Social media is a great place to learn about and create a digital conversation with your market. Potential employers do not want to be talked-to, or worse yet sold-to on these platforms. Your “followers” want to know they have a place to come learn, to ask questions about things THEY care about, and to know they are being heard.
Here are some things I’ve learned from listening to those I’ve served since the advent of LinkedIn, the preferred place for professional level job seekers to leave their “digital footprint.”
Listen MORE than you TALK
In the Groups that you choose to join and participate in, start with treating them as a place to listen. Getting followers to your Profile and white papers is the start – not the end. You can learn so much more about your market if you are careful to read what Group participants are posting and commenting on. See what things they “like” and look for trends that can direct your future efforts. This is also a great place for ideas you can use to refine your positioning and targeting approaches in other personal marketing formats like your resume, value proposition, and various verbal pitches.
Engage your colleagues in digital conversation
The goal is to get other professionals with similar interests to engage in the conversation by posting intriguing content that connects to your audience and engages them to “talk.” Once you get people talking with you, you can learn about what matters to them, and then provide more of this type of content to build into your “story.” This inter-action is the front end of high-quality relationship building… pathways to your next work.
Know your Market
You should know your market BEFORE you start applying for jobs and posting things in Social Media of any kind…and listening first to your market will accomplish this.
Once you DO post something, look to see how it’s received and use this to direct future personal marketing efforts. The response you get from people in your various Groups of choice can tell you things about your potential employers that you can use to direct your future communication efforts.
“PUSH” without being Pushy
In “PUSH Marketing,” you need to take a low-key approach and offer 90% of insights and education to your market, with only 10% of things that would be seen as a sales pitch. Of course, ALL your social media content is “selling” in one way or another, but your market will be turned off if it comes across as a hard sell.
On the other side, don’t just post silly photos or motivation quotes. Position yourself as a subject matter expert and a source of real help to your followers, by sharing valuable information your market cares about (using UPDATES to post white papers).
Listen to what your colleagues and potential employers are talking about and then provide information, links, stories, and examples that connect them to what they care about. This makes you a trusted advocate and when you DO begin to request info and referral activity, they will be more willing to accept it because they like and trust you.
Move Toward the Next Step
Make sure to ask questions or lead them to further activity with your postings. Direct people on opportunities to engage with you… your call to action. Recall WAYPOINT #2: Always communicate yourself in a positive, future oriented manner!
You need to monitor your presence on all your social media sites, and, during active job search, specifically LinkedIn. Potential new contacts, potential employers, and others may be evaluating you based on how responsive you are to comments, so you need a plan to find and respond to these postings in a timely and professional manner.
Often recruitment and selection decisions are influenced by what others have said about you, so you need to work hard to direct the conversation, or the market will.
Your digital footprints are all over LinkedIn and other social media platforms, whether you put them there or not, and you need to commit to keeping up with them or suffer the consequences in the court of customer opinions. LinkedIn is a powerful tool to assit you in both PUSH and PULL Marketing of your branded “value proposition… YOUR Digital Footprint.