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Social media platforms have been growing every day for the past decade. And so is their influence on the different brands and individuals. The chance that you would not find someone or a brand on any social media platform is almost zero.
However, when it comes to networking on these platforms, it can be challenging in various ways. Sometimes, we try to broaden our network through our socials without following a proper strategy or the right tricks. This, in turn, ends up costing us time and maybe even non-lasting networks.
Hear From an Expert
As told by Ian Siegel, CEO of ZipRecruiter, “Networking is an Awesomely, Ridiculously Unfair Advantage. Use It!”
Sometimes, we mistake networking to be only relevant for finding a job or a candidate for a job. You should remember that your network can be helpful beyond that, helping you realize your goals.
And once you know your goals and ready for working towards them, ZipRecruiter can help you find the best position where you can invest yourself.
Whatever stage of your career you may be currently at, your network can surely benefit you. Keep reading this article to discover tips and tricks to help you network in your social media channels in the most effective way.
6 Tips & Tricks to Network on Social Media
Build a Social Presence
When you have career goals, it’s crucial to build your social media presence. And you need to do that before you attempt to grow your network or reach out to people within your existing network.
You may ask why.
Well, your profile will be the first thing that people will notice. If you want important people to find you, or you want to shine in an online room full of strangers, your social media outlook needs to be catchy and attractive.
There are different steps you can take towards building the social media presence in the right way.
Step 1: Define your audience
Everyone is not going to be your target. Your prospective connections may not be only industry pros but also social media influencers. When you break down the type of people you want in your network, the steps to follow will become more precise.
You must also know which social media your target audience is using the most. While many professionals have LinkedIn, a lot of people may only use Instagram or Facebook for the same purpose you have.
Pro tip: Be present on more than 1 social media platform to leverage different types of audience you may have.
Step 2: Set a SMART goal
To start with, set SMART objectives for your profile. The specific objective of your social media will enable you to refrain from posting or reaching out to people without direction.
Here’s how to set a SMART goal:
|S||Specific||What do you want to achieve?|
|M||Measurable||How to assess it?|
|R||Relevant||Suitability to your profile|
|T||Time-bound||By when do you want to achieve it?|
An example of a SMART goal would be: “grow my LinkedIn network by 500 connections in the next 3 months”.
Step 3: Define your tone
Once you’ve decided which social media platform(s) to use, it’s time to define your tone of voice – how you speak to your connections and what type of content you share with them.
Another important tip is to refrain from sounding robotic. Highlight the human side of you through your profile. No one enjoys faceless cooperation without any idea about the personality.
In today’s world, transparency is highly valued, and adding a human touch can add to the credibility of the face behind the name in social media.
Find Thought Leaders & Influencers
The thought leaders and influencers in your network will be able to help you grow. This is important when you are thinking about the long-term benefits.
Thought leaders and influencers are experts in a specific topic or a subject, but these people also enjoy sharing different information and knowledge on social media platforms.
There can be times when you will require some direction or guidance in industries like business, governmental organizations, NGOs, or your niche. In these times, people, who are well-aware and interested in comprehending the future trends, ongoing situations, and the lessons from the past on these specific topics, will come in handy.
These people must be within your network as their exclusive insights will help you sooner or later. They can also be helpful for consultations about specific topics or when you are looking for an expert opinion about your next steps.
Influencers are also pretty valuable since they have the charm to convince, or rather ‘influence’ their audience to take up or give up a specific course of action. You might be able to collaborate with them when you need a response from a wider audience or need to implement something out there.
Pro tip: Engage in regular conversations to know what is in the trend and how you should be acting if you are looking for some branding.
We often forget to listen in the race of telling or talking. However, listening does not always refer to directly hearing from someone. In this case, I refer to social listening.
This is more about keeping an eye out on the different social media channels to monitor the specific mentions of the products and companies of your interest, the people or brands you want to be updated about, and yourself.
Social media listening will give you the means to track, analyze, and respond according to what is being discussed in and around you. It is also essential when it comes to finding the right people to connect to.
For instance, you might find a brand you are following, giving a shoutout to a person who has recently done something noteworthy with the brand’s improvement. You might then want to connect to that person to know more about how he or she has executed the course of action.
You can also learn what topics are most talked about or in trend in the field of interest. And you can then associate your upcoming posts or conversations around them. It will help you to grab attention from people in your network and people to whom you want to reach out.
Build Awareness by Posting Engaging Content
Awareness about your presence in social media, or your business, will not happen in a day. However, you must achieve this to boost the familiarity among your network or among the public audience.
When people are aware of what you stand for, support, or what business you are involved with, you will become more recognizable. As a result, people sharing interests in related issues will be encouraged to connect with you. Your credibility shoots up when you produce and engage in more content.
Nevertheless, you cannot work on building awareness simply by posting anything and everything. You need solid and engaging content, which represents you for your audience to connect.
The content must highlight your voice, mission, or something distinct that sets you apart from the crowd. You may even do some content marketing if your goal is to generate leads through social media networks.
In any case, you have to keep your target audience well in mind. This will decide the tone and design of the content you come up with and affect the connections you make or target.
Here are some of the things to keep in mind to build awareness:
- Try to focus on the story behind the range
- Choose social media platforms for publishing it wisely
- Create a schedule for the contents according to the response analysis of the audience in these channels
- Post about topics that are hot among your target
Always remember, participation is the key! To get into conversations where you want to get noticed, you have to participate actively. You can share a post that speaks most to you and enjoy your network to see it as something you believe in. Try to be a part of the community that you want to join.
When it comes to building connections, you must be aware that relationships work better than just followers. Your follower count doesn’t say much about your success in building a network.
Instead, the number of people you can regularly engage with or share your content with are the most valuable ones. You need to focus on the ‘social’ part of the social media network.
You can form connections just with anyone and anywhere. It is in your best interest that the link happens with people you target through your social network.
There are some tips for quickly building such relationships as you connect with different people in the network. You can consistently “@mention” other brands, companies, and people to refer to them in your posts. You should also try to answer all the questions that come your way on social media.
And if someone did “@mention” you or shared the content, you post, comment with a reply of gratitude. At times of “resharing” content, you should also write a small caption showing your thoughts about the content or starting a conversation about it.
Avoid the Cold Sell
If you’re trying to find new customers, reaching out to a prospect can be pretty helpful. It will also help your cause, even if you just want to increase your connections.
But, you should avoid cold selling at all costs. Some links or people you are reaching out to might start considering you as spam. And once they start considering you as unwanted, it will hurt you or your brand and your goal of building the social network.
Also, it might even be redundant for your purpose and rather drive people away from you. You might end up not even getting the response that you could otherwise get by channeling your time and energy to a better strategy.
Ways to Network on Social Media: Bottom Line
Now that you are well-aware of the right strategies to follow to make a connection in the SMARTest way, help yourself realizing your goals more efficiently.
No matter how difficult achieving your goals may seem, you can overcome the barriers by building a valuable network on social media, as we have discussed.