Hint: It’s All About the People!
This “social” network was a source for jobs and referrals as well as fun times and chicken soup when you were sick.
Lots of people mixed these folks with old school networking too. And, I don’t mean the kind where you whiz into a room, collect as many biz cards as possible and blow back out never to be seen nor heard from in that crowd again.
No, I mean the kind with standing golf games, business dinners and happy hours after work. The kind that involves frequent connecting with fewer people.
In other words, social media is about creating RELATIONSHIPS. Same as it ever was.
If you use Facebook to keep up with family and friends who live far away you already know the power of social media.
Here’s a Simple Way to Use it to Get Know People Better in Your Business World
Step 1: Take that stack of biz cards you got from your last networking function.
Step 2: Visit their Linked In profile and see who you have in common. You might be surprised at the number of connections you share. Send them a Linked In invite.
Be sure to let them know who you are and when and where you met. (Don’t be the person who sends almost strangers the generic “Join my professional network on Linked In” message and nothing more.) Be polite, remind them how you met.
Step 3: But don’t end there, check their profile, do they have a Twitter handle? “Follow them” on Twitter, see what kinds of stuff they tweet. “Like” their Facebook page. What types of things are they posting? Over a couple weeks of observation, you’ll know a lot more about this person!
Comment on their posts, reply to their tweets.
If they’re a fellow small biz person they’ll love you for this. They’ll return the favor too. Then, when you run into one another at the grocery store or at a business lunch, you’ll have a greater depth of relationship. You’ll feel like you “know” one another even if you only met one other time.
If you’re still doubtful, try it for 30 days.
Pick 3-4 people from your business network you’d like to get to know better and start interacting with them through Facebook and Twitter. Aim for a minimum of 2-3 interactions a week per person. You can go with more if you want and it feels natural. By interactions I mean being friendly, commenting on or “liking” Facebook posts and “retweeting” interesting tweets.
There Are Tools to Help
Here’s the thing. Just like you develop relationships with people in your life face to face, social media is a mechanism to take that online. You can deepen relationships with people you don’t see often.
The goal is to build relationships. Not to try to pitch someone on your product or service. Remember the sales maxim, people do business with people they know, like and trust. That’s your goal.
Social media makes it easier to develop your network of contacts and stay in touch. By interacting online, you’re more comfortable with one another offline so you can get to know one another at a deeper level.
Overwhelmed with it all? Hands on Social media classes are forming now in Doylestown. If you’re local to Bucks County, join me, the Social Media Maven for a guide down the social media path. My number is 267-265-7291. Or connect with me on Facebook.