If you’re mainly using Social Media to keep up with the Kardashians, you’re doing it wrong and missing out on professional networking opportunities.
Social Media is an incredibly powerful networking tool. It allows you to access important players in your industry who are perhaps otherwise pretty impossible to reach.
You may recall over the past few months I was featured in Nia Magazine and VEU Magazine. Do you know how I landed these features? Social Media! It was my connections with the owner of VEU and editor of Nia on social media that led to me being featured.
It’s absolutely possible to make valuable networking connections by leveraging Social Media’s platform. Here are a few tips for how to make contact with key players in your industry on social media – without being weird or coming on too strong.
Choose the person you want to get in touch with. When you’re looking to make a connection with someone on Social Media, make sure you’re choosing someone with a realistic following. For example, it’s more difficult to foster a Social Media connection with the publication’s Editor-in-Chief, who has 1 million followers. But the editor on the career section you are looking to write for may have only 10,000 – which is still a large following, but more reasonable that this person would notice comments from one of 10,000 followers than one out of 1 million.
Make your Social Media page look pristine. Take a scroll down your Social Media page and make sure there’s nothing vulgar or unprofessional on your timeline. Ideally, your Social Media page should be full of tweets and retweets that speak to recent and valuable trends and developments in your industry.
Follow this person on Social Media. Follow the person you’re interested in networking with, and start to repost or retweet a few of their posts. Don’t come on too strong, don’t just retweet everything they’ve tweeted in the past 24 hours, but select posts that resonate with you and the industry you’re serving. This is particularly effective if you’re reposting something that positions them in a positive light.
Mention the person in a post. Don’t overthink it. Your post could be something positive like: “I love the work you do – let me know how to help spread the word!” Or it could be something like “Take a look at @Soulstruck.Republic’s article: 5 Genius Career Moves in Your 20s.” Just make sure to be authentic, and don’t overdo it with the kisses.
If you haven’t received a reply within a day or two, continue to repost, retweet and share interesting posts every few days or so. At some point or another, you’re very likely to get a reply from this person. The more you support someone on Social Media, the more likely they’ll want to be networking with you.
In today’s job market, it’s important to think outside of the box. More and more companies are coming up with creative ways to leverage social media and you should too! You never know where your next opportunity might come from.