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5 quick ways to shine on social media

December 8, 2014, 12:30 PM UTC
Photograph by Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen

Admit it: Social media can be a little overwhelming.

With everyone from your boss to your competitors and everyone in between checking your LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed and Facebook page on a constant basis, there is a lot of pressure to self-promote. Yet despite the expectation to blog, tweet and ‘like’ as much as you can, who has the time to sit on social media all day? At Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit, about 100 rising women leaders tackled this very question.

On a panel discussion featuring Nicole Williams, the career expert at LinkedIn and Brandee Barker, a co-founder and partner at Pramana Collective, these experts weighed in on how time-strapped execs can most effectively use social media to promote themselves.

1. Be passionate or lie
It needs to come across immediately that you are interested and engaged in the work you are doing, says Williams from LinkedIn. If you don’t convey a true passion for your job and what you are doing on a daily basis, then no one is going to want to engage with you on social media in the first place. What if you’re not passionate about work? Your options are simple, says Williams: Find a new job or lie about why you’re passionate.

2. Pick your points
You can’t be an expert at everything. At the same time, you don’t have the time to tweet, blog and post about a myriad of topics on a daily basis. A better strategy is to hone in of what is truly important to you, says Barker of Pramana Collective. Also, all of your “talking points” don’t necessarily have to be about work. In fact, it’s good to show your human side by showcasing your hobbies and interests outside of the office. Ask yourself what your big focus areas are and create a social identity around them.

3. Speak in first person
One of Williams’ biggest LinkedIn pet peeves is when people write their profiles in the third person. It sounds so impersonal and like you are farming out your writing to someone who works for you, she said. Changing your summary on LinkedIn to the first person makes you sound more human and tells readers that you are connected to your work.

4. Tell a story
People love telling and hearing stories, says Barker. That’s just a fact of life. Take that notion and apply it to what you do on social media. A blog post is best when its filled with real life anecdotes. The best tweets are those that give context as opposed to just straight links and headlines.

5. ‘Beat your chest’
This one is particularly difficult for women, says Barker, but it’s extremely important to own and showcase your accomplishments to their full extent when thinking about an identity online. Women tend to downplay their leadership on a specific initiative or project. “Beat your chest,” says Barker, because you’re the only one who really knows the true extent of your power or authority in a particular field.

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