Developing and growing a professional network is an important part of working in social media. The broader your network the wider your reach.
In order to broaden my network, I am always looking for new contacts. Whenever I meet someone in my field, I automatically connect with them on social media. I follow them, like their page, connect on Linked In or any other means that is available. I recently attended a conference of social media health advocates and connected with most of the attendees. This allowed for a support network giving me a wide range of people who work in the same area as I do. In fact there is a specific Facebook page, just for the attendees of the conference which allows for easy brainstorming, providing of advice, and sharing in successes as well as asking for support for our own endeavours. It also provides great resources for content for my own professional social media channels., given that many of the folks at the conference are in a related field as I am.
I also am always looking for new contacts when I am researching for work – find a new writer- follow them or their blog, come a across a new organization – follow their social media feeds. We also have many affiliates so we ask them to link to us on their websites and channels, to allow their audience to seek us out and expand their networks as well.
Continuing to attend professional development events is also another great way to connect with those in your field. Whether on line or in person, many share participating lists and social media handles to easily allow you to connect outside of the event. And while increasing your network it also allows the added bonus of continuing to learn and evolve in an environment that is always changing.