Tips to Help You Build and Expand Your Professional Network through Social Media
Networking has come a long way since the early days of attending events and introducing oneself to “influential” figures. With modern technology continuing to demonstrate its power over people from all walks of life, it has greatly influenced how one builds and nurtures a professional network. Today, people are increasingly complementing their traditional networking with modern social networking.
If Facebook were a country, it would be the largest on Earth population-wise. With approximately 1.39 billion people using the platform every month to communicate with other users, the number has since surpassed the entire population of China, the world’s most populous country to date, which has roughly 1.36 bill
This means that it’s no longer enough to view social networking sites, like Facebook, as mere sites where you can post status updates and talk to friends. These sites have evolved into something bigger and more relevant for people, especially for professionals who are aiming to establish and maintain credible networks among their circle.
“It is often said that you are only as strong as your network and, whether we believe that to be true or not, why risk it?” contributor Cynthia Johnson (@CynthiaLIVE) wrote in an article that appeared on Entrepreneur (@Entrepreneur). “Finding people in the digital world is simple, reaching out to them can be scary, but finding out how to contact them is easy.”
To help professionals take advantage of the social media platforms they’re using to connect with people, Johnson listed down some important tips:
- Twitter: Twitter has been reinventing and reformulating tactics to improve its platform, and the latest results have been quite impressive. All in all, Twitter boasts 288 million monthly active users.
Almost everyone has a Twitter account nowadays; in fact, even world leaders have jumped on the bandwagon. According to the latest statistics, 80% or 4 out of 5 heads of state, are utilizing Twitter. So how do you successfully reach and interact with an important person on this social platform?
- Search for the person or company you want to contact using Twitter’s advanced search tool.
- Upon finding their account, create an initial interaction by following them and commenting on or retweeting one of their tweets
- Shoot them a direct message with your email attached, informing them that you want to connect and that they can contact you anytime.
- LinkedIn: If you’re looking to build your professional network online, LinkedIn is a very good place to start. The platform is specifically designed to help users create and manage their professional identity.
Over 347 million people in over 200 countries and territories have LinkedIn accounts. And the number is growing at a fast rate, as the platform gains approximately 2 new members every second. To maximize the use of this platform, take note of these tips:
- Expand your network by requesting to connect with second-degree contacts.
- Use unique tags to separate your contacts by company name, job title, how you met them, etc.
- Join LinkedIn groups to interact with others. Don’t be afraid to ask and answer questions. You may also want to reach out to the top contributors from the group in order to ensure your questions get noticed and answered.
- Facebook: There’s no question Facebook is the King when it comes to connecting people. One feature that makes it an awesome networking tool is its Facebook groups. Listed below are some of the best practices you can apply to help broaden your professional network:
- Search for and gain access to groups by using specific keywords, e.g. Online Marketing, Digital Marketers, SEO, etc.
- If the group you want to join is a private group, send a request for access. “Do not be afraid of not being accepted,” Johnson wrote in her article.
- Make it a habit to ask and answer questions, and to participate in discussions with members of the group.
Social media is a vast community, and tons of people rely on them to make excellent connections. Surely, there are many other ways to expand your professional network online, but applying these tips to your social media accounts will help you grow your professional network successfully.
Are there other tips you’d like to share? Post them in the Comments below!
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