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Why Are You Going To Social Media Conferences?

Social media has taken the recruiting world by storm.  From a few tentative panels in the early days, to 70% of the content to full conferences just talking about social, the employment industry is embracing the use of social networks to find, attract, and retain employees.  

Training is a big growth industry, as is the growth in internal positions focusing on social media, but what does that mean for you, the recruiter or branch manager tasked with improving your social skill set, but not sure where to turn?  What conference should you go to, and what webinars should you join to learn what you need? 

The good news is that you're not alone, not just as recruiters, but in all industries.  Social is touching everything, and everyone is asking where they should hang out.  Where should they go?  Who should they pay?

Let's not start there.  Let's start instead with the real question - what do you want?  Do you want direction, or training?  Do you want tips and tricks, or do you want strategy?  Do you want to meet other people at the same level, or do you want to follow people further down the path then you?  Answering those questions helps you identify what you want from a conference.  Having those questions, ensures that no matter what conference you attend, you'll walk away smarter. 

Every conference I've followed, tracked, reported on, or spoken at has been beneficial to me.  Some have great content, some great connections, and some are just good for publicity.  And at each, there are people I could get that value from.  And yet, very few times, have I learned that much from the conference.   And neither have you. Look, you're only remembering a small portion of the conference if you're not writing it down.  And even then, you're not acting on most of it.  What you're doing is getting up the courage to start practicing on your own.  You're looking for assurances from other people that you're not wasting your time, and that something good waits for you at the social media tunnel. 

That's why conferences are getting more fun each year.  There are more people, with more successes, and the message is soldifying into actionable results.  How is that not exciting?  

So what's the advice here?  Stop worrying about where you're going, and do spend a lot of time planning how to get the most out of where you're going, whether it's a small meetup or one of the national conferences.  Here's four things to do. 

1) Make a list of people from your area going, and make sure you find a way to meet them. 

2) Look for the conference hashtags, and follow those people on Twitter. 

3) Every person who gives you a business card, send a LinkedIn invite the day they give it to you. 

4) Get people to take photos of you at the conference, and make sure they are tagged on Facebook.  These pictures will help you get publicity as someone interested in learning.  Hey folks, that's valuable.  It means you're a social person that is interesting, a very valuable personal career tool.