Better late than never, here’s the second part of my online presence series for translation students.
As I mentioned before, most people are familiar with social media for personal use – but if you’re considering becoming a freelance translator creating a professional social media account might be a good idea.
Obviously what social media sites are great for are marketing yourself and networking. Since setting up my own twitter page, I’ve been able to connect and learn from translators and academics from all over the world, and read interesting articles that I might otherwise have missed.
Before we get into the post proper I would like to stress something which seems obvious but it can be forgotten. You probably have a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram account already – you should ALWAYS keep personal and professional accounts separated! You don’t want prospective employers/clients reading through your page and finding a drunk post you made on fresher’s week – it’s just not professional, and although lots of people will have similar posts, it’s not a good way to make an impression on someone you’ve never met.
In addition to having an account on a translators network – like ProZ or The Open Mic – it’s also a good idea to promote yourself and become active on social media. If you decide to start a blog, it’s also a good way to promote your posts.
After finishing my degree I signed up to LinkedIn. LinkedIn ‘is a business and employment-oriented social networking service’ (Wikipedia) In a way it’s like an online CV page that allows you to connect with colleagues or friends and see what they’re up to professionally. In addition, lots of employers also post jobs on LinkedIn – who will send you emails about job opportunities you might be interested in.
- It’s free – there is a premium paid version but the basic free version is good and it’s not worth buying the upgrade.
- Can create profiles in different languages to promote yourself to overseas clients (I haven’t gotten around to this yet!)
- Using the information you’ve provided, you can create a PDF version that’s like a CV – depending on the amount of information you’ve provided it’s going to be longer than the standard 2 pages but it’s helpful if you want to get something together quickly.
- Wide variety of categories to fill in – interests, achievements etc.
- Like all social media it takes time to set up, and is more time consuming to maintain than Twitter or Facebook.
- Some people/ profiles are not as active as they could be – it’s not a place people go to and surf through.
- Building connections can be more difficult than other types of social media – it’s easier to ‘follow’ than ‘connect’.
I joined Twitter just over a year ago as a way of connecting and learning about the translation whilst I wasn’t at uni. Lots of translators, agencies, companies and academic use Twitter. If you’re thinking of setting up a Twitter account and want ideas of who to start following first, take a look at my posts My top 12 Twitter profiles for Translation Opportunities… and Translation Student? You need Twitter…My top Twitter accounts you need to follow! Good Twitter hashtags are #xl8 #tl8 #t9n to publicise your content or search for translation posts.
- It’s free and easy to use – setting up an account is simple and quick.
- You only have 140 characters – takes the pressure off long posting.
- You can retweet other people’s content and things you think are worthwhile/interesting – takes the pressure of constantly finding your own content.
- Connect with people all over the world
- Lots of companies publicise job opportunities on their pages
- Takes time to build an audience – difficult to build an immediate following
- High maintenance – short posts often are difficult.
- 140 characters – can’t make long posts.
In a way, Google Plus is a BIT like LinkedIn – it’s not as interactive and immediate as Twitter – but it’s not a CV builder. I only recently signed up to Google Plus and I’m still learning how to use it. Mainly what I’m using it for is Search Engine Optimisation for my blog. As I learn more about it I’ll update this post – at the moment, I find it a bit… barren. But maybe I’m not using it right.
A BIG positive about all three social media sites is that you can link your blog posts to most forms of social media – and your blog posts can be shared on different platforms – like Pinterest, all of which optimises your audience. It’s possible to link all these together so they post automatically – for example, this blog post will automatically be shared on my LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus pages, which saves you time, rather than copying them across all three laboriously.
I’m sure I’ll be adding to this post as I learn more about Google Plus (!!). If you have any social media sites that you recommend, let me know in the comments. Alternatively, if you already have ‘professional’ pages, which did you chose and why?
In keeping with this post you can find me on:
Linked in – https://www.linkedin.com/in/amjscorr
Twitter – https://twitter.com/amjscorr
Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/100831101979772341263