Social Media have increasingly become a significant factor in building and establishing one’s career. It’s highly likely that your boss, co-workers and recruiters have some form of a social media profile, be it through LinkedIn, Twitter, a website or blogs. Making the most of your social profiles to share your work or take part in online conversations is therefore critical, as it can put you in a favorable light to establishing connections that will propel your career forward.
There is great power that lies in Twitter that goes beyond receiving immediate updates from those that you admire or friends and family members. Through using hashtags, you can join or follow a conversation and connect. I was able to set up an informational meeting with an editor from Huffington Post by tweeting the editor. I was at a networking event and didn’t get the chance to speak to the editor, so I sent her a tweet of one of her quotes from the event that I found useful and insightful. We later exchanged messages via Twitter, and I was able to meet and discuss with her over brunch.
Another affective tool is Twitter Chats, which are a great way to network wherever you are. Twitter chats are often organized through companies around a specific topic. You can follow along through the use of a hashtag. It’s a great way to follow, learn and network with influencers or experts in your industry or desired industry. NYWICI also has regular Twitter chats (#nywicichat) that cover a wide range of topics, from the newest trends in social media and technology to salary negotiations.
LinkedIn is a platform that helps you maximize your opportunities to obtain a job. It’s imperative to be active on LinkedIn by checking your feed regularly and engaging with others or connect with thought leaders in your desired industry.
A great way to connect is by using personalized invitations. That way, the person you want to connect with has a better sense of who you are and why it’s valuable to make the connection. You can go as far as to inquire if a coffee or informal lunch meeting is possible. Be sure to communicate your message in a concise manner. It was through LinkedIn that I was contacted about a freelance social media project.
Instagram can help you to showcase your work and connect with others. Following individuals and businesses that you are interested in helps you keep up with trends that matter in your industry. That way, you’re using relevant or popular hashtags to draw others to your page, and it helps you to make connections with those who share similar career goals or interests.
Also, using the hashtags that are associated with the networking events you attend is beneficial. By posting pictures of what’s occurring and using the relevant hashtag, you create an opportunity for those in the same room to inquire about you and reach out.
Digital platforms offer more opportunities to expand your network beyond exchanging business cards. Take a proactive approach to start or join a conversation and make the most of your social media platforms.