Recently in my many travels to colleges and universities I have discovered that many students are using Facebook, but when it comes to Linked In and Twitter very few actually have a presence. That really needs to be put right so that you don’t miss out on all the opportunities that being connected virtually can bring.
Why You Need an Online Presence
If you are a student that is connected across all three channels that is great as you will already be creating some differentiation for yourself. You will have an edge on your class mates.
A number of recruitment consultants use LinkedIn to find candidates and in the many LinkedIn Groups you can find job opportunities. Many employers use Face book and Linked In as background sources for information on people – so my advice is to be aware of what you are posting on the sites (same advice applies to Twitter). Twitter has a huge amount of information on all sorts of subjects which can only benefit your knowledge level. So my advice is simply this – get connected across all three channels as a minimum. If you have created and are writing your own blog then that is great as well. Now you are really motoring.
Are You LinkedIn?
If you use the LinkedIn facility to put your academic qualifications/professional standing on line then that can only be useful for you. Additionally it will force you to structure your thoughts in what you want to say so the exercise will help you prepare your CV. If you already have a CV then you can use much of that information for LinkedIn.
Many event and business professionals have put their profiles on Linked In and are using the site to find out about their potential business partners/competitors and generally keep up to date with what’s going on.
There are some LinkedIn Groups that are open to everyone (clearly you need to have a Linked In profile first) so you could join them and keep up to date with the latest topics being discussed. Some Groups will be better than others so you will just need to find which are going to work most effectively for you.
You can adjust the settings so that you only receive Group messages on a daily or weekly basis which helps you decide when you want to see the messages that come from the groups.
Twitter is another great way of connecting with people and finding out what the latest thoughts/issues are. This is not to be missed. People on Twitter post such a wealth of useful information you would be missing out not to be involved. Yes there are some people that post trivia but the choice is always yours as to who you follow and how you want to use this.
When I first started I just created an account and then observed how it all worked. I found this approach really worked for me. My advice to you would be to keep an eye on a group called #eventprofs – You really will not be disappointed. This is one engaged on line community that is creating the curve and is full of friendly and supportive people. The amount of useful information you will pick up will be significant (I promise). Not sure how to get started then just have a look at the following guides –
Getting Started with Twitter for your Business
Yes I know that these articles have a business focus but they cover all the key points that you need to get going. So now you know how to set up an account but what about the etiquette? I have highlighted a video which explains what I think is a really good approach and will help you. For the Etiquette of Twitter you can check out this great video.
As with all our previous posts this virtual activity will require some time investment from you but again the long term benefits will be worth it. Whilst you can be networking and connecting face to face there is also great importance of having a virtual presence. When you have the virtual presence be sure to include the contact
information within your business cards/e mails/letterhead or else you are missing an opportunity.
- Set some time aside on a regular basis for your virtual (professional) activity
- Dust off or create your CV – This will be a big help for the LinkedIn profile
- Have a look at any LinkedIn Groups that may benefit you and join them
- Read the Planet Planit Twitter Guides and then take a leap and create your own account
- Have a look at the #eventprofs community on Twitter and join the conversation when you feel ready
- Remember to only post information that you are happy to put into the public view
- Follow @planetplanitbiz and keep up to date
About Paul Cook
Paul Cook, Managing Director of Planet Planit, is passionate about the events and production industries. He is keen to raise the importance and awareness of effective planning across the industry. Paul already runs a successful business providing insurance for special events Clarity Event Insurance and is recognised as a leading figure in the events industry. Paul is International Development & Student Programme Director for Meeting Professionals International UK and Ireland Chapter, (MPI) the leading professional development and networking body for the events industry, having already served a term as President during 2007/08. He is also currently serving on the Chapter Advisory Council of MPI’s global body.
In 2008 he was voted Number 15 in the Power 50 of people making their mark in the events industry by Haymarket’s industry leading publication – Conference and Incentive Travel.Paul frequently guest lectures at Universities and Trade Shows. He has also written for a number of trade journals and his opinions are frequently published by online magazines