New Age Networking

Self-branding via social media was the main point stressed in the “New Age Networking” presentation hosted by Spreenkler, a social media and design agency, at UWM on Friday.

MILWAUKEE – Self-branding via social media was the main point stressed in the “New Age Networking” presentation hosted by Spreenkler, a social media and design agency, at UWM on Friday.

Spreenkler hosted the modestly attended presentation in UWM Union Room 240 on Friday, April 24th and featured demonstrations on how to use different forms of social media to better prepare and market a person to potential employers in the declining job market.

“Self branding is something that I like to think about as taking you as a name and as an individual and packaging it as a brand and launching that brand out into the market place, how do you go about doing that?” said Bill Bensman, the social media campaign coordinator at Spreenkler, “What methods, what marketing channels do you use to promote that brand which is yourself, so to speak?”

The demonstration consisted of slides that featured social media cites such as Facebook.com, LinkedIn.com, and Twitter.com. With each slide, Bensman dissected the site featured and pointed out ways to utilize its features to help make a site look more professional and attractive to employers.

Spreenkler is an interactive and social media and design agency that helps to train and retain college talent in the Milwaukee region. It began as a monthly meet-up of individuals exchanging ideas in 2007 and, in 2009, it launched its creative services agency.

The social media sites that were featured were

  • LinkedIn.com – billed as a Facebook.com for professionals
  • Facebook.com – 35 – 60-year-olds is the largest growing demographic on this site
  • Twitter.com – has 11 million new members in the last month and a projected 15 million new members by the end of next month
  • Meetup.com – a great resource to meet up with new people especially if you are just graduating
  • Flickr.com – a great resource for online creative portfolio managing
  • Blog – the blog is the focal point for all of your social media networking

What employers are looking for

Bensman said that employers are looking for candidates who are well rounded and keep up with the latest trends. He also said that perspective employers would like to see if a candidate has presence on multiple social media sites. He recommended that students have presence on Facebook.com and Twitter.com and, if they are indeed looking for a career, LinkedIn.com would be a great resource.

Bensman estimated that hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses are branching out into the realm of social media. He stressed that it is important to make these types of social connections, saying, “With the job market flooded, it’s good to know somebody.”

“I think the LinkedIn.com is very good,” said Josh Konkel, a student graduating in May with a degree in Advertising. “Also the Carbonmade.com and Flickr.com which allows me to post my portfolio being a creative online. It’s easier for potential employers to find rather than me sending jpegs through the email.”

What the sites should have

Bensman said it’s ok to still keep personal things on these networking sites such as pictures with friends as well as interests and hobbies, but that people also need to keep in mind just who is going to be looking at the sites.

“Just try to join as many networks that are of interest to you and remain authentic on those sites, provide true information,” said Bensman, “market yourself in a way that an employer can easily access you and see what you’re all about.”

A presence on social media will not negatively affect a person looking for employment Bensman estimated.

“Not having presence on social media is not going to hurt.” Bensman said. Bensman claimed that the advantage of having presence on the social media networking sites is to make connections and to differentiate oneself from everybody else.

Bensman also said that these networking sites are an easy way for a person to promote that self-brand that employers are looking for and that these sites will help take a potential job candidate “to the next level.”

Spreenkler

Spreenkler is headquartered at Bucketworks in Milwaukee, located at 1340 N. 6th St. They still hold monthly networking meet-ups that consist of idea sharing on topics ranging from design, sustainability and innovation. These meet-ups also contain a featured speaker who gives a presentation and interacts with the group.

Throughout the meeting, there are opportunities for attendees to share their ideas, receive feedback, and get to know others who share their passion for creative work. The next meet-up will be held on May 6th at 5:30 p.m. at the Bucketworks facility.

“The more information I can get from [Spreenkler], the better,” said Olivia Johnson, a junior at UWM. “It showed me the right direction to go in to help me network myself. I’m a junior, so I have to start thinking about those things.”