Social media key to professional outreach

At the end of my last post, I asked, "How do you identify VIP influencers among social media? and How do you cultivate a relationship with them?"

Kris Schindler, managing partner at Start Thinking, provides this well-thought-out response:

If you know who the VIPs are, search for them on Twitter.

If VIPs you currently have a relationship with are on Linked In, connect with them.

At conferences and business meetings, when someone says something interesting, see if they are on Twitter and if so, follow them.

Have to miss a professional meeting? If the speaker or panelists interest you, look for and follow them on Twitterand contact them after their presentation to see if the presentation was recorded or if it's on SlideShare.

Read an insightful article online or in print? See if the author has an online presence–blog or Twitter.

When you meet and connect with someone at a conference or business meeting, connect with them on LinkedIn.

When you find the people you are following on Twitter are interesting, see who they are following.

People using social media are putting themselves "out there." If you have a relevant response to their posts, let your voice be heard. Almost all social media outlets have controls for privacy settings. If someone doesn't want feedback form people they don't know, they'll adjust those settings accordingly.

Make it easy for people to follow YOU by including links to your online outlets in your e-mail signature. People are putting their Twitter handles on their business cards now too.

If you aren't getting what you need/want from your online circle of friends, join another clique.

Now, same questions but applied to using social media to spread buzz or news about a product or event.  Let's pick that up with the next post.

-  Jon Harmon

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