Practicing Social Distancing and still want to make networking a priority?
The web and your smartphone may just be your new best friends. But that doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind or that all apps are created equally. Here are a couple worth your time and some tried-and-true tips to keep you on a professional path.
Link Up. When it comes to professional social networking, LinkedIn is still at the top of the “must-have” list. But are you using it properly? If you are only accepting connections from people you already know or have a relationship with, the answer is probably not. You’re looking to expand your network, right? That doesn’t mean you have to accept every connection that comes your way but DO take a look at the person’s profile. Do you have mutual connections? Who are they? Ask yourself if adding this person could be beneficial in some way.
Friends Only? As with LinkedIn, you may not be utilizing Facebook to the best of your ability if you’re only connecting with your inside circle of friends. If this is because you’re leery to share personal content, you may want to consider more than one Facebook account. Perhaps creating a professional Facebook profile would be best for networking purposes and for growing your contacts. This may be particularly helpful when it comes to RSVPing to networking events and when attending virtual functions.
Now that you’re on the right track with your accounts, you’ll want to be sure that you’re creating appropriate messaging and content. Keep these ideas top-of-mind…
- Make it personal. Don’t message your LinkedIn or Facebook contacts with generalized messages that are essentially “form letters.” Social media gives you a unique opportunity to get to know people and to share, so take the time to get to know someone and to show that you care about them as individuals.
- Don’t be “all about you.” Share the love. Don’t make every post on either platform about what you’re doing or what you’re involved with. Make your account a healthy mix of sharing what other contacts have going on, too. Maybe one of your contacts works with a nonprofit holding a fundraising event. Share that info! Networking should be mutually beneficial.
- Keep it spam-free. Know what is appropriate for friends, versus what’s appropriate for professional connections. While it’s great to share professional and some personal accomplishments, your professional accounts are NOT the place to post political preferences, chain letters, and other content that could offend or alienate. Be sure to think about how your message will be received before you click “post.”
Learn more about Pagoda Business Network online at pagodabusinessassociation.com. We hope to see everyone in person, soon!
Nikki Murry is editor of Berks County Living magazine and a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and blogger. In her free time she is an active dog rescue volunteer and enjoys spending time with her 15-year-old son, Riley, and her three dogs: Buddha and Shelly, French Bulldogs, and Bruno, a Boston Terrier.