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Professional Networking and Social Media, Why all the Buzz? (Part 1)

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When Phish, one of my favorite bands, got back together in March after a five year hiatus, I decided to login to my Twitter account. I had created a profile months before but never did anything with it (sound like you too?). I thought perhaps now I may have some use for it and I could get some info on what the band was up to. What I didn’t realize was the explosion of real-time information I was able to access from thousands, actually millions, of people in 140 characters or less! Wow, this was unbelievable and downright impressive! I began “following” many people that had the same passion for the band that I did and many of us began our journey on Twitter together.

phishLeveraging Social Media to Your Advantage

My positive experience on Twitter made me think, “Can I leverage Social Media channels, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, blogging, podcasts, etc.) to expand the benefits of my professional networking?” I’m a sourcer/recruiter at Intel. Therefore, I’m always on the lookout for talent—whether they are actively searching for a job or those who may not even be seeking a new opportunity— that are the best in their field. I’m networking ALL THE TIME.

Why You Should Be Participating

The experience of real-time information exchanging on Twittermade me think, if I met that many people that shared information about a band, could I also come across others that are in the professional areas that I would like to tap into as well? Answering this question is what lead me to writing this blog post. One thing to remember though, this isn’t a “how to” but more of a “why you should if you haven’t already” posting. If you’re ready to take off into the social media stratosphere, or even thought about it, there are hundreds of how to articles and videos out there for you to refer to. I’ve included a few at the end of this post. But first, I need to convince you that it’s worth your time to check out.

I waded into the social media pool a few years ago when I became actively engaged on LinkedInwhich is a business-oriented social networking site and is based upon the three degrees of separation theory. I now have 1500 direct connections which have been very valuable both to me, as well as to those in my network. Having an extensive professional network is beneficial for so many reasons such as: business development/marketing, research, keeping in touch, career management/personal branding, job search, recruiting, organizing groups, idea sharing, etc. These are just a few ways social media can work for you. How have you used social media to help you professionally?

There's more I want to share with you (and I will!) but in the meantime, here are some reference tools you should check out!

Reference tools

How to LinkedIn video

LinkedIn Demographics

Twitter in Plain English video

The majority of Twitter’s roughly 10 million unique Web site visitors worldwide in February were 35 years old or older

Facebook crash course

How to use Flickr