I’ve spent most of my career building a personal network, but it was done the traditional way. Lots of handshakes, plenty of good conversation, and building a reputation through hard work, professionalism and determination.
When social media came around, it provided both an opportunity and a threat to my personal networking prowess. Sites likes Facebook, Twitter and Linked In have allowed me to connect with a much larger audience that would not have been available to me previously, because some people simply weren’t easy to find.
With no networking borders because of the internet, I knew the new face of networking had to be a combination of traditional schmoozing and on line dialoguing. So I jumped into the social media world and slowly worked on figuring out the rules of engagement and how I could have some influence.
It’s still a work in progress, but here are what I consider my top five “must do’s” in social media networking.
1. Be the same person on line that you are in person. Nobody likes a fake.
2. Build your credibility by posting good content.
3. Interact. Listen and respond. Don’t just be a networking creeper.
4. Find your niche. Focus your posts so that they resonate with the people that you want to be part of your network.
5. Stay on top of what’s new in social media. If you want to network on line, you need to have a presence and that means joining the networking “hot spots.”
Moving forward, I have a few goals to strengthen my network. I work at a community college and I am particularly interested in the subject of strategic enrolment management within post-secondary institutes, and want to connect with more professionals in this evolving field.
I plan to do this by:
1. Commenting on more blogs written about strategic enrolment management to start conversations with subject matter experts.
2. Writing my own blogs on the subject to build personal credibility based on my experiences.
3. Attending more conferences, workshops, webinars that provide leading content on strategic enrolment management.
4. Read books written by organizations/individuals that have extensive experience working in strategic enrolment management.
5. Participating in college strategic enrolment management committees to learn from my colleagues.
Through personal and on line connections with enrolment management professionals, I know I can learn a lot and help my college achieve its overall enrolment goals.