Twitter and Facebook truly are beautiful creations. In addition to finding EVERYTHING out about a person (even things you probably never wanted to know), you can network with people who you never would have heard of otherwise. It is vital to make sure you are using social media in a way that is advantageous to your career. An easy way to do this is by simply reaching out – here’s my story about it, and why reaching out is completely worth it.
I had been following Victor Kim, a member of Quest Crew, who won Season 3 of America’s Dance Crew (one of his many talents), for a few months when I came across an idea of his called “Kingdom Mentality”. I loved his idea and wanted to find a way that I could share my thoughts on the idea with my friends. I wrote a blog post on the idea and Tweeted it to him; to my surprise, he saw the post, retweeted it to over 60,000 followers, and Tweeted me back with a thank you. Other than being starstruck, I realized that over 300 people had viewed my blog literally overnight, simply from Kim’s retweet. Personally, I wasn’t ready for this. My blog was not looking its best, and I really had no intent of Kim ever seeing the post, let alone giving it recognition. I was so surprised and excited about the Tweet that I didn’t know what to do next. Should I respond? Do I say “thanks” to his thank you Tweet? I was completely in the dark.
But this wasn’t the first time that this had happened to me. Aside from this, I went to see the Far East Movement last summer and ended up missing the concert because of traffic and parking problems. I posted on their Facebook page about how upset I was that I waited all summer to see them and missed the concert. Well, they (or a PR rep) wrote back, apologizing for my missing of the show. Obviously, I was so excited that I really didn’t care much about missing the show. As a fan, this was a really meaningful experience, but I would have liked to have known how to respond after reaching out.
As PR students, you can’t be afraid to reach out to these “Influencers” in a professional way. Reaching out can really boost multiple areas of your career and help you make connections that you never thought were possible.
Who are Influencers?
An influencer is anyone who inspires you professionally or personally. Follow people whose posts are related to your life and that you genuinely care about. Some people follow employers that they may want to work for in the future. This is a good start for someone studying PR who may be unsure of their exact career path. Also, follow your colleagues and classmates so you can support each other in the work that you do.
How Should I Reach Out?
Use these three steps when reaching out to influencers:
1. Tweet or post in a friendly, appropriate way. Please don’t Tweet someone with, “OMG I LOVE YOUR POST” or, “I AM dying to work for you” – that isn’t professional and makes the person much less likely to respond to you.
2. Post at a time during the day or early evening. Post during the work day or early evening because that is when an influencer is most likely to see the post.
3. Don’t overdo it. If you are lucky enough to get a retweet or post back, send a simple “thank you”, or “thanks for reaching out”. It goes a long way.
4. Make sure you promote the influencer after they’ve responded to you. If a person retweets you or posts to your page, promote their work when you see posts that you support or like. This shows that you genuinely care about their work. But make sure to follow #3 and don’t retweet every single post.
Now that you know how to reach out, start following some influencers. Don’t end up like me, not knowing how to respond, sending out a link to a poorly organized blog, and being completely starstruck.
I couldn’t end my post without #4, so before you begin your reaching out, check out Victor Kim’s Blog and Youtube Channel. He has an EP coming out November 15th, so be on the lookout!