During a time where most people have at least one social media account, it is no surprise that networking has gone digital. Social media may even be the first place people look for you.
Social media allows you to connect with industry experts around the country that you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to otherwise. When done the right way, social media is a great tool to build your professional contacts and grow your network.
Not sure where to start? LinkedIn is the perfect platform because it is filled with professionals looking to make connections.
Here are a few tips to help you maximize your networking potential:
- Don’t be afraid to connect with people you do not know or people you have never worked with. The beauty of social media is that you have the opportunity to connect with people outside of your normal “circle.”
- Find common ground with a new connection, whether its your job, hometown or hobby. Give a reason why you are reaching out.
- Utilize hashtags to find connections in your industry or niche – start with keywords that relate to your business.
- Be consistent and dedicate a set amount of time each week that you will spend networking on social media. It takes time.
- Engage in discussions and re-post content that you find interesting. If you’re adding value to the discussion, it’s likely that people will reply or follow you.
- Nurture the relationship with the person you connect with before you start asking for favors or their business.
Just like networking in person, networking online is an ongoing process. Each connection could lead to a new opportunity for your future, so take your time.