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Forget social media procrastination, Eevee’s Hanna Gilbert explains how browsing Facebook can actually help your career…

It’s a familiar story. You sit down to get some serious work done. Opening your email window, you think “I’ll just pop onto Facebook while everything loads”. Three hours later, you’re busy chuckling at your mate’s brother’s girlfriend’s drunken profile picture, (honestly – what does she look like!?) while the day slowly passes you by.
I think we can all agree that reading all 300 comments posted under a video of someone you don’t know isn’t going to further your professional life. But here’s the good news: being social media savvy can and does help to build careers. Here’s how…

1. Networking

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We all know that having a good network of contacts helps people climb the career ladder. “It’s not what you know, but who you know” – right? Of course it’s important to make contacts in the real world but once you’ve shaken hands, look them up online and connect there as well. Just be careful about who sees what. LinkedIn is a great place to make professional connections, as is Twitter. Facebook is a little more tricky as you can’t always control the content which becomes linked to you. Even if you keep your profile nice and tidy, what’s to stop your friends tagging those images of you in full ‘toga night’ regalia?

2. Requesting help from friends

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Sometimes a status update is the quickest way to reach a large number of people. What’s more, those people are likely to include friends and family who will naturally want to help you out. If you’re looking for ideas for a new project or some career advice, put the question out there. Even if your immediate circle can’t help, they might know someone else who can. You’ll be surprised how useful some of your friend’s friends can be.

3. Following relevant companies

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If you’re looking to make the move to a new company or even a new industry, you need an awareness of the world you’re going to join. Most companies have Twitter and Youtube accounts these days and regularly update the world on their comings and goings. If you’re preparing for an interview, or even just researching your chosen market, social media posts are a great way of keeping up to date on regular industry news. Don’t forget to check out your future competitors too!

4. Making it your career

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Believe it or not, you can now Tweet professionally! Job websites today are full of roles like ‘Communications Executive’ and ‘Social Media Analyst’. Companies know that these platforms are a great way of speaking to their customers and will pay big bucks for a well executed social media strategy. So if your love for a well tagged picture is serious, why not make it your job and get paid to Pinterest!
Now where was I? Oh yes… Facebook…