10 Tips to Network Online Using Social Media
Networking is essential whether you’re looking for a new job, finding a mentor, or looking for potential new hires. Since COVID hit, networking online is even more crucial than before.
What are the benefits of online networking?
Networking online is more than just kickstarting your net job search. It can be a great way to meet people with similar interests, talk with other job seekers, get advice, and broaden your education in your field. And the socialization aspect doesn’t hurt either!
Using online tools like LinkedIn, Quora, ZipRecruiter, Reddit, Meetup, and more can help you to expand your social networks and give you access to people you usually wouldn’t meet in real life. Plus, it can help you to stretch beyond your comfort zone.
How do I improve my online network?
Whether you’re new to the workforce or you’ve been working for years, becoming an online networker guru takes practice, consistency, and putting yourself out there. Previously, you’d attend industry functions and hand out business cards. Now, it’s important to attend online events, follow others on social media, and find other ways to put yourself out there. From business professionals to small business owners, neworking is a great way to find common ground and starting building relationships.
Luckily, there are a ton of great online networking ideas to help you grow your social reach. If you’re feeling a little shaky on how to network online consistently, the next step is to use these tips to help you maximize your potential resources for future jobs.
1. Have a complete online profile.
No matter which social network you use, it’s essential to have your profile tuned up and looking snazzy. Use buzzwords and list your work history clearly and concisely. Make sure to use a professional headshot or picture on your profile.
2. Try a variety of social media networks.
While having a great LinkedIn profile is great for professional networking, many other great professional networks can help you reach your goals. Branch out and try Meetup, Quora, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, to name a few. Not all of them achieve the same goals, but it’s great to expand your horizons. You never know where you’ll find your next mentor or job title upgrade!
3. Join groups, masterminds, and forums with folks with similar goals and interests.
Everything from Facebook groups to online masterminds is a great way to meet new people. Focus on joining groups with many active members, ongoing discussions, and a no-tolerance policy for spam to maximize your networking.
4. Follow industry leaders and influencers.
Sign up for their newsletters, follow them on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel. Comment on their posts and share their content to help you build professional relationships with them.
5. Keep up on industry chatter, so you have helpful things to contribute to conversations.
By keeping up with the latest news, you’ll be able to make beneficial recommendations and provide quality responses during discussions.
6. Attend virtual & online networking events.
Networking online has changed so much – even before this last year. Attending virtual events can be one of the best ways to meet others when your schedule doesn’t allow time for travel or face-to-face meetings or in-person events. Find online conferences in your field that you can attend, and treat it as a networking event to find other like-minded individuals.
7. Give more than you take.
It’s the golden rule when networking – start slow. Offer up help first, rather than trying to hit up people for favors right off the bat. If you build a reputation as someone trustworthy and helpful, you’ll be more likely to receive help in the future when you need it. Before you start asking for favors from others, try:
- Following them on their social media accounts
- Share their content and comment positively on it.
- Offer help if they ask for it or if you see an opportunity to do so.
- Build business relationships by asking about their profession, services, and career.
As Ian Siegel, the CEO of ZipRecruiter said, “In the real world, don’t network for a job, network for a relationship. Whether you’re at conferences, industry events, or heck, meeting the parents of the other kids at your school, you don’t network for a job— you network for relationships. It just so happens that some relationships lead to jobs.”
8. Be authentic.
Find an easy way to relate on a personal level that creates a new connections. Prove that you’re dependable and honest by treating others well online. Often, people feel that networking feels like a dishonest, smarmy practice – especially online when it can sometimes be challenging to interpret someone’s comments correctly. Be positive, helpful, a little humorous, and most of all, genuine to yourself and others.
9. Be consistent and active.
Consistency is vital when networking online. Disappearing for months at a time and popping back up isn’t going to help you remain in touch with others or your groups. Comment on posts, ask questions, be involved. Help others find answers and find a good way to offer your help whenever you can. By consistently contributing to conversations, you’ll be more likely to aware when the perfect online networking opportunities pop up!
10. Try new social media online networking sites.
New social media platforms are popping up every month, making it easier and easier to connect with potential job opportunities. While you might not think platforms like Reddit or Quora are your first choice for networking online to find new contacts, you never know where you’ll find your next prospect. Some platforms to try are:
- Email newsletter subscriptions
Examples of Online Networking
Connecting with others in your field can happen in many different ways. For example, as a member of a large financial group on Facebook that has a lot of bloggers,I’ve found it to be a great place to meet like-minded people who are building their businesses. I’ve been given opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, such as:
- Quickly find sources for blog posts as well as be quoted in someone else’s writing.
- Ask for feedback about particular companies or services to help me make a decision.
- Make affiliate sales when other members ask for links to specific products or brands.
- Find copywriters, Pinterest gurus, and other specialists for my blog.
- Keep up on the hottest topics in our field and chime in with questions or comments.
Without an online networking site like Facebook, I wouldn’t be able to crowdsource answers to my questions and keep up with trends.
When Should I Network?
In short, don’t wait until you’re fed up with your current job to start networking. At that point, it’s too late for any networking to do you any good.
It’s essential to start networking early for career success and consistently keep up with connecting with others. That way, potential opportunities will present themselves before you get so burnt out, you quit on the spot without a plan.
Have any more tips for online networking? Leave a comment below!
A forty-ish web designer/developer by day, a budget & financial fanatic by night. I’m a mom, wife, avid reader, and DIY enthusiast who’s tracking our journey to debt freedom. Read More