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Posted Megan Simpson, Team Lead – Accounting and Finance, Vancouver, Hays Canada on Thursday, Apr 6, 2017
Nowadays, social media is in everything we do and it’s a strong tool for your professional life. So it’s important to know how to use this in a way that will help you to meet your professional goals.
Working for Hays boosts my profile since the company is the most followed recruitment company on LinkedIn and I can reach a larger audience, but we cannot rely only on numbers.
Here are my four tips to build your network and engage with your audience:
1. Set specific objectives
Social media has lots of potential, but if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve then you waste a lot of time and effort without seeing any results.
The major selling point for social media, and especially LinkedIn is the potential to connect with more people that are in your immediate professional network. If your ultimate goal is to develop more clients then I recommend setting specific targets, and not getting too broad. For example, your goal might be to have an in-person meeting with three new potential clients within three months. From there you can develop a target list of companies and job titles, and start making connections.
My colleague in Toronto, Kylie Moore, uses LinkedIn to connect with potential candidates, and says a soft approach is often the best way to get a response. Even if someone isn’t interested immediately, asking the right questions means you can get information about their professional needs that could help you engage them again at a later time.
2. Use the right tools
As the largest professional social media network LinkedIn is the best way to make direct connections. Twitter is important for monitoring company developments and others like Instagram and Facebook can be used to develop an understanding of a company culture. You can also check potential clients’ websites to see if they have a news or blog section you can follow.
The Hays database integrates directly into LinkedIn so we have the most up-to-date information easily accessible, but even if your company doesn’t offer that kind of tool there are other ways to make the most of social media. For example, you can use a platform such as Hootsuite to schedule your posts so your profile is updating throughout the day.
3. Know your brand
Beyond the opportunities for one-on-one interactions, social media is crucial for brand development and brand awareness. I am always aware of the brand that I am portraying on social media. LinkedIn is the primary focus, but you don’t know if potential clients will come across your other profiles. If you are following companies or clients, they can see what you are liking on Linkedin so be aware of the articles you are liking or commenting on or sharing. Is it a brand you want to put forward to current or potential clients?
I also follow my clients’ company on LinkedIn, Instagram and any other sites so I’m always up to date on new developments. Sometimes this gives me a reason to call, or something to mention in a meeting, but it can also be a hint about what their needs might be. For example, if they’re opening a new office then they are likely to need to hire new staff.
4. Be consistent
Social media is a conversation – you have to be consistent in responding and interacting or your connections will lose interest. Kylie receives alerts to let her know when she’s received a message to ensure she responds promptly.
“Consistency is key. I check my LinkedIn inbox frequently and respond immediately because even a short delay could mean a missed opportunity.” Kylie, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Hays Toronto, says. “I also make sure I like, share, and comment as often as possible. Sometimes that means scheduling time to check in a couple times a day, and not letting it slip even if we’re busy.”
Kylie also interacts with Hays company posts and with our colleagues’ updates to leverage the company brand, and help build not only her own brand, but those of her peers – who will also return the favour. Having an engaged core network will help you expand and engage your growing number of connections.
The steps above will help you to create an effective social media plan to reach potential clients and improve your profile. For more tips on how to boost your social profile or to be a better sales professional, read how to optimize your own profile, learn to love cold calling.
Become an expert with a company that's passionate about people: Join Hays!
Megan Simpson started her career as a marketing professional and joined Hays 4 years ago as a Recruitment Consultant in Vancouver. Today, she’s the Team Lead for the Accounting & Finance division. Her previous experience helps her to stand out with a unique understanding of client outreach and communication.
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