With the advent of technology being used for networking, social networking has emerged with great influence and force in the workplace. Much like LinkedIn, this tool will help you communicate and keep in touch with mentors, professional colleagues and other networking sources companywide.
Social networking is not unlike traditional networking, it just uses a different medium, tech, as the core form of communication. In many cases, it often mimics in-person networking. For example, would you do the following with face-to-face relationships?
-Assume friendship status without properly introducing yourself?
-Consistently talk about yourself without regard to those around you?
-Randomly approach a friend or colleague you barely talk to and simply ask for favors—regularly?
Always remember, if you wouldn’t do it in person, don’t do it electronically. Here are some tips to help you with your career in social networking.
- Think about the consequences of your engagement on any social networking site. Comments, posts, and information you share can affect your reputation. Maintain the level of professionalism that you would if you were connecting with someone in person. Remember, comments you make using social media are “permanent”.
- Apply the same principles you would to in-person networking as you would to social media networking. This means give before you receive it.
- Think about how your comments will be perceived before you communicate them.
- Check out your company’s social media policy and whether or not they have one. Some restrict what you can say about the company on social media.
- Add users or friends without proper introductions.
- Publicize a private conversation on a wall post.
- Ask for endorsements from people who don’t know you or you didn’t do a good job when you worked with them.
- Don’t write a recommendation for someone who you feel does not truly deserve it. You will forever be associated with that recommendation so think twice.
Social media communities are real relationships with real conversations in real working environments and as such, they should be treated like they are real, not made up because they are online. Remember, social networking is about creating a site and tool that benefits the collective, the community, and the common good for all.