So your website’s up and running; you blog regularly; you post on Facebook; tweet on Twitter and even have the odd video or two on your YouTube channel. Is there anything more you could be doing online?
If you still have the appetite for even more social media, then there are two very different avenues you might want to explore:
1. LinkedIn: Business-only Networking
LinkedIn is a popular business networking site used by over 150 million people and with a host of handy features that can help promote you as a dance professional. Unlike Facebook and their ilk, you won’t find any distracting games, wacky photos or juicy gossip – LinkedIn is purely a no-frills business tool.
You will need to spend some time filling in your profile, which is based on a CV concept. For example, there is a section for your employment history and education, and you can also select from a wide range of skills. Unlike a real CV, you only need to add the information you think is relevant to effectively promote yourself.
LinkedIn presents information in an organised, user-friendly way. If you hover your cursor over a contact it will bring up a small box with their name, job title and company displayed. Once you have begun connecting with people you will be able to see their immediate connections. LinkedIn uses a networking tree structure and you can quickly see whether a person is directly connected to you or if they are linked through someone else. You can even give and receive recommendations and skills endorsements from people in your network.
2. Pinterest: What’s the Point?
Pinterest is different. There are some similarities with the more well-known social media platforms: for instance you can ‘like’ what other people have to offer, and you can post comments, but there the similarity ends. Pinterest works on the concept of a virtual pin board (or set of pin boards) on which you pin images that inspire you. An application called a ‘pinmarklet’ can be easily installed to enable you to grab any images you find and add them to one of your boards. Pinterest suggests a selection of standard boards, but you can add, delete or rename them as you please. There are now secret boards that you can share with selected people. The images you post from the web include links to the sites from which they came, enabling browsers to click through to find out more.
You may be thinking that this seems an unlikely way to recruit new members to your dance classes, and you would probably be right. Many people, particularly those who are visual thinkers, use this platform as a way of finding inspiration and organising their own thoughts. Type in ‘hip hop’ or ‘street dance’ and see which boards inspire you.
LinkedIn and Pinterest are two very different social media platforms that you may want to consider adding to your repertoire. Are there any others that you would recommend for dance professionals?