Harnessing the Power of 3 Social Media Tools
Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are looking. They’re taking note of who has gone where they want to go and these business-minded graduates have worked hard not only follow, but to set their own courses. Their ambition, however, is tempered by the knowledge that to move forward, they need to tap into the experience of professionals whom they’ve not yet formed relationships. Fortunately, at no time in history has there been more opportunity in the form of social networking tools to identify and make connections with the contacts that will provide the knowledge and wise counsel for the next generation of business leaders.
Your undergrad classmates populate your Facebook ________, you’ve worn out a phone, (now obsolete, anyway), with tweets about that great party, the sale on your favorite footwear and the disappointing loss to another school’s team. You probably have a modest Linkedin account, with professors, the managers at your internships and of course, your fellow classmates. What you don’t have, or have in sufficient numbers, are those contacts who will initiate you into the circles of your future.
Making those connections and more importantly, building those relationships with potential business partners and associates, won’t likely happen without a plan. The goal of any such plan is to meaningfully engage with people, organizations and causes to the point where your actions, not just your resume, will attract the attention of those who are willing and well qualified to help you. These professionals are who you want to have in your Linkedin account, but they have no reason, yet, to accept your invitation to connect.
Just as surgeons, carpenters and mechanics all know how to match the right tool to the appropriate task, aspiring entrepreneurs need to display the same deftness with social networking platforms. The skilled professional approaches his or her project from multiple perspectives, as should you. A paring of social media options, in this case, Twitter, which you likely have, and Google+, which you may or may not have, are good selections in your project of earning good networking relationships.
Twitter’s use is relatively straightforward. Follow potential leads and pay attention to others affiliated with key accounts. But Google+? Why? Why not Facebook? Though Facebook recently upgraded their groupings, which they’d had for a couple of years, to allow users to differentiate who sees the bachelorette party posts and photos from those who will only see the more staid wedding reception photos, Google+ tends to attract a different user profile. Used in tandem, Twitter and Google+ offers those with big plans the right platforms for expressing both ambition and that spark of creativity that will draw the attention of those you seek. From this activity comes the material you’ll use to build your Linkedin profile and contact list.
Unlike your college days, where indiscretion and casualness was, to a degree, accepted if not tolerated, your search for professional direction must be focused and mature. Twitter allows you to follow the right people and companies while you strategically build a record of tweets that highlight your insight and interests. Google+, onto which you’ll also selectively post your more serious thoughts on business and quality articles covering your chosen direction in the business world, gives you the opportunity to include, after careful consideration, those with whom you’ve decided you need to meet.
Share on these sites evidence that you’re pursuing something worthy. Post reflections on a conference you attended. Let the world know that you’re pursuing an online MBA. Carefully, take a reasoned stand on a practice, technique or movement affecting your chosen industry. In short, paint an accurate, thoughtful portrait of whom you are and who you wish to be.
As you generate buzz on Twitter, capitalize on that energy in Google+ and build your professional network in Linkedin, follow through with well-known networking techniques. Informational meetings can’t be sufficiently emphasized. Frequent updating of your networking sites is a must. Actively joining in key groups and events identified by your other networking activities shows other that you’re more than just talk. Use your tools to their highest use and purpose and make the relationships you need to lead you to your dream.
Guest post by: Lindsey Caho is a professional writer and blogger. She writes on behalf of an online MBA program. She lives in the Indianapolis area where she enjoys riding motorcycles and walking the area’s many cultural trails. She is currently seeking her master’s degree.
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