Spring, November 2014

Social media essentials

You walk past a colleague’s desk and see them scrolling through Twitter or LinkedIn, what’s your initial thought? Your response will likely put you in either of two camps. 

One: you might think they’re procrastinating, chatting with friends online or even looking for a new job. Or two: you might think they’re doing research on a client or supplier, sharing knowledge with their network or asking a question of an online contact.

The fact is for many professionals in the procurement, logistics and supply-chain business, social media has become a valuable communication tool and part of their daily workday routine.

However in procurement, like many other global professions, a gulf is beginning to divide those yet to embrace the full potential of online networking platforms and their social savvy colleagues already building an online reputation, growing their global contact list and leveraging the shared knowledge and expertise of their industry counterparts.

This November, The Faculty Roundtable is hosting Social Media for Procurement Breakfasts in Melbourne and Sydney.  Featuring Jack Slade, Product Manager at Procurious, Breakfast places sold-out within days demonstrating that even if you’re not sure where to start, social media is one of the hottest emerging topics for the profession.  

For those procurement professionals yet to expand their social media horizons, The Faculty Quarterly has outlined five simple tips to kick-start your social media presence.

1. Get noticed to get ahead

A profile page is your social media business card and nothing looks more unprofessional than an egg instead of a Twitter image or a half complete and out of date bio. You need to make yourself easily identifiable and searchable so use your full name and your current role, include a snappy bio and it’s a good idea to use one headshot image across all your professional networks.

2. Make social a daily habit

Every day, log onto your networks and make sure you: 

- Add or follow someone new
- Like/favourite a post
- Comment on a discussion
- Retweet or share an article
- Draft a new post with your own commentary 

Make this part of your daily routine. Some people prefer either first thing in the morning as they’re warming up for the day.

3. Become a thought leader

Ask yourself what you want to be famous for. Decide which subjects you want to focus on and stick to them. Participate in LinkedIn group discussions or Procurious discussion forums that focus on these topics. Remember to use those social media sharing widgets above and below the interesting online articles you read. And add some personal commentary, a relevant hashtag or attribution and you’re on your way.

4. Don’t be shy

You’ll get the most value from social networking sites by doing just that – networking. As part of your daily routine, like, follow and add comments to the posts of peers, suppliers, clients and media outlets.

5. Be yourself

Once you get the hang of engaging on social, start to share your personality. Social media is not academia, nor is it a comedy routine so aim for a professional tone with your own unique voice. Just write as you speak professionally and don’t overthink it.

Now you have a few new skills, you can start expanding your professional network right now by joining and sharing on Procurious, The Faculty LinkedIn company page, Commercial Leaders LinkedIn discussion group and with @TheFacultyHQ on Twitter.