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Using social media to network in a new city

how to connect and network using online social media
how to connect and network using online social media
Danilo Rizzuti

Moving to a new place can be overwhelming and a bit disorienting. Whether it's for work or fun, you're leaving one comfort zone and are tasked with making a new place feel like home. This can be especially difficult if you only know a few people in your new city. Luckily for those relocating to Minneapolis, there's a strong local community of online social media users. Connections happen between the tweets, meet-ups, and plethora of networking events designed to introduce people to each other.

What can you do to get involved in the Minneapolis community, whether you're a newcomer or long-time resident? Here are some tips for using online social networking to your advantage:

  1. Use Twitter.  Search for terms such as "Minneapolis" and see who's tweeting in and about the area.  Find like-minded people who can tip you off to new bands, great restaurants, and other people worth following.  Local accounts such as @MSPtweetup, @DiggMpls, and @CityMinneapolis are good places to start for local info.
  2. Find local bloggers, both to connect with other people as well as to learn about the best restaurants, events, and deals in the city.  A number of websites have aggregated some of these bloggers making it easier to sort by interest.  TwinCitiesBlogs and Newsbobber are pretty comprehensive, and local blogger Emily at Because Emily Says So includes a weekly feature called Twin Cities Thursday that links out what she considers to be the most interesting local stories and writers of the week. 
  3. Show up to networking events and tweetups.  As an example, the Minneapolis advertising/marketing/PR industry has a strong line-up of events that happen frequently.  Many agencies and big players in those events are in frequent attendance of events like Social Media Breakfast, i612 Happy Hours, and MIMA (Minneapolis Interactive Marketing Association).  If you're looking to find a new job or to change jobs within the media industry, these events are great places to meet and connect with people who might just be able to help you get started in the right direction.

These three tips just scratch the surface, but can give new residents to any city a great feel for things to do and people to meet, and can also introduce people who are long-time residents to someone or something they may have overlooked in the past. 

What kind of recommendations do you have for networking and making friends in a new city?