While using social media from a marketing and PR standpoint isn’t new, some professionals often forget to build out their own personal profiles, or have trouble carving out the time in their busy schedules to strengthen their own presence. When you spend your day managing accounts for your company and clients, it’s hard to squeeze in your own.
Social media can be a powerful tool for personal development and engaging with industry thought leaders and influencers. Whether you are looking for a new job, prospecting, hoping to increase your thought leadership presence or are looking to expand your network, social media is where these conversations can flourish if you understand the basics. Increasing engagement and developing your own social following takes time, but is the only way to extend your reach organically and create opportunities for these meaningful conversations.
Get down to the basics
The first step is to establish authority in your target industry. Fill out the bio section of your social profiles completely and with relevant information to validate your experience and give your content more credibility. On Twitter, make sure your biography includes an external link to your personal website or LinkedIn page. Including hashtags in your bio description will increase your profile’s visibility and capture new followers, since many companies search bios for keywords to find new industry experts to follow on the platform.
On LinkedIn, regularly contribute to LinkedIn Pulse. This is a free and easy way to produce content and establish thought leadership without the red tape of contributing to a regular newspaper column, which can be difficult to acquire and require extensive credibility to be considered. Linking to articles you’ve written in the past under the corresponding job listing on your profile will give greater insight into what you accomplished and worked on in each role and aggregates your work in a single place.
Quick tip — LinkedIn automatically assigns your page a URL composed of random numbers and letters. Make sure to customize your URL so it reflects your name or brand to increase your SEO.
Align with your audience
In addition to creating and sharing your own content, retweeting and sharing someone else’s articles is crucial for building rapport and driving social engagement for both parties. This shows you find value in their content and will help you gain exposure to a larger audience.
Sharing articles relevant to the types of people and companies you want to follow you, and engaging with industry influencers and experts in the fields you’re interested in increases the chance your post could be seen by a prospective follower. Additionally, these influencers may share your articles down the road to return the favor.
Social media is meant to be social
Likes, retweets and shares are great for boosting engagement rates, but real-time interactions with other users – when breaking news hits, attending conferences, joining twitter chats — is the most valuable mechanism for making connections and expanding your network. Real-time social interactions give you the opportunity to share your opinion and expertise on trending topics and connect with other people in your industry. Starting a dialogue like this helps further your credibility, build rapport, and develop relationships with other key influencers in your field.
Building a social following takes patience and perseverance. You likely won’t gain 1,000 followers overnight, even if you are a CEO of a company. It takes time to establish authority and credibility in your target industry, but with these tips, you can be well on your way to building your social influence authentically and organically, and ultimately extend your reach.
Looking to find new ways to engage on social media? Comment below or tweet us at @corporateink.