The world of social media seems like an impossible place to network sometimes. With so many people sharing an overflow of data all of the time it’s hard to know where to begin and where you are wasting your time. These 6 tips will get you on the right track of networking for success on social media.
1. Keep Your Linked-In Profile Up To Date
As much of a pain as it can be, keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date might be one of the most important things our can do to building a successful network with social media. As you meet people both online and in the real world you want a place where you can easily send them to view your credentials. Linked In is the easiest place to show and connect. Join groups within your desired industry and engage with the community. Answer questions and ask your own questions. Message your mentors and industry leaders to ask specific questions or general advice. Even small conversations can make you a fresh though in someones mind when they are hiring. Never rule anyone out because you never know who holds the power to recommend or hire.
2. Join Relevant Groups
On G+, Facebook, and as mentioned Linked In join groups that are relevant to your future career. These can be national associations, state or city level groups or even something within your campus. You’ll keep a finger on the pulse of what’s hot in your industry and by participating in discussions you’ll begin to build your online presence within the community. Google+ communities are very beneficial to connecting because it hasn’t expanded to include a lot of fluff. Its a very concentrated community of influencers to engage with.
3. Keep Your Profiles Professional
Remember that everything you put online can be viewed by a potential employer or network contact. It’s good to post things from your life that are important, but before you hit upload remind yourself that once it’s out there it never comes back. You don’t want to miss out on a great contact because of one too many keg stand photos on Facebook. Make sure you go through and adjust your privacy settings to edit what can be seen by the public vs. your close friends.
As you join in conversation with the groups you have been given access to be sure to follow up and engage with others. This also applies to Twitter! If you send a question to someone you follow who is a network connection be sure to thank them when they answer and generate a thoughtful conversation. Engaging on Twitter and Facebook is the perfect place to get your name in front of potential contacts in your industry. Make sure that if you have a social media profile that you have something to say . Don’t just be a silent gawker.
5. Get Creative
Instead of sticking to the general platforms like Twitter G+ Facebook and Linked In start thinking of other ways to connect with people. ON.com is a great way to connect and meet people through photos. Instagram has proven a great resource for the fitness and food communities as well as other industries. Anywhere where you can form genuine connections and speak to people you can develop your network from a variety of angles.
6. Take It Offline
Once you have done your due diligence in conversing with a contact online and participating in a useful dialogue: take the plunge. The whole point of networking through social media is to turn that virtual contact into a part of your real world network. Ask your new contact to a quick coffee to introduce yourself or share industry ideas over lunch. If they are across the globe Skype is always an excellent way to put a real world face to a name. Make yourself available to them and work within their schedule. Your confidence and persistence will win you a new colleague and collaborator.