This is part three (and the final post) in my mini-series on the keys to successful networking. In my last two posts, I covered body language and alternative places to network. This month, we’re going to cover networking using social media. This is a new and ever-evolving topic within the business world. Social media’s impact on effectiveness in networking is one of more glaring obvious ways that technology has changed how we communicate. Networking via social media may seem a bit foreign and uncomfortable for those who haven’t grown up with social media profiles, but if leveraged correctly, social media marketing can be incredibly effective. Here are a few rules to keep in mind when exploring the world of social….networking.
Find (Linkedin) Groups That Match Your Interests
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) professional networking platforms available right now. Everything that LinkedIn offers as a service provides an opportunity to make important connections with other professionals both inside and outside of your field. Many LinkedIn groups offer career-related conversation threads where professionals exchange ideas, questions, and media with one another. Find groups that make sense for you to join and then engage. Remember, networking isn’t only for someone looking for a job. You should always be looking to make meaningful connections, as a strong network is key for creating professional opportunities for yourself.
Tip: LinkedIn Groups are not the only groups that can yield great networking opportunities. Check out interest groups on Twitter and Facebook as well. You never know what you might find.
Engage With Authors & Creators of Content You Like
It’s a great move to determine which thought leaders and social influencers you think would be the best for your to converse with.
Please immediately note that this does not mean to ask for a favor over social media. When I say engage, I mean that you should take a moment to comment on articles that they post, or starting/joining a twitter exchange about a topic they are writing about. Best case scenario is that you create a meaningful rapport with the creator, and it becomes more of a legitimate professional relationship. If that doesn’t happen, you’re still establishing yourself as an interested party in the niche, and you may be sought out by others that have seen your interactions, and have similar interests.
Keep An Eye On Who Has Looked At Your LinkedIn Profile
This may feel a bit strange for some, but if your settings allow it, you will be able to see at least a few of the people who have visited your Linkedin profile. Even if they didn’t reach out to communicate anything to you, they visited your profile for a reason. If the viewer isn’t already a connection of yours, determine why you think they looked at you and whether or not they would be a good connection to make. If the person is someone you know, feel free to reach out and send a friendly check-in message. Building a line of open communication is one of the best ways to keep your network strong.