How to Research Your Industry on Social Media

Hot Topics written in search bar on virtual screenExecutive recruiters are always on the hunt for subject experts within a defined field. Corporations and their HR functions sift through thousands of resumes looking for these business leaders.

So how do you find the hottest topics in order to stay relevant and attractive to today’s hiring influencers? Thankfully, research is a lot easier today than it was in my days as a police detective, and you need to look no further than the social media applications on your nearest computer, smartphone or tablet.

While LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are invaluable for job search, networking, and attracting recruiters and other leads, they also hold great value as research tools.

All four of these social media platforms have very sophisticated search features. In the case of LinkedIn, subscribing to one of their Premium accounts unlocks even more search parameters.

Use these tools to search for keywords most pertinent to you, and identify the people, posts, discussions, and comments happening around those appointed topics. All but LinkedIn also offer hashtags as another method of discovery.

From there you can find people and companies to connect with and follow, interesting links to read and share, and groups to join. Groups, especially LinkedIn groups, have been of tremendous use to my senior-level clients. Tip: Introducing yourself to the group is a simple step that many overlook, but can generate notable rewards.

When you comment on the most important and current topics in your industry, and share suggestions with peers and other influencers, you elevate your status as an industry leader.

If you are serious about managing and advancing your career, I encourage you to devote a fair chunk of your job search time to research your target areas and uncover industry influencers. Your job search will be fruitless if you don’t have a goal in mind and conduct your research accordingly.

Use the traditional industry associations and databases, but don’t neglect social media and it’s robust research tools.

How much time do you allocate to research?

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