Annual Session 2016 in Dallas, Texas was an incredible success. Nearly 600 dental students from every dental school in the U.S. attended. Meetings like this can be a great opportunity to meet new people and practice your networking skills. Social media outlets are can be used to connect you with other dental student attendees.
Business cards are still a great way to exchange information and keep in touch with new contacts. But students now use Facebook to initiate social media friendships. This year, the ASDA meeting app was revamped and students were able to complete personal profiles and share information with other Annual Session attendees. Additionally, the app had direct links to national ASDA’s social media outlets so that students could follow events and activities during the meeting. This is a great way to start your networking!
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can also be used to post about the events and activities throughout the conference. You can share new things you learned during breakout sessions and learn about additional sessions through other member’s posts. ASDA’s Instagram also hosted challenges to keep students engaged and foster networking skills. One day’s challenge was: “take a photo with someone new and share their dream.” These challenges encourage members to create new friendships. What better way to remember a new friend than by posting a picture and tagging them in it!
Here are some tips for how to network effectively through social media.
- Post regularly and keep your information current and interactive.
- Keep your posts professional, as they are a direct reflection of you.
- Creative and engaging posts will encourage friends to check in with you frequently.
- Finally, remember to always tag others in posts so that they have a direct “network” to you!
Did you make a new connection at Annual Session 2016? Reach out to them this week to check in and tell them you were thinking of them. The people you meet at ASDA meetings will be your peers and colleagues for the rest of your life–start making the most of these connections now!
~Laura Nelson, UT Houston ’16, chair, 2015 – 2016 Council on Communications