Social media can be a time-waster, but it can also be a helpful networking tool that can help you make yourself more visible to hiring executives and executive search consultants. Social media should be used as a way to promote your thought leadership expertise that will help you stand out amongst the large pool of executive candidates. 
Even though social media networking takes place virtually, it’s essential to remember that you’re still networking. That means you will still need to engage with contacts regularly and find out how you can help them achieve their goals. Meeting someone online is not usually the endgame; it’s both a way to continue the conversation from an in-person meeting and a way to make new connections that you intend to meet in person at some point in the future. Face-to-face meetings with as many key people in your network as possible will result in the strongest relationships, so don’t keep all of your networking interactions online.

Share Your Goals

As you interact on social media, be sure to put your main focus on activities that will help you reach your goals. Depending on your situation (like if you’re confidentially looking), it won’t make sense to broadcast your interest in finding a new job. Rather, you should privately discuss your job search goals with targeted individuals and focus your public broadcasting activity on showing that you’re a leader in your field. Remember, when discussing your goals with your network, take time to also find out what their needs are and offer to help them out.

Keep Your Profiles Up-To-Date

The primary reason to keep you profiles up-to-date is so that connections, especially new ones, can understand who you are and why they might want to connect with you. If someone connects with you about something specific on your profile, but later finds out you’re not working there anymore or are not in that industry anymore, they may develop a bad impression of you. 
It may be tempting, but you should not simply list your resume/CV information on your social media profiles – not even on LinkedIn (for more detailed information on how to write your LinkedIn profile, see part three, Ultimate Executive Career Guide: Resumes/CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, and More). Your profiles should be much more personalized than your resume and focus on what makes you stand out, such as your top achievements and interests. If you’re unsure of what to put on your profiles, you may consider hiring an expert resume and social media profile writer to help.

Interact Often

Update your social media networks regularly – at least once a week. Whenever you write a new blog or LinkedIn Pulse post, attend an event, deliver a presentation, etc., you can share it with your network. When you don’t have any original content to share, you can share articles, videos, etc. that are relevant to your brand, industry, and/or function.
In addition to sharing your own updates, interact with the posts shared by those in your network by commenting, liking, and sharing their posts. Doing this will not only increase your visibility and expand your network, but it will help you grow a stronger connection with those in your network. People notice when someone gets in touch to ask for something, but has never engaged with any of their posts before, so make sure you spend time interacting with a new contact’s content before getting in touch.
Another way to interact is to join relevant discussion groups, such as LinkedIn groups or TweetChats on Twitter. These can help you increase your visibility to your network and only take a few minutes per day. After you decide which groups you will focus your attention on (about three to five), commit 15 minutes per day to posting your own discussions and interacting with discussions started by others in the group. Interacting in groups is one of the best ways to show others in your industry, function, or career level that you’re an expert in your field and worth connecting with further.
Get four more social media best practices, plus in-person networking tips, and a networking checklist: Download part four of The Ultimate Executive Career Guide.


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