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We are now in an age when reaching potential employers, colleagues (heck, even celebrities) and new business deals can be easier through certain social media “side doors” than through the traditional methods. A social media side door is essentially a gateway that you can reach those important people you’ve never been able to reach through various key social media players (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even a personal blog). Think of just how many resumes and emails the head of a company might get just for one job. What if there was a way to get behind that iron curtain and get direct contact? Sure, you might not be able to reach EVERYBODY, but it’s a good start to leveling the playing field.

Find Out Where They Hang Out

If you can’t reach that important decision maker who can get your foot in the door, find out where they hang out online. Clearly, doing this in person might be seen as stalking, but in the online world, it’s just plain resourceful. Often those big CEOs and untouchables are actually posting on Twitter or may have their own blog – all of which is a good way to reach them. Finding them online can actually be better because you don’t have to wait for an appointment, and often your answers or virtual shoutouts can be instantaneous. Sure, it’s not the same as a face to face, but it gets you noticed among all the noise. Who knows, you may even land yourself a job or a really big client for taking the initiative.

Post Your Blog

Use your own blog to reach out to potential clients and heavy hitters that you need to notice your work. Copyblogger says your own personal blog should be about your clients and potential customers, not about you. Ask a question, and get the conversation started. You want to reach out and get noticed by those in the business that will help you grow your own business or get you a job? Show that you have the knowledge to help them achieve what they’re looking to achieve with their own company. When you post your blog, put it in key social conversations so that it gets noticed. Sure, it shouldn’t be posted within every conversation, or you just seem like a commercial for yourself. Find ways to sneak it in, so it’s a bit more subtle, but still gets noticed.

Promote Your Services

Make yourself indispensible. You’ve got to show how you are different from everyone who is trying reach out to them on various platforms. What do you have to offer that’s better and unique? In an interview with Business News Daily, Ian Greenleigh describes how he was able to land a marketing job with no real marketing experience himself. He spent $200 in Facebook ads offering his social media content marketing skills. Pretty soon, execs at BazaarVoice took notice. Now, he’s head of social media and content marketing for one of the largest software as a service companies. So what was the key to landing that amazing job? Getting in through that social media side door. He found a unique way to stand out and promote his skills. BazaarVoice took notice of Greeleigh because he showed that he could reach them through the direct targeting of social media.

Be Yourself

In his personal blog, Ian Greenleigh says that having a conversation on Twitter can be a very authentic way of reaching influential people. As long as your posts aren’t vulgar and you maintain a genuine presence, you can have real, meaningful conversations. If you look like you’re the face of a brand or company trying to edge into a conversation to promote your product, you can be kicked out very quickly. This doesn’t mean you can’t drop hints as to what you do or what you offer into a conversation. Asking a question is a good way to get it in there. You may think you’re being too casual, but you’re not. Even if you’re trying to reach out to a major CEO or the CEO’s executive assistant, you can’t seem like you’re selling. The beauty of social media is that it’s a conversation. Use that conversation to promote yourself, not to sell advertising.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has most recently announced that she’ll re-tweet anyone’s messages who are willing to make Yahoo their homepage. She kept her promise, and re-tweeted at least 12 follower’s statuses. This alone shot their profile higher in 1 second than they would have ever really able to do themselves. Mayer started taking personal tweets earlier this year. It was unprecedented that such a hard to reach media giant would make herself so visible and accessible. Sure, it was right on the eve of the announcement that Yahoo had acquired Tumblr, but that she was acting as a customer service manager online for her company gave followers access they’ve never had to the CEO.

How Important is it to Maintain Your Profiles?

Maintain your online profiles. If you don’t have a LinkedIn page, get one. If you’re not creating an online presence for yourself, it’s going to be pretty hard to reach your target online. Think of the Internet as your resume and a reference for your work. It’s not always the biggest and flashiest company that gets noticed, it’s the person who stands out with special and unique profiles that can catch attention. Get your colleagues to endorse you, write about you, and help get your name out there. Make it easy for somebody to find you and your work if they are interested.

The web has changed the way we interact with customers, clients and people on an everyday basis. Gone are the days of submitting your resume and hoping you’ll get a phone call. It may take a little more effort, but creating a great online profile for yourself and finding ways of accessing those social media “side doors” you can grab the attention of those who can really promote you and hire you.