By Kelsey Mulvey There’s so much more to Snapchat and Instagram stories than sending your friends goofy videos of you as a deer (or in a digital flower crown). But these channels can also boost your professional profile. For example, if you’re an (aspiring) fashion editor, Instagraming New York Fashion Week shows you attended can give you major street cred. As a beauty writer, snapping product reviews can set you up as an influencer or even an expert.
The beauty of Snapchat and Instagram stories is that they’re less curated, so how to you keep these outlets authentic to your personal brand and lifestyle, yet professional? We tapped two social media savvy editors and highlighted their best advice below.
1.Do keep it personal.
“Having a personality that feels genuine but professional gives your followers insight into who you are and helps them connect with you.” —Christine Flammia, Associate Style Editor at Esquire.com
2. Don’t post something you wouldn’t watch yourself.
“Post things you’d actually want to watch yourself. When I am trying to write social copy, the first thing I think is, what would make me want to click on this post if I saw it in my feed? Use that same thinking when deciding what and when to post to your stories—what would make you keep watching?” —Amanda Lucci, Senior Social Media Editor at Women’s Health
3. Do utilize geo-tags and captions.
“Use location filters or the text tool to show people where you are, who is speaking, and what they’re speaking about—and specifically, what you personally find interesting about it. Even something non-professional like a concert or a night out with friends can still tell a story.” —Amanda Lucci
4. Don’t forget your boss is watching.
“Remember that people who follow the brand you work for (like your boss) might also follow your personal account. Before you post always ask: What would my boss think? What would your mom would think?” —Christine Flammia
5. Do think of the full story.
“One place to start is to actually tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. If you’re at an event and just start posting various clips of people talking, you’re not giving anybody compelling context or a reason to stick around.” —Amanda Lucci
6. Don’t forget the difference between posting on your personal and your outlet’s account.
“Snapping for an actual brand means that you are a lens instead of the point of view—that’s your brand’s job. Professional social media is still journalism to me, and I think it’s important to be a journalist as you snap. You’re part of the story because you’re there and recording it, but it’s not about you.” —Christine Flammia
Kelsey Mulvey is a New York-based writer and commerce reporter at Business Insider. She has written for several publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, LuckyMag.com, Wallpaper.com. Check out more of her work at KelseyMulveyWrites.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.