Earlier this week, I shared a new concept called the target network profile. It is for your purposeful use while career and social networking. For times when you can’t just be out there socializing. But rather your focus needs to be on creating leads with new people. But not just anyone.
The profile forces you through a process to determine who those people are and sets up the next step. The process of choosing a strategy for social networking to find and engage them.
But first, you need to decide who they are. So begins the research phase. Go out and find a minimum of 10 people that match your profile. Real people in real jobs. As well as real people who are, like you, looking for one. Using the example from the prior post, our job search objectives were to get a director level sales job in the apparel industry. So go find the names of the 10 current VP of sales of each of your target companies. And then get the names of the people in the VP roles over marketing and operations in each of those companies.
You now have 30 highly targeted social networking contacts to engage. Add another adjacent industry (like footwear or action sports) and you add 30 more people to the list. All people to whom you should appear relevant and worthy of a quick chat. Assuming you are qualified for the job you seek.
But how do begin engaging?
A lot of the ideas to begin implementing a social networking strategy come from a prior post. 10 ways to penetrate your target companies was written to help job seekers figure out what to do once they’ve created a target company list. But this thought process is practical for anyone looking to build company connections. Lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, real estate agents and more.
So in summary, here is a slide showing many of the ideas laid out in that post. To begin engaging and illustrating relevance to those you want to meet.
Many of these are self-explanatory and are detailed out in the post referenced above. But from a social networking standpoint, it is not always as clear how to use sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Here are three things you should be doing in each once your targets are established.
1. Research your 10 target companies and the people who hold the key roles. Where did the people come from and how long have they been in the role?
2. Use the follow function to follow your target companies and stay in the loop with comings and goings of key employees.
3. Find people in your network who are already connected to your target companies (and staff) and request a warm introduction.
1. Follow the personal accounts or business accounts of those people using Twitter. Follow the Twitter account of all your target companies that have one. Pay attention to who follows you back. You can now send them a direct message (DM).
2. Create a Twitter list called “Top 10 companies in *(your city)”. Or “Top sales execs in apparel” Everyone likes to be added to lists.
3. Once you have followed and listed everyone, use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to create a column just for your list or lists. And begin talking with these people and sharing their ideas with others (via a re-tweet) and add your take. Introduce them to potential customers that you know. Ones that are relevant. Send them an @message (reply) to comment on something they’ve said. Be real (not fake) and people will read what you have to say.
1. Become a fan (via a “like”) of the page created for each of your target companies
2. Suggest their page to your friends who might be interested in also being a fan.
3. Regularly like and comment on the page. Add relevant ideas or make suggestions. Participate in contests they hold. And reach out to those involved with maintaining the page and engaging “fans” like you.
What are other ways you can think of to begin engaging your target network via social networking? And what other traditional ways should people consider?
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Social Networking