You have certainly heard of networking but do you know how you can use social networks to promote your career and expand your list of contacts? Here we will explain what it is and how to use the online tools available in order to improve your online reputation, obtain a greater portfolio of professional contacts and interact with them quickly and efficiently and achieve your objectives.
Let us give a short introduction to the concept of Networking and after that we will explore the social media tools we all know from a professional point of view.
What is networking?
Networking is the process which is carried out with the aim of establishing professional contacts and relationships with people of a particular industry or field of activity. Those relationships are established in order to share information, opportunities and resources which can produce individual professional growth or success in business.
Within the activities of networking, we can include the attendance of events and meetings or as we will see in this post, online connection via social platforms where information is exchanged, services are offered and recommendations are put forward.
An example of networking would be to perform intense activity on social networks and professional events related with your work area so that you can present the services you offer. We will look at this in detail through social networks.
Tips for effective networking on social networks
Social networks have become one of the main tools used in order to carry out intense networking activity which proves to be efficient. Tools such as Linkedin or Twitter have allowed professionals, irrespective of our sector, to connect with like-minded people of our professional circles, with profiles we can learn from, people we can share knowledge with or even connect with on a personal level.
Consequently, as they are very useful tools for this purpose, we will give you the key to effective networking on social networks, habits which we consider you should follow if you wish to cultivate those relations with clients or contacts via social networks.
- Choose your channels well. It is important to find the appropriate channel to draw up an action plan where we can detect the right people to support us professionally. There are professional sectors with greater presence in some channels than others.It is a question of carrying out search exercises in order to find the suitable networks. Does our sector depend strongly on visual content (Pinterest), audiovisual (Youtube), text articles (Twitter or Linkedin)? Do the professionals concerned have a free and easy character (Instagram) or is it a sector subject to protocols (Linkedin)? Is it a young environment (TikTok) or one with a more mature professional profile (Facebook)?
- Catch the attention of the users with clear, concise messages which most importantly have a hook. Many other professionals like you try to have the same presence on social networks. Are you able to offer something different that defines you? Is your style of expression easily understood?
- Be loyal. Always deliver on what you have agreed and have impeccable behaviour on social networks. A bad move can destroy a good reputation.
- Use social networks to expand your knowledge. They are a tremendous source of information which can provide you with free training. You can also end up establishing positive relations with the people you learn from or those who learn with you.
- Do not send SPAM. This is a very common practice on social networks and is not usually acceptable. Do not bombard other people with emails or messages.
- Offer value content and contacts will arrive by themselves. SPAM will not be necessary.
- Be constant. Remember, networking is a continuous process which is not only about obtaining more and more contacts, but rather a question of building valuable relationships in the long term.
- Help others to connect with each other in order to be able to establish long-lasting relations with other professionals who in the long run may be useful to you. Help and others will help you .
Having seen some of the keys for positive networking, let us now take a look at the process of establishing positive professional relationships on some of the most popular social networks.
Doing Networking on Instagram
One of the main applications on social media is Instagram. Although you may initially see it as a more relaxed or informal platform, on Instagram you can also do networking and connect with people of interest to you.
- Identify your niche: Direct your communications towards a specific topic which will be encompassed in your professional field.
- Create a professional and recognisable profile: Make sure you have a profile photo and a clear description which show your personality and above all, your professional interests.
- Interact: Comment on similar professional profiles, share information and your experience, generate interaction via “Likes“ in publications…
- Use relevant hashtags: Instagram thrives to a large extent on hashtags. Search for the hashtags related with your industry to increase the visibility of your publications. Connect with people interested in the same subject.
- Maintain a constant presence. Try to publish content which is interesting for the members of your sector. Do this regularly and maintain a continuous presence. Growth and contacts will start to arrive.
- Use the chat at the right moment. The chat is a powerful tool to connect with professionals in a far more direct way. But remember not to be invasive. Use it only with profiles you have previously had contact with on several occasions.
Improve your networking on Facebook
Whilst it is true that the importance of Facebook has waned in recent years, it is still the most used social network in the world. Nowadays it is perhaps more common to see profiles of older age groups, as there has been an important migration of young people to Instagram or Tik Tok.
The best tactic for networking on Facebook is to participate in groups. There are many groups created for professional relations or for sharing information on a particular subject or interest. There you will find a lot of useful information and engagement with like-minded professionals.
To particpate in these Facebook groups do not forget:
- Share relevant information which is of interest to all the users of the group.
- Comment on and suggest solutions for the discussions or interaction in progress.
- Continue to add people who may be of use in the topics dealt with and in this way expand your list of professional contacts.
Here it is important to maintain a good relation between private and public life. There are those who say that we must not mix professional and personal; our advice is to have a professional profile where the personal aspect is not forgotten. We all like to know that behind a professional there is a person who enjoys life, the family… In short, that there is a soul behind the professional.
Networking on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the ultimate professional network. It has specific fields prepared for questions such as professional experience, knowledge, professional recommendations, discussion groups… It is the perfect place to grow professionally.
Here we set out some tips for doing useful, quality networking on LinkedIn:
- Complete your profile: Be sure to have a complete and professional profile which includes information on your work experience, skills and professional objectives.
- Connect with relevant people: Search for people in your industry sector and request relevant connections. Make sure that you personalise your invitations to connect so that they are more effective. However, do not do this on a massive scale. Look after your contact network so that it does not end up becoming an interminable list of unknown people.
- Be part of relevant groups. Join relevant discussion groups related with your professional area and participate actively in discussions and debates.
- Share valuable content: Share relevant and valuable content for the professional contacts of your sector. In this way, you will be able to generate interaction and show your knowledge and experience.
- Interact with other publications: Make comments and recommend other relevant publications of professionals from your sector.
- Maintain a constant presence: Be sure to keep a constant presence on LinkedIn by publishing regularly and interacting with other people on the platform.
Networking groups on Telegram
As for this social network, groups are also used for networking on Telegram. It is a good medium for participants to contribute actively by posting content, commenting on impressions etc.
The good thing about Telegram is that it provides a more personal step in the direction of professional relations.It is a more familiar and direct messaging channel.When you establish a continued relation with a contact, you can later converse in private to deepen the connection and make mutual contributions.
With regard to the advice for networking on Telegram we can give you, it is not so different to what we offered previously for other platforms:
- Identify the channels of your sector which may be useful to you.
- You must act professionally.
- Share and interact.
- Be constant.
- Offer information on your profile.
Ready to improve your social media career?
We hope you found these social media networking tips useful. By making good use of them, and of social media, we are convinced that you will improve your online presence and reputation in your industry.