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Social media has been a revelation for people from all walks of life. Love it or hate it, if you are a professional with aspirations of furthering your career, the opportunities to create business relationships and communities on social media are invaluable.

Whether you are an aspiring non-executive or on the hunt for your next board position, if you don’t already have a social strategy in place, you should seriously consider taking advantage of social networking. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but does have the potential to generate positive results, with many individuals now sourcing and securing great roles via social media.

It is, without doubt, an essential tool to reach out to a wider network of contacts and pitch yourself in front of the right people. These powerful online platforms are a great way for you to be discovered and can help to open up new opportunities. 

If you’re not already au fait with social networking, here’s what you need to know to get started.

Benefits of Social Media for Non-Executives

Social media offers a number of benefits on both a professional and personal level. It helps you to stay in touch with relevant people you know, you can follow industry news, discover events and keep up to date with companies that interest you. It has also been discovered that those who follow a company on LinkedIn prior to an interview are more likely to be shortlisted as it evidences an active interest in the brand.

Through utilising social media platforms you can also contact people and let companies know you are looking for opportunities as a non-executive on a board. Although it is not a good idea to contact people directly if you have never met them before, there’s no harm announcing your ambitions on a social media post that will show up in their feed.

The biggest benefit of using social media regularly is that you will become more visible. This is your chance to build an online profile and make connections that can open doors. 

Which Social Networks Should You Choose?

The most essential network for professionals is LinkedIn. Many headhunters use LinkedIn to find suitable candidates with the potential and skills to fill a role. One of the best strategies on LinkedIn is to network regularly so you start showing up in searches. You can also connect with individuals that share the same interests as you and also industries that you are an expert in, or want to know more about.

Twitter and Facebook are the other leading social platforms. Both networks can be useful for connecting with relevant people but are not as widely used by recruiters as LinkedIn. It is also worth having a presence on more bespoke platforms that are suited directly to the industry or role that you are pursuing. 

How to Use Social Networks

To get started on LinkedIn, you will need to set up and optimise your profile. Make it appealing. Obviously, you need to highlight your expertise and achievements, but don’t avoid adding a personal touch. 

Once you’re all set up, start to build your network. Reach out to anyone you have a professional relationship with, including people you have worked with in the past, together with your current work colleagues.

Another advantage of social networks is that you can connect with a wider audience through your own contacts. The platforms intuitively recommend people you may want to connect with.

Once you make connections, make a point of keeping in touch with people you resonate with. Start conversations, comment on active forums, get on radars, and mention that you are looking for a NED role.

Follow companies that interest you, and try to make connections with the right people. Put the feelers out to people in your network. They may be able to connect you with board members who are looking for a Non-Executive Director.

With other networks like Twitter and Facebook, you can use these to keep on top of industry trends. Connect with companies and the people who work for them, and keep an eye out for updates that compliment your knowledge base. Commenting and sharing advice marks you down as an expert in your field.

Make Sure You Are Being Social

In order to stay ahead of the curve, online platforms are something you have to embrace. Social media can be an incredibly useful tool. There is no doubt they are powerful platforms and a great means for helping you to find non-executive roles.

To start with, make sure you optimise your profiles so that they make a good impression then slowly start to grow your network and sniff out opportunities. You never know, social media could be the channel that helps you find your next NED role.

If you’re not sure what to include on social media we offer a LinkedIn profile writing service so can help you to make the right impression. As a member, your profile is also visible to thousands of actively searching recruiters who can reach out to you about new opportunities at any moment.