networking onlineLinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest – the list goes on and on! In the year 2014, we’re fortunate to have many unique networking tools at our disposal. Whether you’re an employed professional or a job seeker, these can come in handy when growing your professional network if used properly. Keep these tips in mind to help ensure you’re making the most out of social media networking opportunities:

Write Personal Greetings

Deleted the canned LinkedIn greetings! They are impersonal and a missed opportunity for building connections. Instead, properly introduce yourself and why you wish to connect with that individual. As for the other sites, send a tweet or message to thank those who follow you.

Demonstrate Expertise 

Demonstrate your expertise and passion for your industry by posting related information, articles and opinions. Doing this will spark conversation among your network, helping you build stronger connections. Take it another step further by joining existing conversations among professionals about the industry. This is especially important for job seekers, as hiring managers like to hire people who are passionate and knowledgeable.

Consider Your Audience

Always consider who you’re currently talking to and who you wish to talk to online. If your target audience consists primarily of seasoned professionals, they might not pay too much attention to that article about millennial job searching tips that you just posted.

Stay Professional

Delete the party pictures, reconsider the swear words and avoid the controversial posts. If you want a professional network online, you must stay professional.

Be Yourself!

Although you want to remain professional and think about your audience, you should stay true to yourself. Those who let their personalities and interests shine tend to have a more successful experience on social media. At the end of the day, people want to connect with people, so never be afraid to be yourself!

Regardless if you’re a new grad or a seasoned leader, take advantage of the networking opportunities social media has to offer!

Have an additional tip? Share it in a comment!