Social media is key for professionals in a weak economy

Social media is key for professionals in a weak economy

j-shaped-recessionNet worth and consumption are falling. Unemployment and interest rates are rising. The economic outlook is weak for years. What can you do?
If you’re concerned about the economy, you can use social media to hedge your bets.
This week, I had the opportunity to listen to an economic outlook presented by world-class economist Nouriel Roubini. As the economist who began raising an alarm about recession-triggering behaviors in 2006, Roubini has become known as ‘doctor doom’ for his grim predictions. Nevertheless, Roubini has been included on Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people.
According to Roubini, a professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, it’s unlikely the economy will improve before 2010, and even then, it may take several years of slow growth to reverse record US unemployment rates (greater than 10 percent by 2010). Roubini said the nation’s economy is not free-falling, as it was in the 2008 fourth quarter and the first quarter of 2009. “But I don’t think we’re yet at bottom,” he said.
With unemployment already the highest in more than 25 years (it hit 9.4 percent in May 2009), and slow economic growth predicted for the next five or more years, it’s never been more important for individuals to leverage social media. Most notably, WordPress, LinkedIn and Twitter.

  • Use WordPress to begin writing a professional blog. Showcase your thought leadership by writing a blog related to your profession. A blog demonstrates your value to others in your profession, helps build relationships by generating profession-related conversations, and keeps you motivated to be a leader in your profession. It’s also more attractive to prospective employers than a resume alone.
  • Use LinkedIn to network. No matter your industry. No matter your circumstances. LinkedIn is the most powerful business networking site. It is the world’s largest professional network with 35 million+ members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn averages a new LinkedIn user every second of every day. According to LinkedIn, executives from all Fortune 500 companies are members.
  • Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile. While it only takes a few minutes to create a LinkedIn account. It takes a dedication, time and a level of added effort to create a good LinkedIn profile. You need to give it 100 percent – quite literally. Fill in as much information as possible.
  • Create a Credible LinkedIn Network. The power of social networks is founded on its size and strength. The trick is balance these two aspects of your network. When it comes to networking, size matters. LinkedIn is a great place to connect with everyone you know professionally and personal contacts that are willing to share connections with you.
  • Use LinkedIn to Create Business and Job Opportunities. he concept of creating business opportunities is important. It requires a mind shift. Once you make the shift however, you’ll be able to fully harness and utilize the power of LinkedIn.
  • Use Twitter to generate a following. After establishing your blog, use Twitter to promote your blog and create relationships with others in your profession. Share personal insights and useful facts with followers. Build a large network of followers.

Becoming an active user of social media means that you’re utilizing the latest communication technologies effectively. In fields such as consulting, PR, advertising, marketing, and communication, that may not be enough. You’ll also need to demonstrate how you can leverage social media to increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and revenue of the companies that employ you or utilize your consulting company.
Be current. Be connected. And, despite Roubini’s predictions, be optimistic — because leveraging social media effectively will provide you with a key advantage.
From Wall St to Main Street Baltic Ave
Recessions affect everybody. One of the hardest hit? Mr Monopoly. He over extended his credit on real estate and got caught in the real estate bubble.

Credits: Cartoon courtesy of The Washington Post archives. (FYI: Roubini suggests that we’re beginning the “J” part of a U-shaped recession.) Roubini’s speech at UW Madison was sponsored by American Family Insurance (my employer) and UW-Madison (my alma mater) School of Business.

Troy Janisch, Publisher of Social Meteor, is a digital marketing professional and social media enthusiast. Previous projects? Until 2009, he was publisher of the Business Owner’s Toolkit and host of it’s nationally-syndicated radioshow of the same name.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC.
WTN accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.