It's easy to get bogged down with the various social media channels available, however what you shouldn't forget is that each one is different and should be used for different purposes. So how do you decide which one is the best to use for networking with potential clients?
For many, LinkedIn would be the go-to channel to source potential contracts. This business orientated network provides a free platform for professionals in thousands of industries to connect with a total of 240 million users in 2014, with 79% being 35 years old or older. This channel allows you to digitally showcase your skills set and hosts links to your other social media channels along with other online platforms. On top of this you can join industry relevant groups for a whole host of topics and others can also endorse your skills set on your personal page.
- Google +
Google+ is another professionally orientated network. This social platform was built by Google to let users build professional networks. As this platform is still relatively new in the world of social media it doesn't host as many brands as other platforms, however it is growing rapidly with 925,000 new users on average per day and 400 million current active users.
Google+ also gives you the opportunity to increase your blogging credibility through the use of Google+ authorship. Your personal Google+ page will highlight your skills, connections, work history and education. When you post a blog simply link your profile to the 'author' area of your blog post, this means that when your blog post comes up in a search engine page your profile details will be linked to the bottom of the page. Please see here, for information on how to do this.
Remember, readers are always more likely to read and trust a piece of content if it is written by a credible character.
Pinterest is a social media platform with 70 million active users. It allows you to network with individuals by sharing pictures and building up a personal picture board. If you create products or deal in design of some sort, this social media channel can be an excellent channel to showcase your work to prospective clients.
Twitter is a micro blogging social media site that allows you to create posts that are 140 character or less. With 560 million users this is a very popular social media channel and allows you to connect with individuals and companies, share content and engage in real time conversation with other industry professionals. Twitter is known for being one of the fastest channels for sharing relevant up to date content so can be an excellent source for industry news. The use of #hashtag keywords allows you to sift through content easily, meaning that it's quick and simple to find the content that's of interest to you.
Although many view Facebook as a more personal social media site, with over 1 billion active users Facebook can be an excellent channel to communicate with industry professionals and prospective clients. It provides an ideal opportunity to communicate with professionals in a less obtrusive way, with 2.5 billion pieces of content being shared each day.
Each social media channel has their own niche, the key factor is to identify which one supports you in sourcing new contracts and developing relationships with key industry professionals.