A recent issue of Positively Successful shared twenty two ways to leverage social media to showcase your personal brand. Since, the number of professionals interacting on social media sites is increasing daily, it is important not to over look this for networking as well. Your career success can be enhanced if you use a few online networking tips. The same basic rules of social engagement that have applied to face-to-face networking in the business world for years can be applied to online networking with social media. In both the online communities and at face-to-face events, it is important not to focus solely on obtaining business or self-gain. Some level of trust is essential to develop online relationships just as with face-to-face relationships.

As in any network your value increases with the more value you add. Social networks provide a platform from which you can identify, engage, and provide value and to showcase your expertise and ability to solve problems. Your ability to do so consistently will expand your network with individuals who are most suitable to network with and this will help others to find you to tap your expertise.

In as little as fifteen minutes two or three times a week you can become a valuable assest to online networks.

Make Requests Personal

When you send a request to connect make it personal. Introduce yourself via a personal email including why you think the connection will be valuable for each of you; use information from their profile or content from their response to a post to make the connection. Let them know that you appreciate their thoughts and ideas. In the case of Twitter followers, send them a thank you for following you via a personal tweet.

Become a Valuable Resource

Just as in traditional ways of networking members of the same network, such as a LinkedIn networks, are encouraged to recommend fellow members for their expertise. You can become a valuable resource on any social media website by providing content including links to online articles and video that may provide valuable information and insight to others in your group. Become an active participate in your group by providing valuable, and positive, information or starting helpful discussions.

One of the most important tips of networking is to become both visible and valuable to others, because you increase the likelihood that others will trust and value you.

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