You know that part of making the most of your executive MBA is to use your new contacts in your networking efforts. And, YES, you can use social media networking, as a part of managing both your career and personal brand. Generally, social media is a good way to network on a shallow basis, you’ll want to arrange a face-to-face meeting in order to cement the relationship over the long term. There are some basic do’s and don’ts to making effective use of the tool, so that it retains effectiveness.
Define your goals. Know what your career and networking goals are before you begin, and periodically adjust them as your career grows.
All business. Use either business platforms or create a separate account on platforms where you operate socially. Some executives use nicknames for personal accounts and full names for social media they use for networking. Prepare your business profiles and accounts for networking for best results.
Start up. Social media networking is a great way to connect on a shallow level and exchange information and ideas. Look through your executive MBA alumni directory and begin reaching out!
Add connections. It’s also a great way to make or receive introductions to new connections and to reach out to national industry experts and create connections with them.
Build on it. Do deepen those online relationships in real life, through phone or . Social media can’t be your only networking tool.
It’s in the timing. Social media makes it easy to follow one of the most important rules of networking: Follow up on those initial contacts. Plus, it allows you to respond quickly to questions and discussions that help you position yourself as an industry leader.
The long haul. There are rarely any instant results from networking. Even on social media, networking is about staying in someone’s mental rolodex until they see a job or a connection that would benefit you and they connect you to that resource.
Give generously. Be the network contact you wish to make! Stay on the lookout for ways you can help others find open positions, connect with a great recruiter, or offer answers and resources when requested.
Focus on yourself. If your only contact with network connections is to sell yourself, push your resume, and get results, you’re not only going to be disappointed, you’ll find yourself “un-friended” rather quickly. You have to offer value as well as ask for it.
Expect instant rewards. Relationships, even online relationships take work. You need to offer consistent value and interactions to remain top-of-mind with your networking connections.
Jump into social media networking without a plan. If you don’t know what you want out of the effort, you’re less likely to follow through and less likely to get results. You need to know what you’re aiming for!
Make excuses. Put your online networking on your calendar just as you do your in-person networking. Fill out your profile completely, and respond quickly to requests, comments, and offers. Your responses are part of your personal branding, so leave a positive impression every time.