Most people think of Instagram as a platform to share real-time moments.
For me? I think of Instagram as a great networking tool.
After a recent social sourcing workshop via Recruiting Social I was asked a follow up question: how do you use Instagram as a networking tool?
I explained: for recruiters’ social media sites [Instagram] can be a great platform to source and recruit potential hires. I then shared my “aha” moment… I should be taking pictures to create visibility in what I do [work/industry], where I work [location/clients], events I go to [meetups].
Personal vs. Business:
With any social media networking sites, users, in this case recruiters, need to decide if they are using it for personal, business or both.
Now, I use Instagram for business and personal. Why?
For starters, 300 million Instagrammers have adopted this global community of photo-ops – it’s easier than ever to create and develop connections with people by industry, skill set and/or location; for example, I connect with recruiters, HR and tech people all the time.
Here is how I have been using photos to network:
Note above: I am speaking at a local tech event [hiring .Net Developers].
Networking… how to create connections?
Ultimately when you do decide to follow someone and comment on one of their pictures, you are drawing that person in. Sometimes a simple “Like” shows interest. A well timed comment can lead to conversations and over time create a professional-yet-friendly connection.
For example as a recruiter I leave comments like: “Great meeting you at the Ladies UX event in Vancouver!” or thank the organizer and speaker for a great event. The traditional advice for building your network: attend events where people you would like to meet and do business with, swap business cards, shake hands, then leave.
What about the after part? Did you happen to connect with anyone you met right away? Or did you happen to lose a bunch of the business cards you managed to collect? And, what happens if you’re an introvert?
Surprisingly enough I can be.
So, maybe ‘working the room’ isn’t your forte, spotting the connectors might not be an easy task. The key thing here is to get out there, connect, and try something new.
Tip: cross post the photos to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook… the audiences tend to be different.
To make the most out of networking opportunities, gain valuable connections and visibility in an industry, here are some easy-to-apply insta-networking tips.
- Take a picture while attending the event.
- Upload photo with a description to give the image some context.
- Check in to your location (this might be tough given your networking event).
- Hashtag, hashtag, and hashtag.
Is there such thing as too many hashtags? Maybe. But, hashtags provides a way for others to find your photos, like your photos, and gain a few followers or at least provide the Instagrammer with some insight on who you are. Remember keep your hashtags relevant to your picture like location (#LA, #Vancity, #Vancouver, #HackerNest, #UXJobs).
Editor’s note: We recently interviewed Angela about Instagram for social selling and recruiting: