How to Reap The Benefits of Social Networking for Professionals (And What Not To Do)

 

You’ve seen those people on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. They’ve got hundreds of thousands of “friends” or “followers” on their professional or business pages, and they’re pumping out content that gets noticed and shared.

So, how do you become one of these social networking masters? It’s easier than you think.

Just follow these simple tips on how to reap the benefits of social networking (and what to avoid) and you’ll be making connections like a pro in no time at all. Keep reading to find out more!

Keep reading to find out more!

Create Separate Personal and Professional Profiles

Unless your brand is your own name, it’s always a good idea to keep your personal profiles separate from your professional ones. Especially if you’re using social media networking to advertise a business, your reputation on these platforms is very important.

By keeping your personal accounts separate, you can go on as many rants or share as many funny videos or memes as you want without possibly offending a prospective professional contact. Just make sure that you keep these accounts set to “private.”

Also, be sure to avoid sharing too many personal details (and never share your address or phone number). Keep in mind that protecting yourself from harassment is a priority!

Be Persistent, Not Pushy

Gaining the benefits of social networking is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time! And if you’re expecting results overnight, you’re going to be disappointed.

Persistence is key for social networking. That being said, if someone doesn’t want to form a connection with you on social media, let it be. Pestering the same person over and over with friend requests is a surefire way to annoy them.

If a couple people do reject you, don’t let it get you down. There is any number of reasons why it may not be a good match, and trying to guess is a waste of your time. Keep your head held high, move onto the next one, and watch your network flourish with people who really support you!

And in the same vein, don’t always expect a response right away. Sometimes life gets busy, and messages or requests can get lost in the shuffle. If someone wants to connect with you, they’ll get around to it when they can!

Put Yourself out There to Reap the Benefits of Social Networking

If you want to experience the benefits of social networking, you can’t be shy. Of course, it can be a little nerve-wracking to put yourself out there and face rejection, but if you aren’t assertive, you’ll simply never gain the connections you’re looking for.

Remember, 80% of the population use social media, and that’s just in the United States! There are plenty of people to network with. And the other professionals on social media are there to network as well.

Focus on First Impressions

Let’s say you have a goal of reaching out to 30 people in one day. You could write a general greeting, copy it, and paste it in messages to each of them. Sounds like a great way to save time, right?

Wrong.

People will see through this time-saving method right away and copied and pasted messages only achieve an impersonal tone. If you want to make the kind of first impression that forges a true connection, be sure that each message is personal.

What’s the best way to do this? Keep your messages short, to the point, friendly, and respectful. If possible, highlight a common interest between the two of you.

Show people why you’re different than every other social networking request they’re receiving that day!

Beef Up Those Profiles

The bigger your profiles are, the better!

Think about it. You receive a connection request on a social media platform from a stranger, click on their profile to check it out, and all it has is a blank space where a picture should be and a couple of vague status updates. Well, you’re going to pass on that one.

Make sure that your profile is bursting with personality, professional photos, and information about your professional brand.

Be Aware of How Each Platform Differs

Speaking of profiles, make sure that each of yours is different depending on the platform. Your interactions with them should be as well. Here’s how.

LinkedIn

The benefits of social networking on LinkedIn are by far the most professionally rewarding. It’s essentially the same as posting a resume online. It’s also a great way to find new contacts through ones that you already have.

So, you should keep LinkedIn the most professional of all.

Facebook

Facebook is a bit more casual than LinkedIn, and it’s a great platform in which you can reconnect with old friends, classmates, babysitters…who knows!

That being said, you never know who these people know, so it can be a great opportunity for professional networking as well.

Twitter

Twitter is the most easygoing of these three. You can message anyone, anytime. Strike up a conversation with someone who tweets something that interests you!

With millions of users, you just never know who you might bump into.

Think of Others, Too

You’re not the only person who can reap the benefits of social networking through these connections. Hopefully, the other people involved will too!

It’s important to keep this in mind. What can you offer to others through networking? Do you have skills, ideas, contacts that you can share?

Beneficial, successful relationships are those in which both parties are experiencing profits. Not only does it feel good to help others, it can help your reputation online, and open doors to other connections as well.

Wrapping Up

If you’re patient, keep things professional, keep altruism in mind, you’ll be experiencing the full benefits of social networking in no time at all. Just remember to stick with it!

With so many social networks and people in the world, it can get overwhelming. But by utilizing the tips mentioned above, the rewards will be much greater than the setbacks.

Got any questions? Comments? Feel free to contact us anytime. We’d love to hear from you!

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