The Keys to Networking: Using Social Media

barbara mckinzie

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.


To see the resources used for this article click: TheMuse & Entrepreneur


Women in Business – What is success and how to get it?

Making a name for yourself in the business world is hard enough as is, but for a woman, it can be even harder. Even though we make up 50.8 percent of the population, 60 percent of students receiving undergraduate degrees, and 44 percent of students receiving master’s degrees in business and management, it isn’t reflected in those holding powerful positions.

While women hold almost 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, 4.6 percent of women hold Fortune 500 CEO positions. In the finance, healthcare and social assistance industries, they hold absolutely no CEO positions.A woman standing in front of the Empire State Building

Obviously, there’s an issue. A giant one. Despite women holding more leadership positions than ever, the extreme imbalance still exists and we need to first acknowledge that before we can expect any kind of change to come.

The Center for Women’s Business Research has found that, for the last twenty years, women have been starting and growing businesses faster than their male counterparts. In fact, 20 percent of all businesses valued at over $1 million are owned and led by women today.

What it is that gives these women an edge to aid in their success? A few key characteristics.

Listen to Yourself. Your gut feelings rarely steer you in the wrong direction, so please ladies, don’t muffle your inner voice.

Establish Core Values. The business world is constantly evolving, and you’re expected to evolve with it. However, you need something to keep you tethered to the ground, and that’s where your core values come in. Examine what timeless values are important to you and your company in order to achieve success and implement them everyday.

Reach Higher. Always strive for more, there will always be something or someone better than your best. High goals usually yield high results. Don’t believe me? The Center for Women’s Business Research found that “the only statistically significant predictor of whether a woman business owner will obtain capital and expand her business is not length of time in business, size of business or industry – it is her goal for growth.”

Live Life. Don’t pack your schedule full of to-dos and meetings and reports, and leave time for life. Whether that’s enjoying a meal, taking a bike ride, or a simple unplanned moment of fun with family and friends. When you’re experiencing life in a way that makes you enjoy and appreciate things, it will undoubtedly fall over into your professional life as well.

Grades 9-14 | The Educational & Business Value

education-barbara mckinzieAs technology is pushing the work force forward with new career offerings, higher education is struggling to keep up. This is happening in how students are being trained for these new work fields. In a system still largely focused on lectures and tests, students are completing their studies while remaining unprepared for what lies ahead.

Several surveys administered by the IBM Institute for Business Value revealed some undesirable results. More than half of respondents believe that the higher education system is not structured in a way that appropriately serves students or industries. One of the biggest challenges for recruiters is actually finding applicants from universities that have enough practical experience to take on professional opportunities at corporate companies.

The solution lies in creating a more applied educational approach. The focus should be on teaching students the skills that they will actually use when class ends. Practical learning is what will close the gaps in performance that recruiters speak of in their search for qualified applicants. Here is where it will be most valued for businesses and schools to work together.

An institution that really incorporates the business world into their learning structure is San Jose State University. They have a program that works with IBM to best prepare students for real world business challenges. There is even a mentorship element where current students can work with employees of IBM to guide them through the business processes that carry through product development, marketing, and even HR.

Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools or P-TECH is an example of a new model for education that was formed in 2011 with the help of IBM. It blends technical and computing efforts while providing the opportunity for students to receive their associated degree for free. The model is set up for grades 9-14 and there are no testing requirements for college admission. Students will even have a business mentor. By the end of the program, students are exposed to more career opportunities and position offerings from companies like IBM.

To learn more about new efforts to merge business and academic training to better prepare today’s students, visit HBR here.