply the same idea to your social media presence. And it makes a ton of sense.

When you start to realize just how much goes into strategizing an effective professional profile, your head starts to spin. You think you have one set of “if, then” rules memorized for posting etiquette, then suddenly you read ahead to the next twelve rules for good social media profile management and you admit that there is a lot more to all of this than you thought. The good news is there is a basic package subscription for people like you.

Or maybe this isn’t you at all. Maybe you long to emulate the great social media celebrities in your field. You spend all your free time analyzing how a top CEO worded their last six months’ worth of posts, and you can be the first to say how and why they strategically present different facets of themselves to different audiences all from the same platform and all for the same ultimate purpose. Well, then, there’s a premium package for you.

And, of course, there’s a standard package that fits right in the middle there somewhere. The way Shields has divided these concepts up makes it much more approachable to starting out on a new professional journey, so let’s take a look.


The Basic Model:

The lowest level of professional social media presence means that you have a presence on multiple social media platforms that is consistent, and its purpose is for branding and connecting. You have a way to connect with colleagues, prospective employees, friends, and anyone else important in your field.

When it comes to Linked-In, which many of us are least proficient in, we should have a complete profile that resembles a complete resume, and have 50 connections to seem professional and trustworthy. The bottom line for this Basic Model is that for whatever platform you choose to be on, do it completely and do it well.


The Standard Model:

The middle level of professional social media presence means that you actively engage with your network, and the primary purpose of your online presence is to share and participate. A standard presence requires you to post a photo from one of your events while also liking/sharing/endorsing content from your network and reaching out by following/friending and commenting to others’ profiles. You can create a level of authenticity this way, by showing that you are a real person with real-life aspects. This can be a powerful strategy when choosing to show your personal side when everyone knows your professional side first.

However, if you are trying to become a leader of thought in your field, then these first two models just won’t cut it.


The Premium Model:

The highest level of professional social media presence means that you actively develop unique, differentiated, and complex thoughts and media, with the primary purpose of connecting and leading. In Shields’ words, “thought leadership usually refers to content that takes a position on current industry trends, news items, and future opportunities” (262). With social media, practically anyone can try to be a thought leader—so what can you do to make yourself truly stand out as a leader? Just like in the non-tech world, you have to think uniquely and creatively. Thousands of people already have a blog discussing what you are passionate about; how can you put a different spin on it to make your message cut through the noise more effectively?

Not only can you differentiate your mission from others in the Premium Model, but you can differentiate yourself as a person by showing your audience your honesty and compassion that sets you apart. This model is the most work, but could reap the most benefit in terms of visibility.


And once you decide on your model…you still have to plan out a posting schedule and watch your analytics!



Works Cited:

Basic Package. Digital image. InstaFace Photo Booth. N.p., n.d. Web.

Premium Package. Digital image. Theme Skills. N.p., n.d. Web.

Shields, Ben. Social media management: persuasion in networked culture. New York: Oxford U Press, 2017. Print.

Standard Package. Digital image. Design Vamp. N.p., n.d. Web.



9 thoughts on “How Do You Want It?

  1. This was a really interesting chapter for me. As I begin applying for jobs, I have been thinking a lot about this topic. I have always been told to keep my social media accounts clean and private. However, I don’t think this is necessarily the case for everyone. As a marketing major, I expect that my job post-grad will be heavily social media focused. Because of this, I assume employers and recruiters will want to see me actively engaging on my social platforms. If I rarely post or if my account is private, employers may think I have something to hide or that I am not experienced with the platforms. I have begun to share more content related to my field on social accounts such as blog posts and articles about marketing campaigns that I find interesting. This will show employers that I am staying current with trends and would be equipped to handle their social accounts.


  2. This chapter resonated with my inner conflict on how to approach personal social media platforms. Like your post says, there are multiple levels of social media presence to reveal and monitor when entering the professional world. I thought Jenna’s comment also touched on the balance that this entails and I found it very interesting to see the flip side to having all accounts be “clean and private”. Sometimes, that isn’t necessarily going to be to your advantage and it’s useful to differentiate when to post and when to not. A skill we are tackling in class every week!


  3. I really enjoyed this topic in the book and your post about the subject. I also find myself conflicted when it comes to how active I am on social media. On the one hand, I understand that I should be more active on social media to grow my personal brand and make more connections. On the other hand, I find that with certain platforms I am reluctant or don’t enjoy creating content and posting to the sites. I enjoy making new contacts but also enjoy the privacy that I have set up for my social media accounts. I think going forward I will need to strike a good balance between these two ideas in order to be more successful on social media.


  4. I like the idea of different levels of social media interaction. I think realistically a lot of people will only have the time for a mid level package, but a premium one should be what people strive for. I also think the idea of looking at successful people in your field’s social media accounts. That being said, I think emulating someone else’s style only works to an extent, you need to have some of your own unique persona as well.


  5. This was an incredibly interesting post, considering we are all navigating into our professional lives and sculpting our personal brand. I didn’t realize there was a hierarchy of involvement. The third level is something I think about a lot: how do I weld all of my myriad of personal interests into a successful presence on the internet? For example, I see people on Instagram that can weld an interest in fitness, law school, and craft beers into a really interesting personal feed. It is difficult not to pigeon-hole yourself into one facet online. And truly, leveraging yourself online is great way to make social connections because someone that takes interest in your lifestyle could connect you to other people.


  6. I like the different levels but I could never have the premium model for social media, even though I want to. There are many risks that I could try to negate, such as managing time on social media, but I know that I would get caught up in social and intellectual capital. Social capital would be difficult because you would have to keep your target audience in mind for every post. (I sometimes tweet randomly for amusement). Intellectual capital means I have to ensure my posts are effective and not offensive to anyone in my audience. If I were to join the premium model, I would probably have to create an all new twitter that would be more focused on my audience. Premium may be worth it in the long run but the amount of work is incredible and you’ll need to make a fully laid out social content plan in order to survive.


  7. I really enjoyed how you went over these different levels of involvement in social media, and provided some guidelines so that people could decide what they needed. It’s incredibly useful, especially for young professionals trying to make connections and establish a personal “brand”. I think that sometimes it’s hard for me to even decide what I want from social media, because so much of my usage thus far has been for my personal enjoyment and not to further my career. Now that I have been trying to switch gears, I definitely feel like this type of post is helpful in figuring out exactly what I need to be doing to accomplish a certain goal.


  8. While using the platinum model is the “best” it just isn’t achievable for most people – individuals or companies. You can’t always create diverse content and be active regularly.
    I strive to achieve the standard model, but even that is difficult for me. Maybe if I were more interested in applying for a job in social media I would make more time for crafting this image, I just don’t have the time or energy to devote to being an active participant in these discussions.


  9. Pingback: External Links to Blogs – Marla Barrett Digital Portfolio

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