08 Jul Utilizing Social Media For Professional Networking
A lot of business matters are conducted at a rapid pace online and through social media. We cannot possibly meet face-to-face with every contact. However, business online still often originates from referrals made in-person, even if it’s through a few degrees of separation.
Various forms of social media have made networking less of an art form and more of an organizational necessity. Therefore, you should have a networking plan in place. Do you have a strategy, an approach, and end goal(s) to connect with others? Does your plan incorporate online platforms, such as a website or social networks?
I suggest you get comfortable with forms of social media you know and like. It’s important to pick a few that seem appropriate to you, whether for industry, generational, or personal reasons. But don’t be too aspirational and risk spreading yourself too thin.
Create Value For Others
A quality, professional online presence prioritizes content that is about creating value for others. When we step outside ourselves and are open to receiving what others offer, we can develop truer and deeper meaning to the relationship.
A strong online presence also clearly tells us if the other party is a substantial person with whom we really want to connect. Learning early about how and what we want to pursue in a new connection is critical to focusing on positive, impactful activities and relationships in order to build viable networks, social media outreach for business should be more about helping others than ourselves.
Quality Over Quantity
More isn’t always better. Just as you want to focus on other-focused social media outreach, you should also avoid connections with those who are self-focused “takers,” people who waste your time or are disrespectful or untrustworthy.
That being said, not everyone will be a viable connection straight away. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t worth interacting with online. Find a solid platform to select, refine, and maintain different types of relationships. Develop a systematic way to differentiate your key relationships and the value of each.
No one is an island. Your relationships are part of your professional balance sheet; they are springboards for getting things done.
Carry It Over
Ultimately, an online presence will do you no good if it doesn’t translate to in-person meetings. Don’t neglect one-on-one meetings, troikas, and networking events in favor of social media; rather, they should reinforce one another.
At Legacy Forum, we maintain a community of professional service providers that foster deep and mutually beneficial relationships with one another. Our elite organization brings together Southern California’s top service professionals to focus on business, personal, and professional development through shared experience, knowledge and purpose.