It is easy to walk up to someone and hand them a business card or gain a few fans on Facebook; however, it takes more effort to build and maintain a beneficial relationship. You have accumulated fans and followers on your social media sites, but what do you do now? You must engage with them to begin developing a personal connection.
When networking in person or online, there are quick, easy tips that will make people WANT to interact with you and your business.
- Share your common interests when talking in person or online
- Ask what they are looking for in you and your business
- Ask questions and LISTEN so you have a better understanding of how to engage further
- Use humor and be yourself (personality will drive people to engage)
- Create fill in the blank posts for your status updates on social media (this compels people to want to interact)
- Have contests: use third-party sites like Offerpop.com and ShortStack.com (these are easy to set up and implement)
- Respond to your Facebook fans within 24 hours to stay current
- Post polls to see what your fans are interested in
- Create giveaways to boost interaction
- Use photos when making status updates (people respond more to images that capture their attention)
- Post interesting articles that are relevant to your target market
- Create posts that will generate conversation by sharing facts, issues, news, and/or successes that are relevant to your field of business
- Use social media to build relationships– do not try to sell your product
- Send a personal note to a couple of your connections via email or through social media
- Tell a story and share details about how you have helped a customer
- Provide a testimonial for someone
- Invite someone to attend a networking event with you
- Comment on discussions started by people in your network
- Make a phone call
- Most importantly, do not forget to follow up after engaging with somebody! You can have a great connection; however, do not leave them hanging after your conversation.
We Practice What We Preach
Networking is critical when building your business and looking for a job. By engaging with others, you are able to build mutually beneficial relationships.
HOWEVER, successful networking does not come easily! Numerous things can go wrong in a networking situation that can instantly turn off the person you are attempting to connect with.
So… I challenge you!
Go out to our Facebook page, like us and describe a networking faux pas that really bugs you with a tip to overcome. We’d love to hear from you and continue the engagement!
You can also share this post on LinkedIn and Twitter.