7 ways social networking can help you as an engineering professional

Social networks aren’t just for the kids these days. Professional online communities today offer unprecedented opportunities to connect with peers, stay up-to-date on trends and best practices, and find solutions for your toughest occupational challenges.

And even if you’re in a specific field (like engineering), there are a growing number of industry-based networks that can be great resources. A social network can be an efficient tool of connecting, networking and utilizing your network resources for your personal growth and here’s how- 

1.Recruiting professionals

 Today, social media is not only used to stay in touch with our social network but it has also become a vital tool for sourcing and recruiting the best candidates. More than 90% of recruiters use social networking platforms to find, recruit, and retain ideal employees. Smart recruiters also use social media to conduct background checks among potential hires and confirm their qualifications for a position. Candidates who have social media presence tend to be more tech-savvy and knowledgeable about current business trends. They also tend to be more productive as an employee and stay longer at a company. Use your social media to stay on top of every relevant news, technology trend, and to build a positive professional image for yourself and for your recruiters to see.

2. Industry News –

Engineers and technical professionals rely on social media as an information resource to stay in touch with recent technology trends and news in the industry. 57% of engineers use social media sites to find product reviews. Another 54% use such platforms to keep up with the latest industry news, trends, and technology. Of course, it’s quite safe to assume that in this day and age, practically everyone is using social media to keep in touch with friends and families, share photos, and personal and professional updates. By subscribing to newsletters, reading blogs and articles, staying in touch through news websites and listening to podcasts, networking with industry colleagues they remain tech-savvy and up to date with technology advances. Taking part in online career platforms is a significant way to build and grow your career. Online platforms are rich in career-related discussions, which focus on the trending topics in the corporate world. In most of the cases, you might find such communities influential and useful in building your career. Taking part in online communities on career and job search can offer you valuable information on growing your career. Also, with such groups, you can come across recruiters and other like-minded individuals who can be of significant help in your career advancement.

3. Relationship Building-

 Social media is full of people with diverse skills, knowledge, and experience in different fields. Interaction with the right individuals can guarantee you both personal and career growth. Make sure that you establish new connections within your area of specialization, connect with them, and ensure that you engage in fruitful discussions. No one will be willing to help you for nothing. Usually, it is recommendable to offer value for any connections you make so that the other party can see your worthiness. Social media is all about building relationships. Just like social relationships, the social network can help you build professional relationships and business connections. Learn what your colleagues, clients, and potential clients are doing; learn their interests; follow their tweets; make logical and profound comments in response to theirs. You can get a real sense of their personality, interests, etc. that will certainly assist during face-to-face marketing efforts. Once you have initially connected in face-to-face networking meetings, you should use social media to build on those relationships that you have established. As you work on growing your networks and groups of friends, some of the people whom you include are leaders in your industry. If you read the blogs of industry leaders and follow them, you are strengthening your knowledge and, at the same time, you are anticipating that the industry leaders are going to notice you and will want to connect with you on a more personal level. Visit profiles, repost, and provide feedback, engage with them to build a social relationship. 

4. Marketing and branding

 Creating a personal brand image are also crucial at this time. Market yourself as a dependable professional through your posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Share relevant content for your peers, encourage them on social media to show that you are a team player, avoid posting immature, reckless posts, and extremist opinions. Be smart but concise on twitter, and share your insights on technology on LinkedIn. Creating a personal brand and marketing it to people is key to building a strong social network that helps in professional goals too. 

5. Recruiting College students

College students are fresh talent and perspective entering the market and if you are someone who is at a managerial position or a senior position, you need to keep tapping into the student base now and then. Before recruiting, keep track of some of the most talented engineering students through social media. You can be in contact with students of your ex-college or university or know other students through your juniors. Staying in touch with the present students of your previous college, or even the professors can get you good recruits for any vacant spot you might look for in the future. This way, you build a personal relationship and then build a professional connection. This helps you and the students too. It is all about knowing the right people and giving them the right opportunity so that everyone ends up with a win-win situation. 

6. Recruiting Boomerangs-

 If you are an engineer heading a firm, you might be familiar with attrition. Even though employees leave a company, keep in touch with them and keep them in the loop with recent developments at your firm. Show them your success instead of any failures. Keep your ex-employees on friendly terms so that they have only good things to speak about your company and also come back to your company because it treats people better. 

7. Professional growth

Social media can amplify your reach through the expansion of Personal Learning Networks, which can be aptly utilized for enhancing one’s professional growth. By joining Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or by following specific associations or trainers or presenters on Twitter, you can remain well informed of all of the conferences, seminars, blogs, articles, and publications being offered that you find relevant in your career. One can use social networks like Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook to amplify access to resources to international networking and sharing and hence, increase the reach and effectiveness of their PLN. Social media tools leverage the creation of a collaborative environment by initiating new conversations, and contributions.

Here are a few social media platforms that can be used by you as platforms for professional development. 

Networking on Facebook

 Last updated, Facebook has more than 1.28 billion active monthly users, which is roughly one-sixth of the entire world population. The social networking giant has introduced an extensive array of tools throughout its evolution that can be used effectively for professional growth. Whether it is Facebook groups, Business pages, or Events, each of these tools is equally useful. These are great ways of communicating with experts, spreading new ideas, building new relationships, building contacts, and trying new things out. vents will keep informing you about the latest learning opportunities happening in and around your city which you can attend for better networking.

Twitter- Twitter is another mainstream social media outlet. It has 255 million monthly active users as per the latest reports disclosed by the company, which was up by 14 million sequentially. Twitter is useful in several ways. However, the first thing to do after you set up an account is learning the language of the Twittered. The social network has a learning curve associated with it, but it won’t be much time before you get familiar with terminologies like hashtags, avatar, tweets, promoted tweets, RLRT, RT, Timestamp, and activities such as connecting with like-minded learning professionals, following shared news stories, Trends amongst other. Your career development through Twitter will include information and active participation in Twitter chats around a particular subject area.

LinkedIn- 

The original social network created for professionals has more than 250million members which include companies, groups and organizations, and of course individuals. To ensure maximum utilization, your profile should be complete and professionally oriented. Nothing can understate the importance of a good professional headshot as your profile picture. Take credit for accomplishments and be generous while offering recommendations and endorsements for people you know. Send personalized connection requests to professionals and join groups in the area of your interest. you can also write professional posts to show expertise and share the content in your network. Last but not the least; LinkedIn is a place to find some of the best work opportunities in the industry.

In a global economy, it wouldn’t be wise to limit yourselves to purely local connections. Your professional success will also depend on how well you can utilize different technological aids, social media, and mobile being the top amongst them.