Social media has changed the game of networking. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can be incredible tools for expanding and deepening your connections with other entrepreneurs, clients and even potential business partners.
However, it’s also important to have a dynamic approach. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of using the traditional hard sell on social media, and then wonder why their efforts don’t pay off (you know the ones we’re talking about!).
Social media is one of the most productive and effective places to network. You can quickly find like-minded people from the comfort of your home office, and you don’t even need an introduction. But keep in mind you can easily turn people off with the wrong approach.
5 Tips for Networking on Social Media Effectively
1. Build a social presence
Start by deciding who are the types of people you want to network with. Ask yourself ‘who is in a position to help you advance your business? Then, research which social media sites these people use the most. The most popular social networking sites for business are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, but every industry is unique. A great strategy is also check out which sites your competitors are most active on.
Choose 1 platform to target initially by ensuring that your personal social media page is filled out and doesn’t appear like an advertising platform. You can add other sites as you gain experience, but master one first otherwise, you are more than likely doing yourself a disservice. Start building your network by inviting people you already know to connect with your page, such as family, friends, community members, employees, business contacts and clients.
Your social presence will grow over time when done correctly and make sure you nurture the existing contacts you already have!
2. Post engaging content
Think about the engaging content you can post on your social media sites. Your goal is to create a community of like-minded people who see you as a thought leader and, interact with you and share your content with their networks. Examples of content great for networking include; how-to videos, blog posts, surveys, contests, market insights, white papers and eBooks.
Keep your writing clear, consistent and reader-friendly, with short sentences and paragraphs. Avoid using technical and marketing jargon — the only people who engage on that are those who pretty much support you not matter what!
You should not only post on your own pages, but also engage with people on other social pages by commenting on and sharing content. Give to receive, right? Keep track of what types of content get the most attention, and add more of it. Your audience will always tell you what they love the most so, listen to them!
3. Avoid the hard sell
Avoid self-promotion on social media. It’s a big turn off for most and will push people away from your network. Instead, think of ways to be helpful. People come on social media to socialize, you don’t want to be sold to. You can network best if you provide value and don’t have an agenda for yourself. Serve others and your influence and income will follow.
4. Focus on quality over quantity
Focus on the quality of your social interactions, not the number of followers. When you offer value and engage in meaningful conversations and interactions, your network should grow organically on its own. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Try to establish and develop relationships for the long-term, after all, you plan to grow a thriving business, right?
5. Watch your etiquette
Good online networking etiquette means being professional and responding diplomatically to criticism. This is an opportunity to wear the white hat, to be a good person and a non-complainer. The complainers are not the people anyone wants to do business with. More than anything just focus on being true to you.
Where are you finding the best networking online? Are you using any websites outside of the common social media sites?
If you haven’t already, be sure to join our Facebook Group — Influencers Hangout — This is a place for network marketers who want to learn how to use social media the right way to grow their business! Or in the mean time, learn a little bit more about who we are and why, we believe in ‘Breathing Life into People‘.
Spark your Influence!