Monthly, I host face-to-face networking meetings in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. In each meeting, when the topic of social networking comes up, without fail, I’m asked a rather loaded question, “What does social networking have to do with finding great job leads and, if it does, what should I do to get more out of my social networking?”
This is a GREAT question! Let’s parse this out.
“As An Executive, Should I Be Involved with Social Networking?”
The quick answer is a big YES!
Social networking has evolved in the last two years to be a tour-de-force. It is the flip side of social recruiting!
Recruiters both internal and external are using the top social networking sites to find candidates that match their projects effectively, sort between those that are “qualified” and those that they believe aren’t, and completing their references before they begin talking with the executive about the position.
“What Does Social Networking Have To Do with Finding Great Executive Opportunities?”
The executive who is selected for an interview is one that has been fully vetted online. Those that are selected have a profile is robust, connections are extensive and references are impressive.
The recruiter’s ability to do their homework ahead of contacting the executive means that you don’t even know who is viewing your profile. Yet I find that many executives don’t even complete their profile, let alone have a digital message that is powerful enough to get on the top of the list.
Learn about social networking and take the time to build a digital profile that is impressive.
“What Should I Do To Get More Out of Your Social Networking?”
When I work with clients, after we’ve built their written materials, we move to their online profile and social networking strategies.
Here are my 7 Sure Fire Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Social Networking
#1) Develop a Networking Strategy. Decide upon a social networking strategy and create a branding message beforehand. What do you want to be known for? Who do you want to connect with? Why? What’s the value you will bring when networking digitially? What time will you spend each week on your site? Know what you want out of social networking and your activities will be evident.
#2) Create a Networking Policy. Decide whether you are going to be open or closed in connecting. Open networking means that you will be open to everyone who asks to be connected to you. Closed, on the other hand, means that you will only connect with those that you personally know and recognize. The more open you are, the more opportunities your profile will be seen; and visa versa.
#3) Use Keywords, Keywords, and more Keywords. Your profile should not follow what a reader would read on a printed page. Your online profile is digital and recruiters (both inside and out) are searching using keywords to find candidates. They are lurking, sourcing and searching rather than contacting, connecting, and referring that they did in the past.
#4) Renew and Refresh Regularly. Just like the real estate market’s MLS listing, the way to stay on top of the sourcing searches is to renew your profile. Use applications as a way to “stay on top” by submitted articles, links, and presentation materials. This again, means one must have a marketing strategy and with clearly outlined goals.
#5) Engage in Groups. Get connected in Groups where your common interests will result in greater connections for you. Use the forums to search for your best connections and slowly bring them into your personal sphere. It may take several interventions to build interest for you, so use your messaging content so that when you reach out members feel like they know you and are comfortable with you.
#6) Follow Up by Circling. When you get a lead, circle around the hiring authority and make connections with those within the hiring authority’s sphere of influence. Find out about the company and the individual by asking questions about the company, potential role, the corporate culture, the hiring authorities leadership style and the like. The more connections you have into the company, the more likely they will be interested.
#7) Make Digital Connections. Visibility on the Internet must be build by design rather than developed by circumstance. Think of building your digital network connections like climbing a huge mountain and getting to the top. It takes time, effort and consistence to get to the top. There will be many other people who have climbed to the top as well, and that’s okay the more the merrier. Building a digital community is similar to Freakonomics in action.