When it comes to connecting online with friends, colleagues and acquaintances, Facebook is the place to be for those in creative fields, a new survey by The Creative Group suggests. Nearly half (44 per cent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed said Facebook would be their social media site of choice if they were limited to using just one.
LinkedIn ranked second with 37 per cent of the response. Regardless of which social media site someone is using for business, staying active is essential, the survey confirmed: More than one-third (34 per cent) of executives said not keeping content fresh is the most common mistake creatives make in their professional online profiles.
The Canadian survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm.
Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “If you had to limit yourself to only one social media platform, which of the following would it be?” Their responses:
- Facebook …………….. 44%
- LinkedIn …………….. 37%
- Google+ ……………… 7%
- Twitter ……………… 6%
- Other ……………….. 2%
- Don’t know/no answer ….. 6%
*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.
Executives also were asked, “In your experience, what is the most common mistake creative professionals make when creating online profiles that they use for professional purposes?” Their responses:
- Not updating it often enough …………….. 34%
- Including inappropriate information ………. 23%
- Providing too much information …………… 19%
- Providing too little information …………. 12%
- Other …………………………………. 1%
- Don’t know/no answer ……………………. 11%
“Online profiles can be effective marketing and branding tools for creative professionals, so it’s crucial that they paint an accurate and favourable picture of you,” said Lara Dodo, a regional vice-president of The Creative Group in Canada. “It remains especially critical for job seekers to be mindful of what information they are sharing and with whom, as well as what others may be saying about them.”
The Creative Group offers five tips for maintaining a polished and engaging presence on social media sites:
1. Don’t play the name game. While sites like Facebook and Google+ have guidelines that discourage the use of symbols, numbers or profanities in your username, that doesn’t stop people from coming up with unusual aliases. However, it’s best to stick to your first and last name and select a similar vanity URL that supports your personal brand.
2. Choose your interests wisely. Just because you’re a fan of reality TV doesn’t mean you have to list every show you watch. No matter how talented you are, a profile that goes into too much personal detail, particularly if those details are unflattering, will work against you.
3. Share quality content. The average Facebook user has 130 friends, according to Facebook Statistics. You can increase the likelihood others will see your posts by sharing rich content (like photos and videos) as well as information that will elicit comments, likes and shares.
4. Proof your posts. Always review your status updates and comments before hitting “Enter.” Posts strewn with typos or text shorthand detract from your credibility.
5. Be a regular. In addition to pushing out interesting content, engage with your online contacts consistently. By commenting on and sharing others’ posts, you’ll build a stronger sense of community.
For additional tips on using social and professional networking sites effectively, download Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age. The guide was developed by Robert Half, The Creative Group’s parent company, and contains insights from industry experts on a wide range of topics.
The Canadian study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 250 telephone interviews — approximately 200 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 50 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.