As millennials, we are often accused and guilty of lacking social communication skills because we tend to lose ourselves in the world of social media. From Facebook to Twitter, and Instagram and now to Snapchat we find ourselves refreshing for hours to see what new content was posted by our friends and who has some online drama going on, etc., but as a twenty-something year old professional did you know that you could also use social media to network and make connections with industry people?
Since I decided to start writing the book and building a brand, I’ve found it refreshing to be able to link up with like minded people or people who are veterans in the media field. Here are some ways to make connections through your social media accounts:
- Joining groups and forums that are related to your goals. I’ve had the privilege of making so many connections through several FB groups that I am apart of. These groups range from women in entrepreneurship, natural hair groups, support groups, etc. Some that I would recommend for ladies is: My Sister’s Keeper facilitated by LC Johnson of Colored Girl Confidential through this group I fell into Wine and Wisdom Wednesdays which is a weekly podcast that highlights woman who’s a boss in her career and she shares valuable gems with how we can be BOSSwomen as well. Take advantage of all the good groups like that offer. Be friend the women you meet in them and follow them on other social media networks.
- #Hashtags. I learned the value of hashtagging. By using hashtags it allows other people who are tweeting about the same thing to find you. Hashtags indicated a commonality somewhere and this draws users to your tweets.
- Twitter Chats. These are opportunities to learn. Many companies and individuals will host a twitter chat to share some of their career wisdom with you or just to engage in conversations about social or world issues. This is another opportunity to be linked to be who share similar views as you. By participating in twitter chats you expand your network. You could potentially leave a chat with 10+ new followers added to your network.
- Follow companies you are interested in working for or with to see how they operate. Follow people who have the career that you want to get a glimpse in how they handle certain situations. You can even tweet and DM them. If you’re lucky some will actually respond.
- Once again, one word: #HASHTAG. I chose to keep my profile public for the sake of building a brand and networking with others. I find that when I post content and use hashtags such as #blog #writer #lifestyle etc. it attracts other users who use that same hashtag. I see hashtagging as laying the bait. It draws people to your content.
- Following companies. LinkedIn is more professional than it is social. By thoroughly completing your profile it suggest specific job opportunities accordingly. This gives you the chance to meet and follow people who work for those companies and even follow that company for company news.
- Join career groups and forums. Through using LinkedIn I have learned a lot by following groups that focus on writing and media. It’s a great way to share career struggles, ask for advice, offer advice and even get the inside scoop on career opportunities.
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with old friends from high school and family members in other states, but it also has it professional benefits as well. Don’t forget to always be mindful of what you post online and how it will reflect on you as a person.