I love networking! I love lovely people and sharing thoughts, ideas, experiences. The term “it’s all about who you know” applies to everyone, everywhere. Once you realize that this is an essential piece of knowledge, you can continue forward, putting yourself in situations to meet experienced and talented individuals. As a model, a good majority of my time is spent networking. Why do you think I am always on Facebook?
Just through internet networking (Model Mayhem), I have had the amazing chance to work with Matthew Jordan Smith, a photographer from LA who has shot Tyra Banks, Oprah Winfry, and more. I have had the opportunity to work with Antoinette Beenders, a renowned global stylist for Aveda. I know people who know people. Connections can get you anywhere if you know how to use them.
When I think networking, the first three things that come to mind are social media, events, and chance encounters.
I’m going to dive right into what I know about social media in part one of this three part blog post and tell you about what techniques work best for me for networking through this avenue.
Newsflash!! It’s 2012. Social media is huuuge!!
Oh. You already knew that? Alright, but I bet I do have some in’s and out’s to dish on social media that you didn’t already know.
Let’s talk Facebook. Facebook is, after all, what got me initially to really delve into social media. It began when I decided I wanted to keep my professional contacts separate from my private contacts. Instead of accepting everyone and their mother’s friend requests, I wanted people to keep up to date by “becoming a fan” of me. While this didn’t necessarily keep my private profile very private, my fan page has blossomed into the ultimate networking tool.
Yeah, yeah. Let’s skip the small talk. You already know how important social media is, you computer savvy techies. If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog right now. Heck, you probably even have a foot in every major social media site, just like me. Right?
If you are anyone with a business or profession that requires public attention to help your success–yep, that could almost cover everyone–your answer should have been a resounding YES.
OBJECTIVE: The objective is utilizing social media to your advantage, getting your name out there, and keeping yourself at the top of everyone’s minds.
You should make your name known in all the top sites. When you are creating your social media stamp, think about popular industry-specific sites as well as the generic. For fashion, it would be places like Model Mayhem, Models.com, Tumblr, Pintrest. For an artist, perhaps you will join sites such as DeviantArt.
I recommend having a strong, established Facebook page, separate from your personal profile, first and foremost. When creating a profile, think of a brand name. It could just be your name or a business name. If its a common name, it’s going to be harder to show up in the search engines.
Each profile should all be customized to the target audience. Having different descriptions helps you in the search engines. For example, a LinkedIn profile should be polished and professional, rather than young and energetic, which would make much more sense on a Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Much of the job can be simply acquainting yourself with each site.
I will focus on Facebook, as it is the heart of your social media exposure. From Facebook, you can get exposure to all your other sites by sharing links. I personally have found sharing a link to another profile about once a month is a good amount of time, without it getting annoying.
Make sure each of your sites have links to all the other profiles. I have links on both my personal Facebook profile and my public. You never know when people would prefer following you on another site.
Facebook does give the option to advertise your page for more traffic. Pay for advertisement only if you think it will boost your business. No point in spending money if it won’t be generating any. Experiment with the options. I suggest trying it only after getting your pages well established.
To better establish yourself, make sure you go to your fan page and “invite” all friends who haven’t already Liked your page. Usually they will when they get the invite. Remember to do so often, as you add more friends to your personal profile.
POSTING: Whether you are on your personal or public page, it’s important to always keep your audience in mind. When posting, I never post negativity publicly. You want to have a very approachable outward appearance while still being yourself, with your own signature voice.
If you post anything negative towards yourself, others, or on controversial topics, that would put a ding on your professional, flawless appearance. Don’t give anyone the bad or reason to spread dislike.
That in mind, post often! Not every minute and hour, but don’t let your network forget about you. Skip a day of posting if you’d like, but at least once or twice a day is a good idea (maybe even more).
If you don’t want to post to every single profile, look into the options to connect profile posts. I have my Twitter set up to pull directly from Facebook, and my LinkedIn pulling directly from Twitter.
When I’m posting photos, I try not to post multiple all at once. Facebook groups multiple photos together and posts the album if your photos aren’t at least a few hours apart (it used to be one hour, but they’ve since changed it). I prefer getting special attention/likes/comments on individual photos and this one-photo-at-a-time technique really works. I don’t post photos I’m unsure about or that are excessive; only my best photos are the ones that I want to represent my appearance.
Remember that the Internet is most trafficked at night (around 10pm) and on Fridays and weekends. However, any time most of your friends are online is a good time to post. Obviously its next to useless to post at 3am–your post is going to be buried by the time more people start logging on and browsing.
Lastly, be engaging with your posts. Try asking your audience a fun question and see the responses. If you are a business, I’ve seen some pretty creative ideas out there. A small-town theater from my “hometown” has recently been doing giveaways to people who participate in their little tasks, requiring a post to their wall, or a comment on a status.
Have fun with it!
Now, if that wasn’t an information dump… I’m not sure what is. Just take it one step at a time. Begin with Facebook and branch out from there to test the waters. Bookmark this page if you thought it was helpful and revisit it as you move along.
If there is additional information you seek, don’t hesitate to ask. What information would be more helpful? I also have two more posts coming, jam-packed with more information on events and chance encounters.
What have been your favorite social media adventures?
To be continued on 3 Things to Remember: pt 2 Chance Encounters.
Briauna Mariah (: