You have got to be on social media sites!!!
Isn't that what you hear all of the time?
Maybe you have created the Facebook page and the Twitter profile. You post consistently, but you're really not seeing the benefit.
Maybe you have decided that it is time to “hang it up” or “throw in the towel” because you've decided that social media is a waste of time.
Maybe you've decided that social media is a waste of your time, or you are frustrated that it is not bringing the business you would like it to.
Maybe you have not even started down that social media road because you don't see how being on those sites can help you grow your business.
I have to tell you. YOU ARE RIGHT! If you think that the way to grow your business is through posting and publishing over and over, it is likely that your business will not grow much faster than if you did not post at all.
However, there is a social alternative that is rich and prosperous.
I have had the pleasure of meeting and partnering with a number of fantastic individuals as well as selling services and products via my social media connections.
The trick is that you have to build relationships!
Today, I'll share some strategies from my expert panel on how they do the same thing.
I asked my expert panel:
Social Networking is a popular activity, but truly effective business people know that using online communication tools is about more than publishing content. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN and others are fantastic tools for meeting and connecting with potential business partners, clients and more. How do you use social networking to grow connections into relationships? Please share the social networking tool and the technique you use.
1. Add Value!
When it comes to cultivating your social media contacts, be sure to make yourself a valuable part of their social efforts. When you find information that you know a contact would be interested in, pass it along. Forward interesting and pertinent links, blog posts etc. Recommend them, retweet them, favorite them where appropriate. If you add value they're likely to return the favor. Relationships are give and take!
Thanks to Jeff Mann of about.me/jeffreyjohnmann
2. Filling Cups
Biggest opportunity from on-line world in building relationships is taking time to have a one on one. Skype and Hangouts in G+ are good for this. Seizing the opportunity when there are good synergies, as well as listening for how you can serve them. I make introductions to folks that are aligned with their goals right away and then just see if we like each other. Nature takes it's course form there. Fill their cup first and you will never be thirsty.
Thanks to Michele Price of Michele Price Media
3. Connect Genuinely
Social media is all about connecting, not numbers. Keep it authentic by retweeting and sharing what you and your niche clients will find most valuable. Its the key to real branding!
Thanks to Ellen Delap of Professional-Organizer.com
4. It's About Relationship
I love social networking but have learned that a whole slew of followers is not as profitable as one fan! My SM strategy is to share freely so people think of me when they need my product or service. I post, blog and share current business ideas, projects, clients and ventures. By doing so – I've received business just because someone ‘remembered' I'd mentioned something prior. It's helped me raise fees, attract larger groups, and help more people. I think transparency leads to increased trust.
Thanks to Cena Block of Sane Spaces
5. A Little Bird Told Me…
It all starts with just saying “hello.” Twitter, by far, has been the best tool to meet, greet, chat, and tweetup with amazing entrepreneurs on-line. I connect with those I wouldn't cross paths with offline, in a format that is quick, effective, unobtrusive and fun. You can see what others are interested in, ask questions, share tips, and more. For me, it is a launch pad to developing deeper connections one tweet at a time.
Thanks to Dr. Shannon Reece of Reece International LLC
6. “Escalate” The Conversation
When you are on-line (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), initiating your first contact, there's always a missing part of any communication. When you chat, they can't hear your voice, when you are on the phone, they can't see you, etc.
You have to escalate the conversation and “transfer” that relationship into a different medium. I find the most effective level of communication to be:
1. Social media site (you are introducing yourself)
2. Email (build trust)
3. Phone (providing value)
4. In person
Thanks to Chris Diamond of Time Management For Business Owners | Double Time Today
7. It’s Always Been About The Message.
Many small businesses equate the number of “likes” or “followers” on branded social-media platforms to success, not realizing that it’s the quality of those likes and followers that is important. More people signing up to view your message doesn’t necessarily equate an increase in sales or even a bump in long-term or sustainable brand recognition. Just because it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace or some other newfangled on-line or mobile-powered platform, the message still carries more weight than the medium.
It’s always been about the message.
It’s not about the platform or the technology. The technology is just a tool, and just because younger people were the first to use Twitter and Facebook, don’t think for a moment that older employees can’t effectively use them just as well.
There is no “one way” to manage your online positioning using social media. Instead, each company’s marketing strategys differ depending on specific goals and target audiences. So remember to keep the message clear to those that are listening, then… the numbers will GROW!
Thanks to Kenneth Manesse of 3 Dimensional Life
8. Go Offline.
I grow on-line connections into real relationships by connecting “offline.”
For example, I'll offer access to a webinar, pick up the telephone, send a card or gift a physical DVD with some of my best videos. It's unexpected so I stand out.
I've also used LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to connect with fellow speakers or attendees before a conference. Then when we meet, it advances the conversation.
Favorite tool? For Twitter, I use www.SproutSocial.com to identify relationship opportunities.
Thanks to Ramon Williamson of mavenaire.com
9. Business And Social Media Partnership
Social media has played a key role in communicating the services my business offers as a Professional Organizer. Facebook and twitter offer a platform to develop relationship with other like minded enthusiast in areas of interest and intellect. It also provides the opportunity to educate and remove the mystery or organization through shameless self promotion of my blog as well a hashtag #OfficeHealth on twitter. My fans and followers grow on a continuous basis with Social Media as my partner.
Thanks to Elizabeth Densmore of Office 2 Office
I see some trends in their suggestions, don't you? What will you do differently as a result of reading these suggestions?
What do you do to build relationships beyond the keyboard? I know your tips will help other readers, so take a minute to share them ok?
To your success!