Although social media is an important and powerful tool for building business connections, it should serve as an adjunct, rather than a substitute for in-person networking, according to source from the communications industry.
Marijean Jaggers, a local social media and communications expert, shared her tips on Thursday afternoon with about 75 guests at the Business Women’s Round Table, a networking and development group sponsored by the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Jaggers focused most of her guidance on LinkedIn, which she called one of the least used but most important social media networks — especially for anyone that’s looking for a job or considering changing jobs.
One of her key points of advice was to treat a LinkedIn profile as a work in progress, by keeping it up to date with your latest career accomplishments and projects, a strategy she said extends to all online platforms.
“Think about what people are seeing if they Google your name,” Jaggers said. “Go Google yourself and if you don’t like it, fix it.”
Her other tips included adding an up-to-date profile picture, and, uncomfortable as it may be, asking colleagues and friends to write feedback in order to build your credibility.
She also suggested that advanced users check out Sprout Social, a dashboard-type interface that allows users to monitor multiple social media feeds.
But even if you’re technophobic or not tech savvy and prefer face-to-face meetings and phone calls, “It doesn’t matter what kind of tools you use ... as long as you’re paying attention to the fact you have a network and you can use it to help other people,” she said.
Jaggers is president and owner of Jaggers Communications, a Charlottesville-based firm that provides education and guidance in communications.
“I think the most powerful thing Marijean does is make social media accessible,” said Allison Linney of Allison Partners, an organizational development and consulting firm.
The Round Table was formed in 2004, meets monthly and is open to all chamber members.
“I think the best part about the Business Women’s Round Table is it’s an opportunity each month to meet amazing women,” said Brooke Jenkins, the group’s chairwoman. “The more you put in, the more you get out.”