LinkedIn and Twitter serve as better networking tools than you might think. The power of networking is endless, especially now with easy access to professionals via Twitter and LinkedIn. Here are a few tips to improve your online visibility and build a network:
- Never send a generic LinkedIn connection invite. In order to stand out and make things personal, you must take the time to write a nice blurb on how you know them or explain why you would like to connect with them.
- Clean up your Twitter account to make sure it is appropriate before you begin attracting professionals.
- Don’t have full-blown conversations on Twitter. Make an initial connection with a tweet, but then continue the conversation via email or direct messages.
- Use hashtags such as #intern, #internships, #HAPPO, #PR,etc. and directly tweet at companies or people who work there about news/events that are happening at those companies. When you express interest in what that agency is actually doing, you will get noticed.
- Don’t get to the point right away, start by asking about the professional’s experience or for advice. PR people love to talk about themselves and want to feel like they’re helping someone out from their expertise. So, allow them to do that and they will be more likely to then talk about a job or internship opportunity.
- Join Twitter chats, ask questions and share your answers. Your questions could get noticed by a professional looking for an intern, and your active online presence will impress professionals.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and error free at all times, especially before you connect with professionals.
- Utilize the LinkedIn headline in a creative way. For example, “PR major seeking internship in NYC,” and be active in different LinkedIn groups.
As a pre-professional, it is your job to seek out professionals, companies, PRSA young professionals and alumni on Twitter and LinkedIn. Let your personality shine online, and do what we do best: communicate. Actively tweet about PR news, tweet at professionals and companies, use hashtags, and connect on LinkedIn with personal messages. These tips will allow you to network with the industry and establish a solid online presence, but most importantly it will highlight YOUR brand.
Go forth young professionals, use social media networking to your advantage!