Last night the AU Public Relations Student Society of America and the AU Social Media Club held their annual Hyper Network event focused this year on the importance of social media to modern networking. I was honored to be one of a great group of panelists that included: Jessica Bell from RepEquity, Shana Glickfield from Beekeeper Group and Amanda Whiteman from Rocket Fuel Inc. and was moderated by Steph Woods, an instructor with the American Studies Program at AU and personality behind CityGirlBlogs.com
AU framed a great discussion topic: Networking is changing. You go to a networking event to form connections, to find volunteers or a new business partner, or even to just get your name out there. And, let’s be honest, more often than not, the best networking doesn’t happen at “networking” events. It happens at Thursday night happy hour, at your Saturday morning yoga class, or over a little something we call social media.
Here are the top five takeaways my Twitter audience found the most valuable:
#1 How do you use social media in your job preparation?
LinkedIn and Twitter are great resources to both research the company you are interviewing with as well as the individuals you will be speaking to. When I am interviewing a potential employee I always appreciate when candidate has an understanding of the position, LEVICK as a company, and why they want to join the LEVICK team.
Pro Tip: Check out the company blog before an interview to read up on recent topics- this will demonstrate your genuine interest in the company and provide a little insight into what their focused on.
#2 What content is most appropriate to put on your twitter bio?
Twitter can and should be used to develop your online professional reputation and connect with friends. It is important to find a balance between sharing personal and professional topics. I use my Twitter bio to identify that I am a DC based digital strategist. I also identify myself as a lifetime member of Beyonce’s fan club, the Beyhive.
Pro Tip: Don’t restrict yourself to solely sharing business-related content on Twitter. Ultimately, being yourself and sharing your interests via Twitter will allow you to showcase your personality and unique voice.
#3 What tips do you have for “working a room” at a networking event?
Whether attending an industry event or just going to a spin class, don’t be afraid to start a conversation. Regardless of the venue “working the room” can lead to connections you would not have expected. Some of my strongest professional contacts have manifested from a conversation with a stranger at the gym.
Pro Tip: Starting a conversation is not just limited to in-person—social platforms like Twitter provide you the opportunity to directly engage with individuals you might not otherwise have access to.
#4 What is the best way to follow up after meeting someone?
Reflecting on this answer, it was probably shocking considering the panel specifically focused on utilizing social networking. Nevertheless, I am a huge proponent of writing handwritten thank you notes. In an increasingly digital world, a handwritten note carries a lot of weight and will help to distinguish yourself from others.
Pro Tip: After an interview, follow up with both an email and a handwritten thank you note to make a memorable impression. Handwritten notes have a tangible and lasting value that emails do not, and given the slower delivery time of regular mail, provides a nice reminder of your continued interest about a week after your interview took place.
#5 What are the best ways to use LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has many wonderful uses- it provides a platform to establish a professional online presence, to connect with other professionals, and an individual space to showcase what might not fit on your resume. When looking for new job opportunities, your LinkedIn profile ensures that your relevant experience is displayed publicly so that recruiters and potential employers can reach out to you with relevant opportunities.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of LinkedIn’s Pulse column to create content that showcases your expertise and positions you as a thought leader in a specific industry.
Interested in learning more about opportunities at LEVICK? Visit our careers page to learn more.