In the world of business, networking is one of the most valuable things you can do. As the saying goes, "It’s not what you know, but who you know." All it takes is one simple connection, which can lead to amazing opportunities and open up new doors in your career. Of course, first following the best networking tips will help you get there.
Social media has drastically changed how we connect and collaborate with others, and it’s now impossible to ignore. One of the most popular social networks for business networking is LinkedIn. Currently, LinkedIn has over 364 million users, and is used by millions of companies to find new talent.
However, it’s not the only important networking spot in town. Facebook has grown into an absolute giant, and while you may think of it as a place to keep in touch with friends or share the latest funny video, it has a lot of networking potential.
1. Join Relevant Groups
Facebook Groups are one of the most underrated features of any social network. With just about any niche or industry, you can find a relevant group of likeminded people. When logged in to Facebook, "Suggested Groups" appear on the right hand side, but you’ll have your best luck using the search box.
For example, say you’re a programmer living in New York. You could search for "New York programmers". After searching, select "More" next to "Places", and then "Groups". Now, you’re met with a list of relevant groups based on your interests. Once accepted into a group, make sure to introduce yourself to everyone.
One common issue with Facebook Groups is people sharing their blog posts or promoting their business. This is one of the quickest ways to be marked as spam or removed from a group.
Your goal with the group, and any group for that matter, is quite simple: be helpful. The more you add value to people’s lives, the better you position yourself for people to add value to yours. Also feel free to jump in with your own discussion, but again, try not to make it self-promotional.
There does come a time when you can ask for help, recommendations or referrals. However, that’s only after you’ve well established yourself as a valuable member of the community. Otherwise, people will be less interested in helping you.
2. Organize Your Friends
Chances are your Facebook friends are comprised of more than just those closest to you. It’s business acquaintances and colleagues as well. Facebook’s News Feed algorithm displays posts from your friends and pages you have liked based on who you interact with the most, and that means you’re likely missing out on quite a few posts.
This is where Lists come in handy, and also aide you in your networking efforts. Lists are displayed on the left hand side directly below "Apps", and you can create a list by going here. By organizing your friends, you’ll be able to stay more on top of what people are posting, and better network with those you’re connected with.
3. Keep Your Profile Up to Date
Think of your Facebook profile as a billboard. You only have a matter of seconds to get your information across. Obviously, your photo and cover photo is the first thing people see, and next from there is your job, location, and so on. Make sure your job is fully up to date, and also fill out the description for your job with all the relevant details.
For example, list out your duties, what projects you worked on, and any successes. This will help you stand out more, and could be valuable to a recruiter or company in need of someone with your skills.
Networking on Facebook is a great way to stay on top of your industry, and get in touch with a wide range of people you may have not otherwise. Your biggest investment will be time, and hopefully a good chunk of that time won’t be spent playing Farmville.