Social media is a major tool and the quality of its content has become increasingly important.
Most, if not all of us know some of the major social media networks. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some big ones. Why do we use social media? Some uses are for individuals or companies to grow their networks, build partnerships or relationships and increase brand awareness. As designers, we want ourselves known by a wide range of employers. It's competitive out there and for most of us, social media has become the way to get ourselves out into the design world.
According to Hjörtur Smárason, "If no one knows about your great product, no one will buy it. That hasn't changed... Today, people will tell. They will write reviews and others will read those reviews before buying a new product. And if another product has got better ratings, even though it's an un-advertised product and therefore previously unknown to us, we are likely to choose that product... Since people are paying less attention to advertising and more attention to social media, product quality is going to weigh heavier at the cost of the message in marketing. So marketers have to watch out more carefully not to create an "image identity gap" between the user experience and the promise they deliver in their advertising" (1). It's important to understand that until you put yourself out there with clear quality content, very few will know who you are. Do your research and learn about those who can get you where you need to be. It takes more than following a potential employer to get where you want to be. Make them interested in you by building a connection or conversation. Jason Verdelli explains this better:
"Once you have established base level connections on the social web (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), it is time to start creating conversations. Learn more about them by reviewing their profile and develop a conversation that gets them talking. I'm sure you have heard this before, but people always like talking about themselves and when you can get them going you will generate their interest in you. Create that message or re-tweet their latest blog posts to your followers or do whatever you can to provide them with what they will see as valuable. From that point, you can converse with them on ways that they can connect you to some of their contacts and/or resources that will help you accomplish your purpose of why you are using social media" (2).
Connect, connect, connect. We all want the social web to work in our favor, but many do not know how to do it. Try Jason's suggestions and if those do not work, just keep trying. Eventually you will succeed. Research where you want to be, who can help get you there and make sure you express yourself clearly. The quality of how you sell yourself, your brand or your product is important.
(1) Hjörtur Smárason - "Product Quality vs. Marketing"
(2) Jason Verdelli - "Why is Quality more important than Quantity in Social Media?"