Get to grips with social media

Social media advice
By Alex Burden, Senior Digital Editor

9 May 2016

Social media has become a staple of everyday life, and most of our readers will already have some sort of profile on a network.

Read our quick guide on do’s and do not’s to ensure your digital interactions are plain-sailing.

Do: Set up a professional social media profile

You can keep a personal, private account, but it’s best to start from scratch with a profile you would be proud of and don’t need to constantly monitor for items of content that employers may find disconcerting. LinkedIn and Twitter are great for promoting your professional side, and digitally networking with fellow CAs.

What should I include on my LinkedIn account? Read our advice on how to create a profile that works for you. Make sure you emphasise all your marketable skills and talents, and this includes the CA exams you have already passed or are currently studying.

Don’t: Get into angry ‘debates’ with fellow social media users

This can quickly escalate, and before you know it your tweet or post is being featured in national newspapers. Considerable amounts of news stories are generated from social media trawls such as Twitter, so don’t make yourself the source.

Do: Start a conversation and interact

You can hold polls, start hashtag conversations, and even organise a weekly chat with students. Do you have a particular accountancy interest such as financial reporting? Start the conversation and engage relevant parties; you may receive interesting information or new angles on the subject.

Don’t: Say anything that could land you in hot water

The Communications Act 2003 clearly states that sending a malicious communication using social media is a criminal offence. Yes, that seemingly-innocent post or comment can bring about all manner of trouble. If you wouldn’t say it to your employer or parents, should you say it to online strangers?

Do: Set privacy locks for your existing profiles

This doesn’t include LinkedIn, but if you have a Facebook, Twitter or other profile, lock it up for friends and family only.

Don’t: Let other people tag you

…Into photos, events or posts, without you knowing about it first. This is more difficult to do on Twitter, but Facebook allows notifications of other users’ intents, so keep an eye on these.

Do: Keep your profiles updated

Look at spending perhaps fifteen minutes a week tending them. Keep adding your skills and sharing your expertise. Ask for endorsements or recommendations from previous clients, employers and colleagues, and ensure to return the favour!

Don’t: Click on every link you are interested in

Unless you know the source it comes from or which site it will link you to, don’t click it. Shortened links on Twitter have been used to hide viruses, and they won’t reveal the web location when you hover your cursor on them.

Check out the most embarrassing social media fails of 2015 from Social Media Week.

Topics

  • CA Student blog

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