Social networking is the key to finding and taking advantage of all the opportunities open to you. With millions of social media users, it’s possible to connect with people all over the world. Don’t sit back—immerse yourself into these networks. This is more than just a trend. It is a revolution.
Social capital is the mutual benefit people gain when creating and engaging in relationships through social networks. Unlike financial capital, social capital does not deal with goods and services. Instead, it deals with personal relationships and the benefits that come with them. Social networks can be used to cultivate both bridging and bonding social capital. Bonding is exclusive and uses strong personal connections, while bridging is inclusive and is formed when you connect with people through weak social ties. For example, using LinkedIn to connect with a potential employer is leveraging bridging social capital.
Using social media to cultivate bridging social capital has the potential to open multiple doors to professional opportunities. Bridging social capital can lead to people across many situations as well as a broader set of information and opportunities. Successful job seekers tend to have widespread relationships on social networks, which come from bridging social capital. To take full advantage of these opportunities, you must be able to sift through the constant noise and traffic on social media sites to find the right conversations for your professional interests. Whether you are seeking a job, looking for clients or want to gain knowledge about your professional interests, these five tips can help.
1. Find the social influencers. Next time you’re reading a blog or website, check out the authors. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and engage in conversations. Compliment or comment on their blogs and posts to let them know what you think.
2. Write about your interests. Whether it’s on your own blog or in industry publications, writing about the topic of your professional interests gives you something to share on your social networks. This can lead to people commenting and sharing their own ideas on your pages.
3. Control Twitter keyword searches. Twitter is fast paced and holds an abundance of information. It is easy to get lost in an overload of tweets, so you must know how to find the right people and conversations. Use a combination of keywords to find results and filter through tweets. Once you find the right conversation, join in and reply to people’s tweets.
4. Join relevant LinkedIn groups. This is where you’ll find the best career-related discussions. Search for niche groups on LinkedIn and look at the discussions and members to familiarize yourself with the content. If it seems like a good fit for your interests, request to join the group. Use this as an opportunity to connect with brands too.
5. Meet the people who are looking at you. A great perk of LinkedIn is that you can see who has viewed your profile. Think about why they have viewed your page. Are they in your field? A recruiter? In your community? Consider this and then connect with these people. Reach out to engage in conversation and maybe it will lead to a new professional relationship.