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BASICS OF NETWORKING

Learn to network like a pro

What is Networking?

It is right to affirm that networking plays an important role in gaining a new acquaintances and improve one’s background professionally – not to mention its convenience cost-wise – though it is wise to adopt some precautions reported below in order to mitigate any unwanted trajectory: 

  1

Value our worth: 

We must always be careful on how we introduce ourselves in the most proper manner and make sure our reasons are clear and understandable so that the best connections may happen to be as closer as possible to us.

  2

Everybody counts: 

People are as important as your ideas since they are the recipient of your work

   3

Behave professionally

There is no gain without a correct behaviour, especially when we’re introduced or we introduced among people

  4

Social Media Matter

we’d better get online as soon as possible otherwise we might be isolated and out of business.

  •  If we are willing to expand our networking connections, twitting can really make a difference along with hashtag in case are shared in a particular event. 
  •  Unless we don’t wish otherwise, if we really want our LinkedIn to be exposed to millions of possible connections who might want to reach out to you, then we have to make it look formally perfect. 

Perfect Timing

Imagine to attend an event and divide the timing in three different moments:

Before the Event

1. Set out our aim:

let’s keep in mind what matters to us and possibly have them written down i.e. an event’s goal, the number of connections we want to establish, which subject we want to expand. All these elements help us not to lose our attention and be sharp and reactive.

2. Make up a relevant and crisp speech:

make sure you come with something of interest, relatively short and likely to be amended which might draw your audience’s focus and keep it intact throughout, defining goals, positions and present commitments to be shown at one given event.

3. Don’t forget your business card:

an object that is instrumental in gathering connections as long as all the info we want to be noticed is well displayed. Also, our networking list of partners needs to be databased and thus saved for future projects.

4. Wear something fitting:

once we have got all the details of a given event, let’s show up in a classy manner and definitely not wearing everyday clothes.

5. Get the list of attendees:

published lists of people attending the event are likely to get made so we should get a hold of them. This is helpful when we want to gather info on who is going to be there.  

During the Event

1. Introducing ourselves in an impactful way:
keep smiling, utter your name and surname while giving a not-too-tight handshake. Keep listening and look interested to whomever he/she’s talking to you




2. Let’s be the ones who listen first:

we must let the other ask and speak first as to make him / her more comfortable when it’s our turn to speak





3. Let’s be interested and candid:

showing real interest is paramount to your end so get as much information you as can about whom you’re talking




4. Don’t waste any time:

we must avoid long and possibly boring speeches if we really want to collect fruitful connections.

5. Write things down:

write useful stuff on the flipside of the business card right after we finished talking to someone.  

After the Event



We can make our moves as follows:

• emails the very contacts you collected
• make mails as particular as possible
• insert a subject or topic you discussed


Avoid a common LinkedIn request by sending a few words as a reminder of the acquaintance 

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EU Networking Tools for Schools

Become a part of the EU network of education actors!
Depending on your school's profile and needs, it is crucial to include at least one or two of these in your digitalization and internationalization strategy. They will help you build EU-level online visibility and find partners for your future projects.

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eTwinning

eTwinning offers a platform for school staff (teaching and non-teaching) and students to communicate, collaborate, share information and develop projects. Currently (2020) there are more than 200.000 EU schools, 800.000 teachers and 110.000 ongoing projects on the platform.

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School Education Gateway

is 'Europe's online platform for school education', and here you can find great relevant resources, online courses, webinars, toolkits, good practices, partners
It will help you keep in touch with the realities of the EU education system. You can also suggest resources yourself.

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EPALE

Although not directly dedicated to school education, is great for life long learning, networking, and especially useful if it happens for your school to be working with Second Chance adult learners.



Social Media Facts

Being active on all social media networks can prove difficult and make you lose focus.  

Each network has its own specific in terms of users profiles, features, optimal posting times, scope, ect.

Regular posting is a thing. To be successful, you have to be reasonably active. Use the infosheets below to choose 1-3 channels that fit best your schools' needs.

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LinkedIn

It is known as a professional social network.

Demographics:

- best for adult target audience: 79% of users are 35+
-high income, decision makers

What to post:
-simple news, articles with high quality images and relevant contents

Optimal posting frequency:
-2-4 times/week

Do:
-keep your profile updated
-create a business page for your school
-join relevant groups 
-take care of notification settings - you want visibility without being invasive

Don't:
-post anything personal or silly




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Twitter

Users log in more often than those of other networks.

Demographics:

- all audiences

What to post:

-articles with images and links leading to more detailed information.

Optimal posting frequency:

-several times a day - this is a high maintenance network

Do:
-post updates and news 
-use smart tags















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Facebook

Still the most popular social platform

Demographics:

- all audiences, however, mind that younger users tend to use it less as their parents have accounts too - they reorientate towards other platforms such as Instagram

What to post:

-relevant images, calls to action, articles, news
-posts with pictures increase user engagement with 120%
-keep posts short (up to 250 characters)

Optimal posting frequency:

- once or twice a day

Do:
-create a business account for your school

Don't:
-mix it with your personal account

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Instagram

Devoted users logging in frequently

Demographics:
-only 17% adult users
-best for teen and young age audiences

What to post:
-creatively taken shots with catchy captions

Optimal posting frequency:

-once a day

Do:
-use dedicated hashtags

Don't:
-be inactive for long period of times















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Pinterest

Simple to use,  image-based, great for marketing

Demographics:
-mostly adult female users
-small entrepreneurs, artists, artisans

What to post:
-products, services, ideas, high quality photos, collages and links to your website

Optimal posting frequency:

- daily

Do:
- include links to your website
















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YouTube

The largest video-sharing platform


Demographics:

- all age brackets, inclining towards younger users (18-34)


What to post:

-relevant video contents

-shorter videos, below 3 minutes seem to work best if you want to promote something

Optimal posting frequency:

-once or twice a week

Do:
-use well thought video descriptions

Don't:
-post low quality, unresonably long and boring materials





Big Social Media NO-GOs 

When using social media to improve the visibility of your school, there are a few things you should avoid doing every time and they're valid for every network:

MIXING PERSONAL WITH PROFESSIONAL

Take care not to mix your personal life with your schools'. Keep personal and professional accounts separate, and, if necessary, you can opt not to associate them in any way.

CREATING ACCOUNTS AND NOT BEING ACTIVE

If you decided to go for a specific network, make sure you're active enough and you post frequently.

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POSTING STUPID THINGS

Don't post anything you might regret afterwards, such as pictures or videos of yourself or other people making fools of themselves, anything offensive (take in consideration possible cultural misunderstanding), too many selfies even if they're in a professional setting.

BEING INVASIVE

Check out who you're notifying when you're posting. Keep a respectful tone in all your posts. 

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External Resources

Check out these video on networking

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Funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

 This is an OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE created by SLIDE team within SLIDE Project. You are free to use, adapt, reproduce and share the work as long as you do not use it commercially and indicate the creator (SLIDE Project Team 2018-1-RO01-KA201-049382). More info HERE.