5 Social Media Tips for High School Seniors
On Tuesday I stopped by a high school in the Upper East Side to give tips on branding and social media to seniors who are graduating next week.
I was both thrilled and nervous to return to St. Jean Baptiste High School. I graduated from there more than 10 years ago.
I held an interactive workshop similar to a seminar I did at Syracuse University.
5 Tips on Branding and Social Media
1. Find your niche
What do you like to talk about? What's your passion? What are you good at? Buy a domain with your full name as soon as possible- even if you don't what you're going to do with it yet.
2. Build your credibility
You can start by blogging on the topic of your choice. Create original projects pertaining to your field, i.e. writing, video, photography, philanthropy, fundraising, science, or even business.
You can also build your credibility through work experience such as internships or volunteering.
3. Create an online portfolio
As a high school senior you might not have a full resume, but I'm sure you're already developing skills you're not even aware of through your part-time jobs or school clubs.
During the workshop, one of the students said she doesn't have a summer internship. Instead she will be working at a dance studio doing clerical work. However, she's also managing the studio's social media accounts and posting original content on their Facebook and Instagram pages. I told her that nowadays there a jobs listed as "social media manager," where companies hire folks to literally post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all day long. Of course there's plenty of writing, strategy, and planning that goes into the posts, but she's already on her way.
Only a handful had a LinkedIn account. Overall I don't know if many high school students use LinkedIn, but for students looking for summer internships, I think creating a LinkedIn account is a must.
Publish or add links to your work experience: volunteering jobs, internships, awards, etc.
4. Keep your personal and professional online accounts separate
You're being watched. Admission Officers and employers search for your online profiles. Even 'private' accounts aren't always private, especially on Facebook. When it comes to photos, it's easy for your friends to take "screenshots" of your so-called private photos. So think before you post.
5. Engage and be social
A blog is where your content lives. Social media is where you promote your expertise and your posts, where you build your following, and engage with others. Don't be afraid to jump in conversations on Twitter and Instagram.
Find out if your field has professional groups you can join. It's a great way to network and get experience.
Many thanks to St. Jean's for the invite! I hold motivational speeches as a Latina first generation college graduate, and seminars on social media throughout schools in New York City. I was the keynote speaker at a banquet at Le Moyne College, and I held a workshop at Syracuse University last year.
Want to work together? E-mail me at mercedes[at]bechicmag[dot]com