Whilst on my adventures running a record label, one of the artists I worked with is very against using Twitter. Whilst I understand that Twitter isn’t for everyone – ahem cover images which are stretched due to a dodgy website re design, only allowed 140 characters, trolls, spammers, etc. – but as time has gone by and the more I’ve used it, I have seen the advantages of using it.
Whilst back then it was probably a little more tricky to connect with professionals, nowadays it is easier thanks to the internet.
Before I go onto more less known ways of connecting to Professionals (feel free to add more relevant ways in the comments), let’s talk Twitter. I use social networks like crazy, so it helps to have an App like Hootsuite so they can all (including my Facebook Pages, Linked In profile) be managed from one place. In terms of talking to Pros, I mainly use Twitter to give feedback on their companies’ products / service – I try to be positive, but sometimes I notice something (negative) that I think could potentially harm them in some way, so I give that kind of feedback too (especially if it’s a good company that I think really deserves to thrive). Whenever I share content from a Pro (like a Soundcloud track or YouTube video etc) then I try to make sure I mention them in the sharing Tweet, as sharing counts as feedback, in a way, too. The thing is, professionals sometimes if not usually take your tweets on board if they are relevant – If this happens, then most likely the Pro will take on board your feedback, but less likely is that he / she / they will implement it in their company. I can say with confidence that once in a blue moon my feedback (if it’s relevant, and others have said similar things) does get heard and I can see the change in the company I tweeted about. Twitter also helps when you are sharing your own content, and keeping in touch with companies that you might want to work for.
On the other side of the coin is Linked In. It can be useful for connecting with companies directly (say via the messaging system), although I think Linked In (LI) is more for indirect contact. If I was an employer, and I was searching for someone to fill a vacancy, I might search for jobseekers around that area through Linked In then possibly contact that person; Or more likely when applications for that vacancy come pouring in, and the same person who is applying is one that came up in the previous LI search, the application will shout: “this person has a good digital footprint” (which may help in securing the job). Like Twitter, you can follow employers that you’re interested in as they do usually advertise job vacancies on their professional profiles. Another handy way of connecting to Pros via Linked In is through 2nd or 3rd party connections. It might be that you are a “Connection” with someone you know who works at a company / in an industry you are interested in, hence keeping up with that person’s place within that company via their LI profile updates means that that Contact becomes very valuable, should you want to be introduced to the right people through that contact. It’s who you know etc.
There are other ways of internet connecting. For creative arts, it sometimes works when you constructively comment on their work if an online comment section is there, and generally sending emails or completing feedback forms work too.
The reason I am writing this post is that communication in the professional world is extremely valuable. If a company hears feedback then they can understand their market better so that their product /service is the best it can be, so they can survive longer, and possibly take on more employees (ahem new graduates ahem). It also helps secure employment in the present (I have found work via email, and following employers on Facebook). Be careful though: Communication is not an ego trip (ie. your feedback is heard and applied, hence you were so right and they were so wrong), so it’s best to keep professional communication sensible and restrained!