When it comes to connecting online with friends, colleagues and acquaintances, Facebook is the favored social-media site of people in creative fields, a new survey by The Creative Group suggests.
More than half (56 percent) 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 and Google+ ranked second and third with 21 percent and 12 percent of the response, respectively.
Regardless of which social media site someone is using for business, staying active is essential, the survey confirmed: Nearly three in 10 (29 percent) executives said not keeping content fresh is the most common mistake creatives make in their professional online profiles.
The national 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.
“Those in the creative industry tend to blend their professional and personal lives, including interactions they have online,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group.
Farrugia cautioned, however, that it’s important to post prudently when business contacts are part of your online network. “Social media profiles have become an important branding and marketing tool for creative professionals. Whether the purpose of your account is purely to connect with friends or drum up referrals and job leads, make sure it paints the best picture of you.”
The Creative Group offers five tips for maintaining a polished and engaging presence on social media sites:
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.
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.
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.
Proof your posts. Always review your status updates and comments before hitting “Enter.” Posts strewn with typos or text shorthand detract from your credibility.
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 by Robert Half, The Creative Group’s parent company. The publication contains insights from industry experts on topics such as email, instant messaging, mobile devices, and phone, video, and web conferencing.