Inside Long Island Business

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Advice from social media pros

Louise DiCarlo, online community producer, and Steve Haweeli,

Louise DiCarlo, online community producer, and Steve Haweeli, founder and president of WordHampton Public Relations, speak about using social networks to build yourself an online presence. This at the Pubilc Relations Professional of Long Island session at the Melville Marriott on October 13, 2010. (Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz)

If you’re a professional wanting to make online connections that lead to business and career opportunities, you’ll have to do more on sites such as  Twitter and Facebook than blast out requests and sales pitches.

That was advice Steve Haweeli shared with about 25 communications professionals at Wednesday night’s program at the Melville Marriott on “Transforming Online Connections into Offline Relationships,” sponsored by the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island.

The key, he said: be warm and friendly. “We call them social networks because we’re being social,” said Haweeli, above right, founder and president of WordHampton Public Relations in East Hampton. With authenticity as a foundation, the commerce happens organically, he said.

Still, there is an “initial investment” of time and focus in learning the ins and outs of the sites, said Louise DiCarlo of Stony Brook, above left, an online community producer, social media manager and social media columnist with ThreeVillagePatch. She said she doesn’t market her services as clients come to her after getting a sense of her personality and work ethic on Twitter, a microblogging site where users post comments of 140 characters or less.

And she has some fun with the site -- during baseball playoff season, her profile photo shows her wearing a pink Yankees cap.

Unlike on Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter users don’t have to ask to connect with someone they want to follow; they just do. It’s like “a big online cocktail party or networking event. You can pretty much approach anyone,” said (attendee) Robin Bernstein, a writing and public relations consultant in Melville.

James D’Ambrosio, a communications professional in East Northport who’s  looking for a job in nonprofits, said he’s been learning the Twitter ropes at MeetUp sessions in Manhattan held by Chandlee Bryan, co-author of “The Twitter Job Search Guide: Find a Job and Advance Your Career in Just 15 Minutes a Day.” He’s just found and started  following the Tweets of recruiters and hiring mangers, some of whom have followed him back. 

Those looking to combine socializing, talking Tweets and giving to charity can check into the second annual LITweetup Helps initiative to be held Oct. 23 at four Panera Bread locations on Long Island. It’s part food drive and part Tweet Up where Twitter users meet face-to-face, said DiCarlo. Newbies, bearing nonperishable food, are welcome. “We talk to everybody,” she said. Learn more at http://www.facebook.com/LITweetupHelps or on Twitter look for @LITweetup.

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Tags: networking , technology , Internet , Twitter , Facebook

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