Need a few tips on how to build your network online? Look no further! We’ve got you covered.
I’m often approached by business owners who are confused by social media and it’s potential power in their business. The main argument I face is that they don’t have time to “blog” or “Tweet about their lunch” or reconnect with high school friends on Facebook.
As a business owner, I’m sure its quite fair to say that at some point in your career you have attended a networking event in real life, and perhaps made some valuable contacts.
Imagine being able to do that from the comfort of your office chair, where you don’t have to squeeze into your highest heels, do your makeup, or worry that your suit is ironed.
I encourage my clients to think of social media as the digital equivalent to real life networking. Just as there are guidelines and etiquette when you attend a networking event in real life, so to are their guidelines for networking online.
Success Tip 1: Give Value First
While it is certainly possible to sell on social media, and a lot of amazing business does occur there, you must give value first. Just as you wouldn’t attend a networking event, and simply approach everyone in the room to attempt to sell them something, it’s good etiquette to give first on social media.
Giving can look like:
- Contributing advice to the conversation
- Sharing articles
- Sharing audio or video
Success Tip 2: Focus On The Relationship
Social media is social! I see a lot of businesses making the easily rectified, yet fatal mistake of broadcasting their message rather than holding a conversation with their audience.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, one of the biggest keys to success is engaging in genuine, caring conversation with your followers. This helps you build real warmth with your list, and if you have followed Step 1 effectively, you’re well on your way to positioning yourself as a leader!
It also pays to connect with influencers in your niche. Reach out and send a direct message to anyone that you would like to align yourself with. Chances are, if they’re using social media, they are open to having new followers.
While it may seem intimidating at first, most seasoned social media users are all too happy to welcome a newcomer into the conversation.
Success Tip 3: The Fortune Is In The Follow Up
The key to success in any online marketing is always the follow up. Maintaining connections, ensuring you nurture and grow relationships, and building your well before you’re thirsty.
Just as you would call or email your contacts from a real life networking event, maintain regular contact with your social media list. Particularly your clients and prospects.
Smart businesses have always been the ones who’ve kept a finger on the pulse of their customers, market trends, and communities on the whole. Social Media is the tool that helps us facilitate that, it’s not really a new concept. We’ve always been able to connect, engage and converse with our customers. Social Media just adds a level of convenience and speed to the process.
- Don’t be afraid of Social Media – it’s business as it always was; you just have more opportunity to care.