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!
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.