Part I. The Social Media Paradox of Our Generation.

To all the Gen Z folks and Millenials out there, this paradox applies to you.

We worry about our current or future employers seeing what we’re like behind the scenes. You know, those Friday nights when we’re off the clock(or out of class). We’re afraid that one slip-up can leave a bad impression. To avoid this headache, we set our accounts on private and move on with our lives.

I get it though, we’re young and our days of working Monday to Friday are still years(months) ahead of us.

After some time working in social media, I questioned… why we’re not taught to leverage LinkedIn to show our current/future employers our passion for the industry we aspire to be a part of. This brings up the classic question: “Why didn’t they teach us this in school?”

To answer this, we need to look back in time. The dreaded high school days.

Adults: “Why are they always on social media”.

Adults: “They need to stop playing video games”.

Now, step back into 2019 social media. In 2019 we have a saturated pool of online entrepreneurs getting rich off online courses, millions of streamers joining in on dudes(ladies) playing Fortnite, and an obnoxious amount of Bali influencer pictures. With all the impressions and ads spent to get our attention… the adults are still saying the same thing.

But hey, from the adult’s perspective they do have a point. Social media takes away our attention from real life and video games on the other hand… well, come on who doesn’t love making fun of their friends online. They also had no way to predict the age of selfies. We grew up in social media, they didn’t- therefore, their generation has a separate point of view. Let’s not put all the blame on them.

So, back to 2019… why continue to listen to old logic?

The point of this series is to unravel what they didn’t teach us. We won’t be talking about the cons of social media, but more about leveraging the tools given to us. Before we dive into LinkedIn, let’s build a foundation of where I’m drawing these conclusions from. To do so, we need to talk about a platform you and I can both relate to- Instagram.

Pictured above is what’s known as Roger’s Bell curve. In the tech industry, it can be referred to as the innovator’s curve. Saving the boring stuff, the left side of the curve refers to consumers who use a new product early, the middle is where the average person starts to adapt to the product and the right side of the curve… they’re a little late to the party.

Cool, now back to Instagram. In high school, Instagram users were monetizing the platform sat on the left side of the curve. These people saw the potential in growing their audience online. If we look now, their following ranges from 100k+ to even millions(random numbers, you get the point). They created content and brands paid big bucks for collaborations.

Where are we now?

The good thing is, there’s’ another bell curve brewing up in the industry. We social media fanatics(marketers) call it, “Micro-Influencers”. Though the number of followers is not exactly set in stone, these are the creators with 5K-30K followers. I don’t know about you, but I hate seeing irrelevant ads; it’s even worse when the influencer I follow partners with a random brand every week.

Micro-influencers are the new thing… and if you’re reading this, you have the opportunity to join the next wave of creators. Of course, there’s the question of, “how do I stand out,” or “what’s my message”. Keep in mind that Instagram is a visual platform, so do something aesthetic. What works on LinkedIn will not work on Instagram.

That’s my introduction to the series and in future articles expect more real-life comparisons. I plan on diving deeper into LinkedIn and how I leverage the platform to land an internship, leave first impressions before the interview, and more actionable tips. That’s the micro. The macro is logical advice about why we’re still early in the LinkedIn bell curve.

Unattached | Let’s dive deeper @ andrew.print

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