July 1, 2019

How to Use Social Media Effectively for Work

Posted by AGU Career Center

In recent years, the paradigm has shifted in the way that organizations market their information and communicate with the public. Social media is a powerful tool that allows us to connect with others on a global scale. By mastering the art of social media, you hold an invaluable skillset that makes you an incredible asset to any organization.

When workplace social media comes to mind, you may feel inclined to think about LinkedIn, a site centered around professional networking and sharing information from a formal, business setting. LinkedIn groups allow specific, cultivated networks to form, whether it be a group of university alumni from a specific year or a cohort of interns from the same organization. Creating LinkedIn groups for specific purposes within your organization can allow various groups of interconnected individuals to maintain a useful channel of communication. It is important to be aware, however, of LinkedIn’s specific capabilities while still acknowledging how much more limited in scope it is than other social media platforms. Although this website is catered to professional development and is very effective in sharing job opportunities and helping professionals become more connected in their field, there are other social media forums that can be just as helpful in navigating the professional sphere.

Twitter has recently skyrocketed to the top spot for social media usage by organizations, hailed for its adeptness for getting information out to the public in a quick, digestible way. By gaining a substantial Twitter following, organizations can effectively disseminate information to a much larger audience than it previously reached. AGU uses Twitter to share interesting geoscience articles, blogs, and job postings to its online community.

Facebook appeals to audiences who prefer a slower-paced social media atmosphere. It is useful for sharing videos and connecting on a more personal level. The platform is more conducive for answering questions that the public may have for the organization. Facebook also has a fundraising feature that can be used to raise resources for an organization. It recently adopted methods similar to other crowdsourcing sites, such as Crowdrise and Kickstarter, both of which allow organizations to raise funds globally with the click of a button. Instead of hosting in-person fundraisers, organizations can solicit donations from virtually anyone at any time for much longer periods of time.

Instagram is suitable for captivating audiences with imagery; this is perfect for organizations like National Geographic, which is focused on disseminating powerful wildlife images to the public. Therefore, organizations can utilize Instagram to draw in a different pool of supporters if they don’t focus on producing images often.

Even though social media can be an incredibly powerful tool in a workplace setting, it is important to be responsible and well-versed in different media forums prior to integrating them into the workplace. Some important things to keep in mind before jumping into social media usage in the workplace are:

  • Be a jack of all trades- be at least slightly familiar with all social media forums
  • Keep social media logins only on professional devices in order to avoid any mishaps
  • Always be professional on social media and be mindful about sharing information about your job on private social media pages

As the world and the way that we interact in it continue to change, it is crucial to evolve and stay on top of the advancements. Although social media may not always be intuitive, mastering it comes with innumerable benefits. These platforms can transform any organization from a relatively unknown entity to one that is well-connected and well-supported. Using social media effectively in a workplace setting can serve to diversify one from their peers and show that they have a useful and indispensable skillset. No matter what sector your job may fall under, gaining social media training will benefit you, your peers, and your entire organization.


Julia Emilie Jeanty, Talent Pool Intern, American Geophysical Union