Guest Post by Erin Palmer
It’s no surprise IT professionals got in early on social media back when social media was just getting its digital feet wet. As an information specialist, it makes sense to seek knowledge and peer support via an online platform.
IT professionals continue to flock to social networking sites to discuss best practices with their peers and drive IT improvement. More than 90 percent of IT professionals reported visiting at least one social media site a month, according to a recent IDG audience engagement study, while 60 percent classified themselves as active participants in social media.
IT projects – From Start to Finish
Because of the innovative and visionary nature of IT, project partnerships are now taking place on social media landscapes. Information specialists conduct collaborative conversations in real time with colleagues from around the globe. This new ability to curate technology among IT peers on social networking sites helps drive the industry forward while enabling individual projects to stay on task throughout the development cycle.
Grow Network Connections
With social networking sites like LinkedIn and IT Toolbox, information specialists are able to grow their network of professional contacts quickly and easily. In a competitive environment such as IT, it’s essential to not only build your network of connections but also strengthen existing relationships and position yourself as a thought leader. Those with the most connections tend to win.
Learning and Problem Solving
Even as social media adds new and shiny toys to its current ways of connecting, many IT professionals remain “old school” when it comes to interacting with their peers. Conversations, for the most part, still take place on message boards, and it is on these boards that colleagues ask questions, seek advice and share knowledge.
Sites like IT Toolbox also host an IT Wiki which is open to submissions and edits from members.
Where the IT Pros Hang Out
With over a million members, IT Toolbox is probably the most visited social networking site. Members can create user profiles, join group discussions and even create their own blog within the site.
Other sites that are also gathering places for the IT community include Slashdot and Digg. Slashdot is more of a technology news site and has been adding devoted members since 1997. Digg is a very popular social bookmarking site, and while the content varies among numerous industries, it does have a techy news section as well.
LinkedIn is of course another prominent networking site that is particularly good for job hunting.
Best Practices for IT Marketers
Wherever IT professionals congregate on the social web, IT marketers will follow and get allowed into the conversation provided they add meaning and increase engagement. Here are some IT marketing best practices:
Create Great Content
Today’s IT audience expects more of the information they consume and share. Mediocrity no longer makes the cut and is met with suspicion, so before you make any initial contact, be sure to have a strategic content marketing strategy in place that will offer value and engage readers.
Align with Quality
In an environment where virtually anyone can publish anything, forging quality content partnerships may be more important than ever for IT marketers. Look for trusted technology information sources with which to align your own brand.
Add – Don’t Control
Social media is about interaction, not selling. An IT marketer would benefit from adding genuine participation to the conversation, making sure to never directly talk at or sell to the IT audience.
Social media has changed the way IT professionals work and share knowledge. It is a remarkable platform that should continue to shape the way professionals interact as more of the younger generation moves into the work force.
Erin Palmer is a contributor to U.S. News University Directory a leading resource for locating online business degrees, MBA programs and internet marketing certificates from accredited colleges. For more information please visit http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com