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Can Professional and Effective Coexist in Social Media?

Good News! Social media does not have to be boring and ineffective to still maintain professionalism.  Many organizations have started to get hop by adding cute photos, taglines, humor, and video. But, a thousand likes on your pictures of cats in cute hats won't necessarily translate into new paying customers or increased awareness for your organization. Below are twelve ways to begin to strike a balance in communicating effectively and professionally the key parts of yourself, brand, or organization. This list comes from years of seeing people and organizations struggle with keeping their online presence professional, yet engaging and effective.

This presentation was created for the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women hosted its 33rd Women of Color Taskforce Career Conference, one of the oldest and largest career conferences for the University. We were happy to be a part of this day of learning with the session Communicating Professionally and Effectively Using Social Media.

  1. Start Connections in Person, Continue Online
  2. Know or Learn the basic terminology used in social media
  3. Know who is  on each social media tool that you use
  4. Observe people and platforms before branching out
  5. Use Settings to establish friend groups and privacy
  6. Share valuable resources and info
  7. Content is King; make sure info is accurate, professional and interesting
  8. Humor Shouldn’t Hurt; always strive to be inclusive
  9. Make Information Easy to Share
  10. Mentions, Replies, Tagging, and Conversations; cite sources, but get pics approved
  11. Reach out to your social and professional circles to Shape your online community
  12. Use conversation etiquette in all online Discussions
  13. Rinse and Repeat; grow your network and possibilities


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