This video is the fourth part of my talk on networking at the University of Cumbria and how it can apply in social media. We filmed it to make it available to a wider audience, Workshop Media practicing what it preaches!
One of the interesting things I have noticed is that while a great many people are talking about the power of social media for promotion, I haven’t come across many topics that cover what makes social media so powerful. The idea that they are a social network, in essence a continuous networking event that isn’t bound by geography.
The scary part is that quite a few people use social media profiles as part of their research, if you’re not there, you don’t exist.
Finally it is worth noting that the principles of networking apply on social media, it is just a different tool to connect with people.
Networking with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the social media tool for networking. Unfortunately it is not the professional version of Facebook. I say unfortunately because this label is a disservice to LinkedIn rather than a failing.
Most social media is instantaneous with a barrage of posts and updates. LinkedIn doesn’t provide this. It isn’t meant to. It is a resource where you can collect your professional networks in one place, with contact details and an online cv/ resume. Ultimately at its most basic it is an information storage tool.
I think the power of networking with LinkedIn exists firstly in the research stage, finding out a great deal of information about the person, their experience, their interests and the business they work for currently AND the businesses they have worked for in the past. LinkedIn is in effect its own networking event, available 24/7.
LinkedIn makes the perfect follow up to a networking event… how many times have those business cards and people not been contacted or been wasted? No more with LinkedIn, you have their email address, simply connect with the person.
The social network also provides the ability for professionals to recommend one another in their own words. With a number of thumbs up appearing on the recommended profile and the recommendation available to be read, this is very often the criteria that differentiates ‘you’ from ‘someone else’.
Finally, one of the hidden gems of networking with LinkedIn is the professional groups. For any topic you can think of and experts available 24/7, you can join, ask and discuss issues with like minded professionals the world over.