If you are not a member already, you need to join what we call “The Social Networking Trifecta”. It consists of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You are probably asking yourself, “Do I really need to be on ALL of them?” The answer is: Yes. Why? Because everyone else is! Also, different people have different preferences on which one is their “favorite” to use. Some people may think Facebook is more user-friendly than LinkedIn. Others may find that they receive more activity on Twitter than on Facebook. Whatever the case may be, you must be a part of them all. They all serve the same key purpose: to connect, share information and maintain relations with a growing network of people.
But there are some slight differences:
• LinkedIn is a business network designed to help professionals find jobs, people, and services providers. It is primarily used by co-workers and business colleagues. Similar to an online resume, your profile contains education and work history and contact information. The main function LinkedIn does not have (that Facebook and Twitter do) is the ability to update your status and provide new messages.
• Facebook is an online social networking directory that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. It originally started as a site strictly for colleges and universities.
• Twitter is a free Website that blends social networking with the ability to post short messages (or micro-blogs) limited to 140 characters or less, commonly known by users as "tweets." Tweets are designed to be accessed on mobile devices and through the Internet, where they are posted to a personal Web page that can be restricted to select viewers, or viewed by anyone. Unlike instant messaging, viewers do not reply to Twitter postings. Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter does not display your personal information.
In addition to friends, families and working professionals, the Trifecta has quickly become a networking staple for the media, politics, companies, businesses, the sports world and celebrities.
Social networking sites have changed the way we network. Real-time networking made possible by these sites has shortened the gap between finding opportunity and taking action. You can find and apply for jobs faster than ever! They allow you to maintain a network bigger than ever! But it is how you use your contacts that counts. You can have 500 friends on Facebook, but if you never reach out to them, how can you benefit?
Like employment history, education and experience on a resume, your profile, connections and status advance you on social sites. The key to success on these sites is staying frequent and relevant!
Once you have created your profiles, include URL links to your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages in your email signature. If people have this information at their fingertips, they are more likely to use it! (Also, they will have no excuse for not checking out your Twitter page!)
1. Connect to everyone you know, so you can connect to who they know.
• Search the schools you attended (including high school). Even if people do not remember you, most connect with you anyway to grow their network.
• Search the places you have worked and add everyone with whom you had a good working experience. You can ask them to give you LinkedIn Recommendations that make your profile more attractive.
2. Join professional groups on LinkedIn relating to your current or desired profession. This is a great way to find out about events and job opportunities.
3. Create a target list of 10-20 companies based on your research and advice from friends, former co-workers and other professional and alumni group members. Use the company filter to search for people in your direct or indirect network who work at your target companies. Connect with them and tell them about your interest in working there and why you are a good fit. Find out what professional associations they have and join them. When you contact them, mention that you belong to the same association.
It is not just another social networking site for friends. The need for many people to find new employment, and the fast rate at which Facebook is growing globally, are reasons why even working professionals are joining. Individuals, companies and recruiters now use Facebook for candidate searching and job hunting.
Twitter is growing rapidly. The main reason for Twitter’s growth is the ease of sharing and finding information on a second-by-second basis. It is fast-paced, quick-hitting and gets relevant information to your followers in an instant. Employers are using Twitter and other social networking sites to research job applicants; therefore, as a job seeker, you need to know how to use Twitter for a job search.
Here is how you can use Twitter daily:
• Maintaining and expanding your personal brand
• Managing your followers and who you are following
• Helping yourself by helping others