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Using Social Media for Professional Networking


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The best way to use social media for professional networking is to use it effectively in your day-to-day life. Learn how to: create a professional digital profile; find your voice and create fresh social media content; use LinkedIn and Twitter effectively for networking; create meaningful connections; and build lasting professional relationships.

This presentation was developed for the American Public Health Association (APHA) as part of their resources for early career professionals. It was originally delivered in January, 2015 and was updated in May, 2016.

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Using Social Media for Professional Networking

  1. 1. Get Linked In & Linked Up: Using Social Media for Professional Networking Erin Edgerton Norvell Founder & Principal Strategist Digital Edge Communications Executive Director Society for Health Communications May, 2016
  2. 2. Today’s Discussion  What to do vs. what not to do  Establishing a professional digital profile  Creating and disseminating interesting content  Using LinkedIn & Twitter effectively  Creating meaningful connections  Making the “ask” when networking for job opportunities  Building lasting professional relationships Digital Edge Communications
  3. 3. Do this…. But NOT this  Use social media regularly in your “professional life”  Show your personality, unique voice, and interests  Build content around a particular set of interests, topics, or skillsets  Use automation tools to streamline and maximize your engagement  Listen, respond, and participate  Initiate conversations and connections  Mix your “personal life” and “professional life” on social media  Create content that lacks a consistent voice or vision  Use your channels in a self- serving way (push-only, lots of “asks”)  Use your personal channels for organizational sales or PR  Underestimate your ability to participate in a meaningful way Digital Edge Communications
  4. 4. The best way to use social media for networking is to use social media effectively in your day-to-day professional life. Digital Edge Communications
  5. 5. Separating Your Social Media Profiles and Personas  Create a separation between your personal and professional profiles – start new profiles if necessary  Be clear about defining who you are and what content you will share – people should know what they’re signing up to “follow”  Create a manageable portfolio of profiles – a few channels used often is better than many channels used sparingly; select channels where frequent content create and participation is easy.  Don’t “set it and forget it” – create goals and review at regular intervals (e.g. followers, connections, recommendations, and interactions)  Review your security settings on each profile every six months Digital Edge Communications
  6. 6. Finding Your Voice, Creating Fresh Content  Talk about things you care about; share your passion and personality  Provide something of value to your audience:  Upcoming events  Related news stories  Related blog posts  Tailor the length, tone and format to the channel  Add your thoughts to others ideas and give credit where credit is due Hello. Digital Edge Communications
  7. 7. Getting Your Voice Heard  Choose the channel that you enjoy so content creation is fun and interesting for you  Disseminate content via LinkedIn and Twitter with cross-links to other profiles  Develop an informal content strategy; know how you’re going to use each channel  Select channels that allow non- members to view the content  Follow the best practices for each channel Twitter LinkedIn Image Credit: IMNOW Digital Edge Communications
  8. 8. Why LinkedIn? Because it’s widely consider to be the most comprehensive resource for professional networking. LinkedIn says:  One in four employees is hired via an employee referral.  80% of companies currently use LinkedIn as a source for recruiting.  If you are under 50 years old or earn less than $100,000, you have a 27% chance of finding a job through your personal and professional network.  If you are over 50 years old or earn more than $100,000, you have a 46% chance of finding a job through your personal and professional network.  By simply creating a LinkedIn profile, you have an 8% chance of securing a job (4% via corporate recruiters and an additional 4% via executive recruiters searching for prospective employees). Source: LinkedIn Pulse Digital Edge Communications
  9. 9. Anatomy of LinkedIn Profile Source: Bussiness2Community Digital Edge Communications
  10. 10. LinkedIn Best Practices  Complete it – complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive job opportunities  Use a professional photo – it’s the first thing people see in search results and on your profile page  Use the background section to attach a copy of your resume for easy printing by recruiters  Expand on your experience – it should match your resume but can include more details, especially key words that recruiters will search for  Include “advice for contacting” in the additional information section. People outside your network can’t see your contact information. This is where you can share the best way to reach out to you directly.  Join groups and actively participate to make connections within the site  Solicit and provide recommendations from/to trusted colleagues  Create a custom url that’s easy to share  Cross-post content you’ve created Source: University of Buffalo Digital Edge Communications
  11. 11. Why Twitter?  Because public health professionals and organizations are already there (for now…)  Since tweets are short, content creation is easier than long-form content (e.g. blogs)  Built-in features make networking easy:  Join twitter chats to find professionals with similar interests  Search by hashtag to find conversations to join and people to follow  Establish lists around topics that interest you Digital Edge Communications
  12. 12. Anatomy of a Twitter Profile  Memorable (and logical) handle  Professional profile picture  Optimized header image  Coordinated background image  Custom text and link color  Human and SEO-friendly bio  Location  Mixture of tweet formats  Follower to following ratio Source: Hubspot Image Credit: Party Aficionado Digital Edge Communications
  13. 13. Twitter Best Practices Source: Passion Digital Digital Edge Communications
  14. 14. Automation Tools  Set aside dedicated time for content creation  Disseminate based on engagement data and update posting schedule over time  Use data and analyses to refine content creation and tailor content for your followers  Site and browser integration simplifies content creation easy  Tools to try:  Buffer – scheduling and analytics tool  Follwerwonk – analytics tool Digital Edge Communications
  15. 15. Buffer Followerwonk Digital Edge Communications
  16. 16. Identifying & Connecting with Thought Leaders  Join groups and virtual events – participate often  Connect with conference speakers; check schedules of upcoming conferences even if you can’t attend  Mention or say thank you to bloggers and content creators when they post something you find valuable  Review your connections’ connections  Once you’re connected: say hello, ask questions, respond to his/her content, engage as peers Digital Edge Communications
  17. 17. Making the Most of Live Events  Live tweeting conferences is a great way to get new followers. Some tips:  Focus on writing new tweets rather than simply retweeting  Make sure each tweet can stand on its own  Wait for the substance of the discussion – being complete is better than being first  Find relevant links or twitter handles to include before you tweet  Use LinkedIn to network in advance – ask your contacts if they’re attending and schedule times to meet  Post recaps of your favorite presentations and mention the presenters  Send a virtual “thank you” directly to presenters or the conference organizer Digital Edge Communications
  18. 18. Making the “Ask”  Don’t:  Ask for a job  Ask him/her to buy something (don’t mix your personal resources with your current company’s sales strategy)  Do:  Ask to be connected with an HR representative  Ask for his/her personal advice about succeeding in the field  Ask for an informational interview about his/her organization or sector  Ask which events, conferences, trainings you should attend Digital Edge Communications
  19. 19. When Social Media Isn’t Enough  Post-interview thank you notes  Networking at conferences and in-person events  Professional development  Building a relationship with a mentor COFFE E Break Digital Edge Communications
  20. 20. Building Lasting Relationships Become a Friendlier Person Win People to Your Way of Thinking Be a Leader Source: Dale Carnegie • Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain • Give honest, sincere appreciation • Become genuinely interested in other people • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves • Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely • Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person • Ask questions instead of giving direct orders • Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement • Give the other person a good reputation to live up to • The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it • Show respect for the other person’s opinion • If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically • Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view • Appeal to the nobler motives Digital Edge Communications
  21. 21. Thank you! Erin Edgerton Norvell @eedgerton Slides available: