Most of us have swapped business cards at a networking event or connected with our fair share of people on LinkedIn. Both are so common in 2018 that one must look beyond the traditional outlets to forge and maximize professional associations.
Two words: social media.
How can one network on social media? Which begs another question: why should one network on social media? Statista.com gives us 2.46 billion reasons. According to Statista’s research from more than 18,000 sources, there were 2.46 billion social media users across the globe in 2017. And Statista’s projections for the next five years? Add at least another 500 million users to the number. In contrast, LinkedIn has less than 500 million users. With that amount of people available across the web, why wouldn’t you want to network on social media? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Engage in Twitter chats: Check out this list of Twitter chats with numerous topics, dates and times. Twitter chats open the door to talk to thousands of people all over the world.
Create tweets that create conversation: Rather than making statements, craft tweets that include questions and prompt replies from your followers. And, no brainer, reply to those tweets you follow as well.
Follow people with whom you want to connect: If you have targeted professionals in mind , follow them on Twitter and engage with their tweets. Be sincere. Forbes shares a story about a woman who used Twitter to connect with the editor of a publication, hoping to get her work published. Her networking paid off as her writing was published and even retweeted by the editor.
#DotheHashtagThing: Whether you’re looking for similar accounts to follow or trends and current events, Twitter hashtags have you covered. Searching even the most basic hashtag will introduce you to new professionals in your industry, like-minded colleagues, potential mentors, media and thousands of related tweets internationally. Consider creating your own hashtag, something as simple as the abbreviation of your company or a tagline for your company. Of course, research your hashtag first.
Utilize Instagram Direct Messaging to create a “pod:” Connect with similar accounts through hashtags and the Explore page on Instagram. Create a group message, or what is commonly known as an Instagram “pod,” with these accounts to share content and stay in contact on a regular basis. You can also use these pods to swap ideas, ask advice, questions and invite others to events.
#Utilize #hashtags: Similar to using hashtags for Twitter, utilizing hashtags on Instagram helps you find specific content and accounts on Instagram.
Post job-related content: Post and share content on Facebook that will allow your friends to engage and relate. Making this content related to work will draw and maintain a professional presence — a point of reference for contacts.
Use Facebook to market yourself: Share content of your own on Facebook. This might include your published work or a past project. Utilize your platform to showcase your experience and talents with friends and those you consider professional contacts.
Create or join Facebook groups with other professionals: Similar to an Instagram pod, create or join a Facebook group with your professional contacts on Facebook. Use this platform to share relevant material related to your profession, share your own writing and work, and engage with your fellow professionals’ work on a regular basis.
Growing your professional presence on social media doesn’t stop here. Check out our blog post on branding yourself across all of your favorite social platforms.
Written by Clairemont intern, Kennedy Norton, a fashion blogger and junior at North Carolina State University.