How To Use Social Media To Network In The Fashion Industry
Today, more and more people are connecting through the use of social media. You can use social media to network in the fashion industry. However, navigating the proper etiquette when doing so can be tricky.
Most social platforms make it super easy for you to connect by offering a generic connection request you can send to people. However, this can be a major mistake! This is likely your first encounter with this person. It needs to be both personal and intriguing. There are rules you should follow to maximize the likelihood of receiving a response.
We couldn’t possibly include everything you need to know about networking in the fashion industry in this one article. So, I created an 8 part Fashionable Networking Blog Series. To read the entire series and get valuable insight, go to the bottom of this page to see all the links. I’ve even thrown in a FREE 6-Day Networking email course to get you started!
Are You A Poster Or A Seeker?
“In today’s social media space there are two different types of networkers online – posters and seekers.” – Entrepreneur Magazine. If you have your own business or brand (even personal brand) you are a “poster”. You are actively posting valuable information, resources, tips, or offers. A seeker is someone who is actively “seeking” out products, services, or information. You’ll find seekers in discussion areas, forums, groups and engaging on fan pages.
Guess what? You found this article. You were most likely “seeking” information on how to network on social media!
Now, you can be both. At different times in your career, you will need to use social media to connect with different people for various reasons. For example, you could have your own start-up business that you are promoting via social media, and at the same time be “seeking out collaboration partners or other influencers to help promote your business.
Another example might be a fashion professional looking for new opportunities. In this case, they might be “posting” their latest portfolio work or promoting their expertise via articles or links to current projects while at the same time actively “seeking” new potential business partners or employers.
Become A High-Level Social Networker
Before you start to reach out to network you need to first make yourself an attractive person worth connecting with. To do this you need to become what is known as a high-level Social Networker (HLSN). This means you have a complete and updated profile and you are actively engaged online.
When you start to seek out new connections you need to target the same types of people. Some examples of HLSNs you will want to connect with would be recruiters, hiring managers, potential collaboration partners, fashion influencers, bloggers, other industry professionals, and the media.
Social Networking Rules Of Engagement
The most popular social media platforms used for networking online are LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I cover LinkedIn networking in more detail in another post: How To Use LinkedIn to Network In The Fashion Industry. Depending on your purpose for networking (job seeking, self-promotion, finding clients, etc.) and desired results will determine which platform is best to use. Here I will be concentrating on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
When you reach out to people you don’t know well (or at all) you need to do it in such a way to maximize the likelihood of receiving a response. Follow these steps to make connections the right way: Like, Follow, Share, Engage, Connect
LIKE – Do You Even Like ME?
When you are seeking to connect with someone you must first show you are genuinely interested in the person, their product, or their business. No one wants to waste their time with random pushy sale people who know nothing about them, their product or business. High profile fashion professionals get solicitations all the time. They don’t have time to respond to everyone. So, first show them that you genuinely care by liking their various profiles, posts, pages, and websites.
FOLLOW – Become Their Biggest Fan
Similarly to the above, to get noticed on someone’s social feed you need to become their biggest fan. Like their posts. Sign up for their newsletters if they have one. Leave comments. To be sure you don’t miss anything you can set Google alerts to notify you when they post something new.
SHARE – Share The Love
To piggyback off the above, share any and all posts they publish. When you share, leave a personal comment. This will also get you noticed.
ENGAGE – Talk To Me
On most social platforms you have the ability to send private messages (PMs). This allows you to connect directly with the person (or at least their staff). This is an opportunity to start a dialogue. Don’t be annoying about it, but send brief messages asking them a question about a recent post or complement them on recent work. Ideally, you would want to show how their product, brand, or information has helped you personally. This creates a more personal connection.
CONNECT – Change Your Relationship Status
After you have communicated a few times it is time to take your relationship to the next level. Do the big ask. Send a message explaining your intentions and how you think you can help them or how you think the two of you could work together. Make it short and sweet.
If they say no don’t drop them like a hot potato. No does not necessarily mean no forever. It means not right now. Continue to like, share, and connect. Give it a reasonable amount of time before you try again.
Fashionable Networking Blog Series
This article is part of an 8 part Fashionable Networking Blog Series. Learn from the pros how to connect with industry professionals the right way in order to grow your network and build your career or business in the fashion industry. Read the entire series here:
- 5 Reasons You Need To Build Your Network In The Fashion Industry
- 6 Ways To Network In The Fashion Industry Like A Pro
- 5 Best Ways To Silently Self Promote In The Fashion Industry
- How To Use LinkedIn to Network In The Fashion Industry
- How To Use Social Media To Network In The Fashion Industry
- Your Network Is Your Net Worth In The Fashion Industry
- Why Collaboration Is The New Currency In The Fashion Industry