Follow Companies through Social Networking Sites during Your Job Search
During a job search, the best places for real-time information about a company are its social media sites because news appears instantly on these sites. Although seeing a broad view of the industry is a great start, sooner or later you need to understand the needs of a specific company and a specific person in that company.
Sure, you can read annual reports and browse the About Us sections of your target companies’ websites, but both of those options have their downsides. An annual report takes months of production to get published, and corporate websites can take weeks to get updated, which means the intel you have on that company may already be outdated.
Start looking for your target companies on the following social media outlets:
LinkedIn: Following a company means that you’re alerted anytime anything changes about that company on LinkedIn. If someone was fired, newly hired, or promoted, you’ll know. If the company has new products or made a status update, you’ll know. Make sure you’re following all your target companies and checking their updates weekly.
To follow a company on LinkedIn, find the company’s profile page and click on the blue Follow Company button at the top-right corner of the page.
The blogosphere: These days, most organizations have a blog. Corporate blogs can vary in the type of articles they publish: Sometimes they’re thought leaders, other times they’re self-promoting. Either way, a corporate blog can give you important insights about an organization’s strategic initiatives and market positioning. Either subscribe to the blogs of your target companies or visit them on a weekly basis.
When reading the blog of a target company, feel free to comment on or tweet an article. Companies find running a successful blog difficult and often hire consultants to help get more traffic to it. Help them out by leaving the first comment, which can help inspire more comments.
Also, tweeting a link to your followers can help drive more traffic to a company’s blog. At the very least, the person in charge of social media will be grateful to you. Later, you can call in that favor to get an introduction to a hiring manager.
Twitter: Make sure you’re following your target company’s Twitter account. Whether you have little interest in tweeting and doing other Twitter things, watching your target company’s Twitter posts can be insightful.
Drop your target company into a private Twitter List so you can read all its updates at once without getting distracted. (A Twitter list is a folder you can create to put your contacts in.) Pay close attention to topics the company repeats, articles it links to, and people it retweets. All these activities are clues to what’s important to the company right now.