We all know the pilot profession is highly competitive and a pilot himself / herself is sometimes described as a movie star of an air transportation show. However, being a pilot means being visible all the time by everyone, especially on social media.
It’s not a secret that many employers are now using social media to identify employees and even to screen potential recruits before deciding if they should offer them a job. Being smart about how you present yourself through social media can have a big impact on your career prospects. As well as making sure that your digital profile is clean and professional, here are some suggestions on how you can use social media to positively enhance your appeal to your fans, followers and even to your prospective employers.
Think Twice before You Act
Your social profile plays a very important role if you are applying to any flying school or looking for a job at airlines. Keep that in mind and analyse your profile before taking these important steps in your life. Nobody wants to see you doing questionable things. We all know how many and funny ways we there are to spend our free time but as a future or current aviation hero, you cannot lack discretion in your posts. Your flying school or your airline needs to be able to trust you.
Social media websites are primarily developed to be a tool to communicate with others by sharing personal information, photos, videos, comments and more. Generally, when using social media, there is a common assumption that all users are solely responsible for their content – including posts, comments, likes, shares, tweets, re-tweets and follows. However, nothing on social media is private.
As regards the pilot profession, there is a number of rules, procedures and regulations to be followed during their daily operations. There is also a special period when a pilot cannot be disturbed by non-flight related matters. Keep that in mind when considering another selfie in the air. You can’t do this while taking-off, landing, taxiing or when the aircraft flies at the altitude below 10,000 feet (3,050 m).
Quality over Quantity
Exciting and original content is the key to attracting new aviation fans and keeping your current fans interested. Pay attention not only to the form of the content you want to post but also to its quality. Everyone loves good photos. When you are a pilot, you undoubtedly have more opportunities to visit exotic places. Create unique visuals, share links and images related to aviation and don’t forget to include a slice of your personal life (studying tips, preparation before flight procedures, your daily routine, etc.). Include some content from FFS cockpit, share the moments of your flight training sessions.
Engage with Your Audience
Talk to your fans, ask them questions to start discussions. The more you interact with your audience, the more visible you are. For example, you can make videos while having your type rating session or share your personal tips for the assessment. You have to show your audience how to do something – tutorials, step-by-step guides are always engaging, as they provide practical advice to your community.
However, bringing value to your community isn’t just about sharing aviation related content. You also have to encourage and inspire your followers by motivating them – tell your personal stories of achieving different goals in your pilot studies or career, share your routine and don’t attempt to create a perfect image of yourself. People value sincerity and certainty, so you have to remember that there are insights only you can share with your audience.
Sharing industry information is great, but what value can you add to this? What have you learned over your pilot studies that perhaps no one else knows? Think about what information you can share that no one else can. Once you start posting content your audience actually wants to engage with, great things start to happen. Your audience grows to trust and rely on you, and turns to you when they need help or information. Focus on creating engaging content that provides value.
Being passionate about aviation is the key to being a successful pilot. That’s why you have to promote aviation in a positive way and social media is a perfect channel to do this. The more enthusiastic about flying you are, the more opportunities you will have in your future career. Your potential flying school or even your future airline will always consider you positively if your posts are professional.
Negativity Spreads like Wildfire
However, your social media content could also ruin your career if you use it inappropriately. First, it can prevent you from getting hired or you can lose your fans if your posts are filled with your negative emotions. Avoid any unjustified complaints about your flying school or your current employer. Aviation industry is quite a small one and your negative and emotional messages might spread fast and far like a wildfire. Think twice when you’re about to react to a negative post or post it by yourself on social media and think about what impact it might create. Will this post hurt someone else? Will it make you feel better? Is there a way for your voice to be heard by more people, in a productive, structured and positive way?
Keep your Personal Information Private
As it was mentioned before, once you post something online, it’s there for the world to see. Discretion is strongly important in aviation and if you don’t protect your personal information (where you spend your free time, where you live, etc.), your employer might doubt your ability to keep the company issues private. Think better before posting anything personal online because you cannot count on deleting things that you regret. By the time you delete it, it could already be circulating to the masses.
Importance of Spelling and Grammar
Grammar and spelling are losing their value because technology and social media are making things too convenient for us. We can now use autocorrect function every time we write something but it also appears that people are becoming progressively more unconcerned with their ability to spell or even write in a grammatically correct manner. However, grammar and spelling mistakes can without a doubt undermine your online image not only among your followers but also among your current or potential employers.