Social media came onto the spot with a massive, loyal following. Close to 70% of Americans today use Facebook alone, and other platforms (Instagram especially) have nearly as strong a following.
We use social media to communicate in new ways, joining together e-commerce, scrapbooking, and personal relationships under one roof. It’s not surprising that people can leverage these avenues for professional social networking.
Just as you have to learn to navigate social media through navigational bars and menus, you should understand how to maneuver professional tactics.
Social media is as linked to a person today as their public information is to internet searchers. In this article, we’ll show you how to best use this unique resource to ensure you get the most out of it professionally.
The Basics of Professional Social Networking
1. Build and Maintain a Professional Reputation/Persona
When you create a profile on any of these social media platforms, you instantly develop a persona for yourself. Just like your physical presence has a reputation with many people, so does your online presence.
People and companies will make decisions based on this persona (such as reaching out to you, offering a job, following your profile, etc.). The reputation you build, whether professional or not, will still leak into your professional life.
That weekend party at the cabin where you got a little out of control turned up in pictures. Those picture surface on your profile and people see it. Recruiters may do a little internet research and also find the pictures, affecting their decision to hire.
Once you build any profile account, make sure to treat it as if the recruiters of your dream job are watching. Be respectful and keep up a respectful reputation. From there, you can navigate professional markets with a clean conscious.
2. Post as Regularly as You Can
Once you’ve established your reputation, you’ll need to maintain it by posting regular content. Consistent activity will tell people a few things about you in a somewhat professional light:
One, it shows that you know how to navigate social media, which is a huge professional skill. Companies today hire whole departments to manage marketing and outreach in social media alone.
Second, regular content gives you a chance to prove you are both transparent and responsible. If you give regular respectful updates on things like your travels or interests, you demonstrate your life is an open book.
Third, It will give you a chance to attract a following or at least grab the attention of some professional parties. LinkedIn, for example, is great for posting business-related blogs and articles for other companies to see.
So, what do you post?
Try your hand at essay-style blog articles to exercise your professional opinion and flex your writing skills. Update people with your accomplishments (either personal or professional) and keep up a grateful attitude.
Include company outings or any company milestones reached to show support for your company. This will all help you to attract new professional connections and build lasting relationships.
3. Look for Potential Leads in Groups
Groups and forums on social media platforms are one of the greatest ways professionals can take advantage of online networking. Groups are online gatherings of like-minded individuals typically looking for the same thing.
Making yourself known in these professional groups will boost your potential for jobs and professional networks. If you’re looking to build clientele, these groups and forums are great ways to sell your services.
Just like a professional network puts you in front of potential leads, these forums and groups act like professional watering holes. Your reputation and online persona will definitely come into play as well as the material you publish on social media.
Browse groups and perform online searches for professional networks through the platforms you’re already involved in.
4. Take Professional and Make it More Personal
Once you’ve developed some sort of professional network or have entered professional groups, offer something personal. It may only be an offer to lunch or an invitation to a company outing so long as you’re building the relationship.
People like to do business with people they like, and they certainly feel more comfortable purchasing from someone they trust. Getting to a personal level of with clients while keeping things professional can boost your network and persona.
Use social media to get involved on a more personal level, or else use it as another means of communication. Reach out and ask to tour an office or meet an individual in your dream department. Showing face will help you leave a lasting impression.
Try reaching out to tour buildings and to reconnect with old professional friends. Browse for organizations or associations you belong to (such as sorority and fraternity connections), and search for groups you’d like to be in.
5. Know Your Platform Well
In order to navigate it best and to use its resources to the fullest, you’ll want to do some hard research on your social media platform.
Sure, you may understand how to post and send direct messages. However, there may be opportunities you haven’t caught onto yet.
It’s wise to experiment across multiple platforms, which will require you to brush up on old skills or learn some new ones. Seek out official resources from the social media companies to get started, but then head over to Google for extra sources.
Figuring out how to fine-tune your posts and locate prime networking opportunities should be one of your top priorities as a job seeker. Anyone looking to build up their professional network, though, can benefit.
Where to Go for More Information
Professional social networking takes a lot of hard work and effort, but the payout can be tremendous (more money, new relationships, job options, etc.). You’ll need all the help you can get to leverage such a powerful and widespread resource.
And we’ve got you covered!
At Online Profile Pros, we’ll show you all the tips and tricks for building and maintaining a professional reputation with ease. Head over to our blog for more insightful tips.