What is Social Savvy?

“If a company or a person does something great but no one knows about it, does it really matter?”

That’s a question I asked in my very first blog post.

Yes, there are random acts of kindness intended to be done under the radar. Yet, hearing about them can be inspiring when others share the news, like my sister did on Facebook.

While getting coffee in her Connecticut town, she overhead another customer buying a gift card for the police officer outside who was directing traffic. That’s an instant day brightener. And maybe it will inspire others toward similar acts of kindness.

Data and information are collected about us every day, according to The Reputation Economy by Michael Fertik. The question is what we want that data to say about us as a person and as a professional.

Do we want it to open doors or close them? Do we want it to augment the hard work we do every day or detract from it? Do we want it to make our life better or make it harder?

More and more, everything we do has implications for our own personal reputations as well as the companies where we work or that we own. This is both in real life, or IRL, as well as how that becomes represented in social media.

This means we each have great power to do good in the world, to a larger extent than has ever been available to us. And it also means we have the potential make major missteps.

This means each of us needs social savvy.

What’s that?

SOCIAL SAVVY: the vital ability for people to personally brand and market themselves successfully in social media in our ever-evolving world.

This skill is important throughout our lives.

It applies to high school students who are preparing their college applications or moving into the working world.

It applies to college and grad school students who are getting ready to transition into the working world.

And it applies to people throughout their professional lives. For corporate professionals in particular, the stakes for social media are higher.

Social media can help or hurt careers. It can add to or detract from a corporate reputation and an employer brand. It can make acquiring top talent a breeze or a burden.

The risks are high, but so are the rewards. And in our ever-evolving world, no one can afford to sit on the sidelines. The pace of change is too fast for that.

Corporate professionals often ignore or short-change social media. Why? They don’t have the time, they don’t see the value and they don’t want to make a mistake.

Developing social savvy is how professionals can create and implement a social strategy to highlight and share their own thought processes and achievements, along with those of their organizations.

Social savvy is a powerful way for corporate professionals to build their personal brand, advance their career and embrace their future.

What are some examples of social savvy? What does it look like?

  • Using social media to build and amplify your personal brand, the unique value that you bring to the world
  • Positioning yourself in the most favorable light, for a number of career and life paths
  • Positioning your employer or company in the most favorable light
  • Advancing your career through a positive social strategy
  • Helping others advance their careers
  • Helping your company achieve its goals
  • Building your employer’s corporate reputation and employer brand
  • Knowing what to do and not to do in social media
  • Seeing the links between real life and social savvy
  • Knowing when and how to engage with critics

How are you demonstrating social savvy?

Published by

Caroline Leach

Hi, I'm Caroline Leach. I help people and organizations tell their stories. I'm a Marketing VP at AT&T, a former Communications VP at DIRECTV and an alum of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This blog, How to Build Your Career through Social Media, shows you how to build your personal brand, advance your career and embrace your future. It helps you promote your employer and your network too. Opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. I'd love to hear from you!

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