How to navigate the social networking scene in your modern shared office space.
It’s no secret that the internet has revolutionized the way we socialize. Connections are constantly made on the inter-webs that would otherwise have been missed entirely. In a parallel capacity, coworking spaces have revolutionized the way we work — connecting professionals of entirely diverse backgrounds and positions under one collaborative roof. While there is a substantial amount of advice out there when it comes to keeping your social media presence professional, there isn’t much about doing so in the modern coworking space. Unlike traditional offices, you’re probably not working for the same company as your neighbor. Here are some of our top tips for navigating social media in a coworking space.
Keep up with your coworking community
Coworking spaces are so unique in their sense of community and team energy. One way your shared office space will maintain the comradery is through staying connected on social media. Accept graciously if you receive a request to join the space’s LinkedIn or Facebook group as this is likely where internal updates, event notices, office memos and even job opportunities will be shared.
Your coworking space will also likely have a twitter or Instagram account for sharing more concise and frequent updates, which are useful to engage with. But don’t worry – being part of a Facebook group or similar does not provide instant access for every member to view your personal photos and posts or tags from friends (unless you send an individual friend request, or accept one sent to you). Rather, it’s a great way for the community to stay connected with one another and for the community managers (coworking space staff) to keep every member in the loop.
Know who to connect with in your coworking space
Every social media platform is different and its functionality is really dependent on personal preference. A good rule of thumb across the social interwebs then would be to know what you’re looking for whilst using the platform, and from there be mindful of who you’re connected with.
If you primarily login to Facebook for keeping in touch with long distance friends and sharing photos of your spring break trip to Cabo, it might be best to limit your “friending” to the fellow coworking space members who you would enjoy happy hour with, as opposed to absolutely everyone in the office. Less is more in this case, for sure. On the other hand, platforms such as LinkedIn which are predominantly used for professional networking, connect away. The more the merrier—you never know when a fellow coworking space member could be your next business partner or employer for that matter.
Don’t be afraid to hustle
People are getting job opportunities through not just LinkedIn, but Facebook and even Tinder nowadays. If you’re on the market for a new job, or are a freelancer looking for some new clients, don’t be shy when it comes to marketing your skillset.
Graphic designers and photographers in our coworking space have landed gigs through Instagram more than resume blasting and job applications. Within your coworking office, don’t be shy in flaunting your professional abilities where appropriate, and on the same token, take a look at the work of your fellow members. Coworking spaces are hubs of collaboration – keep a keen eye on ways you and another coworker could work together somehow. The possibilities really are endless.
How to say no to certain connections
We’ve covered the vast benefits of connecting and making professional connections via social media. But certain platforms warrant a protocol for who and who not to be connected with. On Snapchat, a platform typically used for personal photo sharing, it’d probably be best not to connect with coworkers who aren’t friends outside of work. So how do you decline a request from someone who falls into this category?
A good tactic here is to send a private message – either through the social media platform itself, or an email. First acknowledge that you received the friend request, and politely explain that you would like to connect on an alternative social media site such as LinkedIn. Redirect them with a link to your profile. Keep it short and sweet—you don’t need a detailed explanation as to why you prefer one network over the other.