This post is by Jessica Miller-Merrell, a leadership blogger at Blogging4Jobs. She is a digital strategist with a passion for recruitment, human resources, training and social media and is the author of “Tweet This! Twitter for Business,” a how-to business guide for Twitter.

We are just 12 short days away from the Christmas holiday. Between now and New Year’s lay before us the opportunity to build relationships and grow our network all while sharing a little eggnog and holiday joy. But a reality looms beneath the holiday cheer. Directly after the busy holiday season is January, the month when employees are most likely to exit their workplace. Whether it’s of their own devices or as a result of a corporate downsize, January is the month employers and employees are most likely to part ways.

No matter who you are or where you work, you are never safe in your job search. And networking both offline and online is the key to a successful career and future. It turns out that between 65% and 85% of all jobs are found as a result of networking. It’s never too early to start or too late, and the holidays should be no exception.

Social media in 2011 has been an extremely popular complement to a job seeker’s strategy. According to Jobvite’s social media study, 36.6 million job seekers used social media as part of their job search strategy in 2011. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or your blog, social media can provide an effective way to further strengthen these in-person relationships while also sharing your expertise and building your personal brand.

  • E-cards. Send out free Internet holiday cards to your network. Hallmark.com has a large variety of interesting and work-appropriate cards to engage your network at no cost to the send or receiver. Not every decision maker or business professional uses or responds best when it comes to social media. Diversify your channels and strategies when it comes to building relationships using both social media-based and more traditional communication methods such as e-mail.
  • Use your blog. Interview your top client prospects or companies on your blog as a way to develop a truly unique relationship that makes way for referrals, business and new friendships. Most everyone likes to see their names in print or media. Take advantage of that fact and use your blog to build relationships and open doors.
  • Host a holiday open house. Either at work or at your home, virtual or in person. Clients, friends and colleagues can visit and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, wine or sparkling cider while building new relationships or catching up with old friends. Looking to host a virtual cocktail party? Consider using Google Hangout or host an online network using a Blog Talk Radio channel or FreeConferenceCall.com.
  • Hit the holiday party scene. Make the rounds to all the holiday events and bring a stack of business cards. Never miss an opportunity to make a lasting impression. No business cards? Follow up with a nice personal note via LinkedIn or Facebook to help solidify the personal connection. Take the conversation even further by adding value to your new-found network through online introductions establishing value for later when it’s time for you to ask for something in return.
  • Go old school. Take part in the traditional method of distributing holiday cards using snail mail. Select marketing materials to make a lasting impression. Drop by personalized and homemade holiday gifts to your network. Mix your favorite blend of coffees and package in a custom bag with label. Don’t forget to include your contact information and business card. Schedule an afternoon or two to make the rounds.

Bottom line: Get out there and get moving. The biggest mistake I see in the job search and in business is people waiting for the opportunities to come to them instead of taking the bull by the horns. Regardless of the season, holidays or not, professionals should never stop networking especially considering that the average time in position is a mere 18 months. Social media should serve as a complement to your aggressive in-person relationship-building strategy providing you access to decision makers, hiring managers and key players at the organizations where you wish to work.

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9 Responses to “5 ways to integrate social media into your holiday party and job-search strategy”

  1. [...] in-person relationships while also sharing your expertise and building your personal brand.Source: 5 ways to integrate social media into your holiday party and job search strategyGo to the source if you’re interested in learning the 5 ways… Posted on December 13, 2011 by [...]

  2. [...] use social tools to bolster the relationships you’re building at end-of-year get-togethers. Click here for the whole story.  Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in [...]

  3. [...] Posted on December 13th, 2011 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Via Scoop.it – Social Media Help This post is by Jessica Miller-Merrell, a leadership blogger at Blogging4Jobs. She is a digital strategist with a passion for recruitment, human resources, training and social media and is the author of “Tweet This!Via smartblogs.com [...]

  4. I actually send e-cards to some of my clients. But I always make sure I can follow them up with real gifts, no matter how small. I know they appreciate the "going the extra mile" gesture. They feel they are incredibly important to me, and our relationship is extremely valuable.
    My recent post Looking Ahead: A Facebook Phone in The Works

  5. Dan Hunt says:

    "Never miss an opportunity to make a lasting impression." This statement is full of meaning, both positive and negative, for many areas of our lives.

    A recent transaction with a retailer provided a lasting impression – that I don't want anything to do with them again! Plus, I am posting reviews about the experience. With social media the power of a single consumer to influence retail sales has expanded. The recent change of mind by Bank of America regarding fees is but one example.

    There is the phrase "customers are always right." This phrase originally was to help a sales person keep in mind the importance of the relationship with a customer. Treat them well and make them happy so they become repeat customers and tell their friends. Now there is a risk prevention side to it as the power of a single consumer to trash a company can have serious consequences.

  6. [...] post was first published over on SmartBrief’s Social Media blog where I am a regular contributor.  They happen to be pretty awesome with over 4 million email [...]

  7. austin baker says:

    Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before.Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written. Will be referring a lot of friends about this. Keep blogging
    sameer thapar

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