Thanks to the possibilities and capabilities of digital communication, significant changes to your life can occur almost instantly because of digital networking. So how do you go about it? How do you take advantage of these exciting possibilities? Read on to discover some rules and tips that will allow you to network effectively, opening up doors everywhere.
Control Your Network
As a professional online, you really need to be discerning about who you accept or request as a friend. You should also be very careful about accepting a testimonial which is provided without request. There’s no doubt that social media can merge our professional and personal lives, but it pays to be careful about who you network with online, the extent to which you interact or share details and the nature of your interactions.
Never lose sight of the fact that the Internet is a public forum. Recruiters, potential employers and contacts made through networking activities may well check out your profile. Even with maximum privacy settings, the net is a public and recorded space. At all times, view your profile through the eyes of a potential employer or respected contact.
Give and Take
Understand that, before you get something back, you will probably have to give via social media. Communication and networking on a digital level is all about being respectful, courteous and willing to initiate and engage in conversation.
When networking in the digital industry, experts recommend seeking out ways that you can help. Offer your help and then bestow credit on friends and clients through the use of tags, shares and links to their websites.
Don’t Stop at the Keyboard
Accept that connection via social media is an initial step and a good basis for opening the channels of communication. To create very effective relationships, face-to-face interaction is often key. The power of social media is realised best when it is not used in isolation. Similarly, when meeting contacts, the ability to listen is absolutely critical.
Having established a network of online contacts, it’s important to make full use of opportunities and assistance by posting generally or specifically when you are interested in something, such as a new professional role. If you strategically join groups, including specific LinkedIn groups, much of your investigative work can be supported by your contacts.
Some experts suggest committing to being in contact with three contacts per day. Of course, these should not be the same three contacts all the time but a range of people from your list of contacts.
Work with Meaning
If you ever post or comment on Facebook, leave comments in response to Tweets, complete an online review of a restaurant or holiday accommodation, you are in fact networking digitally. If you do this on a completely personal basis and it has no bearing on your professional life, the success or otherwise of the post does not really matter.
In a professional context, however, you need to make sure that everything you say and do garners interest and is entirely appropriate. Care should be taken that all of your social media activities are congruent with the professional image that you wish to maintain.
Do you have any tips when it comes to networking online? What works and doesn’t work for you? For more ideas on how to succeed in the digital industry, check out the websites of specialist recruiters such as Just Digital People. One blog could completely change your view on things.