How Managers Can Use Social Media to Build Professional Relationships

In Creating Respectful Relationships, we explored how managers relate to employees on their own team. However, you'll likely encounter other people in other departments, outside vendors and sometimes communicate directly with customers. You might only interact with these groups sporadically, so it's more difficult to understand them on a deeper level like you do your staff. Social media is one of the best tools to build and maintain these other professional relationships. 

Facebook and LinkedIn can help you stay in touch with your professional network. 74% of adult internet users are active on social media so it's important to tap into that opportunity.

 

Connect Within Your Company

As a new manager, you'll mostly likely start interacting with workers in other departments. You might also want to learn more about the hierarchy of the company. LinkedIn is the best solution to establish strong connections with other professionals. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network with over 400 million members world-wide. 

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Benefits of Using LinkedIn

  • Showcase your talents and experience
  • Learn more about colleagues' professional history
  • Leverage your colleagues' connections to grow your network
  • Learn more about the nature of your company
  • Connect with other professionals in your field
  • Discover new opportunities
  • Share/learn business advice 
  • Reach recruiters if you need to find a new position

Follow Up

Each time you attend a networking event or meet a new professional, send them a LinkedIn connection request. This demonstrates that you value that person as a professional connection and want to stay in touch. Not to mention, it automatically provides you access to their connections. You're basically investing in your professional future. You get the opportunity to take advantage of the phrase, "It's all in who you know." 

If You've Got It, Flaunt It

Finally, LinkedIn is the perfect platform to alert others when you advance your skills, receive new certifications or join organizations. If you plan to move up in the company (which you should) it's essential to keep a record of your accomplishments. Your profile is your professional portfolio and provides a brief, digestible snapshot of your career trajectory.

 

Support Other Businesses

If you really want to get ahead of the game, establish yourself as a community cheerleader. If you have certain local businesses that you prefer or believe in a certain brand, make those preferences public. Facebook is the perfect platform to show support for other businesses. 80% of online users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook. If you're entrepreneur, connecting with other business owners is the easiest way to expand your network and increase leads.

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Benefits of Using Facebook

  • Show support for other businesses
  • Leverage their following to grow your own
  • Establish a positive persona/brand for yourself 
  • Get motivated and inspired

Give Shout-Outs

If you had a delicious meal at a restaurant, "Like" their Facebook page. If you had a wonderful experience at your dentist, leave a 5-star review. When your colleagues need help finding a good baby-sitter, be the person who they come to for options. By being well-connected and involved, you'll establish yourself as a resource and commodity. Eventually, other professionals will start coming to you and show interest in your career. It's called Karma.

Choose Wisely

Keep in mind, many companies ban using Facebook during business hours so make sure to adhere to office policies.  It's up to your discretion whether or not you add your colleagues and employees as Facebook friends. It goes without saying, but if you do add them, don't post anything that you wouldn't want your boss to see.

 

Maximize Your Time

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One of the biggest excuses for not taking advantage of social media, is "I don't have time." However, that excuse contradicts the fact that on average, Americans spend 1-2 hours per day on social media. Instead of simply browsing through your feed, use that time to invest in your professional future.

When you feel the urge to check Facebook, try to make a habit of checking LinkedIn first. If you need to keep yourself occupied when waiting in line, try to take that time to spread positivity instead of feeding on the gossip.

By using social media with intention, you can build stronger relationships and improve your career for free. 

 

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