The first decision is whether you want to have a social media profile! As a translator or interpreter, do you like to stay below the radar, working quietly? Or do you miss the buzz of being in a work place and interaction with colleagues? Has someone told you that you “should be on Twitter?!”
If you want to join social media, you’ll find a myriad of groups on all platforms relating to translation, interpreting and languages. If you are joining in, you’ll need to decide if you’ll have a personal profile and a professional profile, or just the one. There are pros and cons for both; this is a very personal (and professional) decision.
If you use your personal profile, do you want (potential) clients and colleagues to see personal information and photos? If you have a professional profile, decide if you want to include any personal information. Think before you post about your audience.
Decide which platforms to join. Do you really want to commit to all of them? Probably not! Ask around and find out what your fellow translators and interpreters are using. Think about what suits you. Instagram is brilliant for photographers and hairdressers, does it fit with you? It will also depend on your subject areas and possibly where your clients may be posting, as well as your fellow workers.
Have a great, professional, good quality photo. A logo if you prefer, but people do like people! Don’t be an egg on Twitter or a blank avatar anywhere else. Don’t crop a picture of you on your latest holiday, consider finding a local photographer to take a suitable headshot for you.
And then be interesting, be you, be relevant. Pass on tips, news stories, and things you’ve found helpful. Don’t make it all about you – though do remember to mention what you do every now and again. Interact, share and like. Make new virtual friends, and you never know when you might get to meet them in person.
Be consistent – so post regularly. With a little time you’ll find what suits you and what you get the most out of – which probably won’t be what you expect.
If you do make the leap, come on over and say hello!
We’d love to hear your views and tips.