Leveraging Email To Grow Your Social Media Connections


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Please note: As of April 2013, LinkedIn have closed down Xobni's ability to show summary LinkedIn profile data in the manner described below. Xobni does still show data from Twitter, Facebook, Gravatar, etc. and so the approaches described below are still valid to a degree. But the specific LinkedIn functionality is no longer available (Xobni are petitioning against this move by LinkedIn, but we don't hold out much hope of that decision being overturned)

Whether you're looking to grow your social media connections for job search purposes - or for some entirely different goal - today's article will show you how you can leverage the email interactions you have on a day to day basis to achieve this. For the candidates amongst you, we'll also show you what your email recipients may see about you when they receive through your job application - keeping in mind it's not just your approved social media connections who can take a peak at your profiles...

Regular readers will know this is the third in our series 3 Tactics You Can Use Today To Build Relevant Social Media Connections. In the first we looked at a trick you can use to help your LinkedIn job search progress more rapidly, even if you don't have a premium account. In the second we looked at an approach to follow twitter accounts that will be most relevant to your job search, but in a highly time efficient manner. This third article will show you how you can use your existing email interactions to effectively grow your social media connections by making quality connections.

How You Can Use Xobni

At this point I want to show you an awesome screenshot from Xobni.

Leveraging Email To Grow Your Social Media Connections - Xobni LinkedIn View

I'm not affiliated with Xobni (which is Inbox spelt backwards if you were wondering!!) in any way - and I don't get any financial kick-back for recommending them. It's just a fantastic tool - and integral to the approach I recommend you take to grow your social media connections using email. You can get Xobni for Outlook for free from the Xobni download page by the way. 

Now how about you look at the above screenhot - and imagine that you could see this same information for every single person who ever sends you an email! You can see their LinkedIn summary - and at one-click view their whole LinkedIn profile or invite them to connect. You'll also have whatever contact details are available for them right there - extracted from any email exchanges you've had with them in the past and / or from their LinkedIn profile if you're connected (scrubbed out in the above screenshot!). Plus photos of the person as a memory jog for whether you've ever met them before.

Alongside this you can click the tabs to see similar information from Facebook and Twitter - so you can see their latest tweets or engage with them on Twitter for example. Plus you have the option to add them to your social media connections by following them etc. right there from your Outlook inbox.

Leveraging Email To Grow Your Social Media Connections - Xobni Twitter View

How Others Use Xobni To Check On You

At this point - for the jobseekers / recruiters amongst you - I want to stop to flag up that TONS of recruiters use this Xobni add-on as a way to quickly assess the flow of CV / Resume emails they receive from candidates. Without even looking at the job application itself, the recruiter can quickly:

  • see who you are - and where you are located - from the LinkedIn profile summary
  • assess the professionalism of your Twitter and Facebook presence
  • view all previous correspondence they've had with you (which in the case of recruiters means they can see if you've been bombarding them with applications)

If you are jobhunting right now, you simply have to know how you appear to recruiters in this Xobni interface, so that you can make tweaks and changes to improve the first impression you are giving to recruiters.



Growing Your Social Media Connections From Your Email Inbox

In terms of leveraging your email to grow your social media connections, it should be pretty clear that you could now trawl through email interactions you've had in the past - especially with recruiter / employer contacts - and quickly add them to your social media connections. Plus on an ongoing basis, have far richer information about every person you come into contact with on email - and the facility to invite them there and then to become a connection.

Just think how many people you come into contact with in your industry each day, who you then fail to follow up and invite to be a social media connection. With Xobni installed, that simply needn't happen any more!

If social media is most powerful when you're connected with people who have a relationship and rapport with you, I've no doubt you can see how connecting with people you have an email history with is going to build stronger ties than just approaching potential social media connections cold.

Having said this, another great feature - when you are trying to make contact with people for the first time - is the ability to search from scratch within Xobni, using what you think a person's email may be. If there's a match for the email address you've inputted, the same information you see above will be presented for that contact match.

So imagine you have seen a recruiter's name somewhere (eg. on a job advert) but you don't have their contact details. Well by using the standard email format for that company you can now guess what their email address ought to be - and have Xobni effectively validate that for you - plus provide you with a whole load more information about the contact to help you determine if they will be a quality social media connection for you to cultivate. Engage with them on Twitter - or in a LinkedIn discussion group - and within a matter of days you could be submitting your job application to someone you're already on conversational terms with.

The same holds true if you're reading this article to foster sales leads, identify potential business partnerships - or any other activity where expanding your social media connections is a key to success.

Hopefully these three articles have shown you how you can dramatically increase the number of relevant / high quality social media connections you can build up in a very short space of time. You should also feel a lot more confident in your ability to strike up relationships with these individuals to further your job search (or whatever other business objective you may have). So good luck from us here and...


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