If you’re ever in an interview, and you’re asked, what’s your biggest weakness? Would you say that you should do a better job of staying in touch with your professional network? If you fall into this category, keep reading. You’re probably already engaging your network if you’re active on social media. If you’re not being active, what’s stopping you? We’re going to give you tips to stay in touch with your professional network via social media that you can accomplish in just 20 minutes a week!
One fast, super simple way to stay top of mind within your network is to share articles or industry updates that you find interesting. Use your judgment based on the platform for what’s appropriate to share. Add a short comment about why you’re sharing the item, and you’re done. This is one way to also position yourself as a thought leader and contributor within your network. People will likely start to notice that you have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on, and will reach out to you for commentary on a particular topic or an expert opinion.
- Like/ Comment
When you like or comment on a post that someone else makes, you can have a similar result as when you share something. This is a little more passive, but you will still show up as interacting with whatever was posted, and the person who posted it may note that you engaged with their content. It’s another way for you to show that you’re following what they’re doing, and are interested in what they have to share. Again, this is a quick and easy way to acknowledge what people in your network are saying and doing.
- Email/ Message on LinkedIn
When you see someone in your LinkedIn network has had something really fantastic happen to them like receiving an industry award, or publishing a popular article, make the effort to send them an email or send a direct message on LinkedIn congratulating their success. Not only does it show that you took the time to acknowledge their success, but that you cared enough to send a personalized note. You might also want to do this if something they post or share is related to something you’re working on, or if it inspired you to do something differently based on their expertise. Trust us, this will not be “just another email,” or just another LinkedIn message, your recipient will read it, and they will appreciate the kudos!
LinkedIn makes it really easy for you to tell your connections what you think they’re good at. Simply navigate to the profile of the person you want to endorse, click the arrow next to the “Send a Message” button below their description, and select “Endorse.” Not all LinkedIn members have endorsements active for their profile, but most people do have this feature enabled. You will likely find that the more people you endorse, the more endorsements people will give you.
- Set up lunch
This one might take you the entire twenty minutes to complete, depending on the schedule of the person you want to have lunch with. However, if you have a goal to have lunch with someone in your network at least once a month, you’ll have touched twelve people at a minimum that normally wouldn’t have heard from you. Emily Carrion, Director of Communications at video advertising tech company Mixpo took the challenge to have lunch with 52 people in a year that she didn’t know. She attributes the growth of her network and deepened connections to this tactic, you can read about her experience here.
The number one reason people say they don’t stay in touch with their network is that they think they have to invest hours each week to make it happen. With the advent of social media, it’s easier to stay in touch with your network than ever before. Put these tools to work for you. You will be surprised at what a difference twenty minutes a week invested in networking will do for your professional network!