Put the Social Back in Social Media

We all know that social media is here to stay; the chances are you might have found out about this blog through social media. The stats make it obvious that we need to incorporate social media into our business – Erik Qualman of Socionomics believes your return on investment for Social Meid is that your business will exist in 5 years.

But I am often asked the similarities and difference between online and offline networking. Much of the work I do is with clients is with people who are out and about, meeting people face to face , shaking hands , handing out business cards and generally just being out there meeting people.

But I will tell you that there are a lot of the same rules that apply to your in person networking also apply to your online networking.

What I am going to do today is just give you a couple of these “rules” for you to consider when you are networking online.

So a lot of people forget the social side of both networking and social media.  It’s funny because the clue is in the name with SOCIAL media.  However, the number of times that I connect with someone on Facebook or Twitter , and the next thing I know I’ve got a message or an email  introducing me to their “get rich quick” or online marketing scheme. Now I am going to use the word scheme in a broad sense because it signifies that not understanding, just not getting, what it is I am looking for, that makes it a scheme even when it may be a very valid kind of business.

But you’ve got to remember that interaction. If you meet somebody when you are networking it’s about having that conversation, it’s about building that relationship. Now it is possible that your product or service is right for that person or for the people that they know but you don’t know that until you’ve had a conversation.

It is exactly the same in social media. Twitter even says “join the conversation.”  So get in there and build those relationships and if through those conversations, through the messages, through the status updates you see that there is a match between your product or service and the person’s needs then by all means introduce it – but don’t jump in with that straight away.  You wouldn’t do it in an offline networking situation – at least I hope you wouldn’t. So don’t do it online!

The other thing to remember which is tied in with this is to add vale. The people who have always benefitted the most from networking in person have been the people who have given value to their network, not just been there to see what they can get from the networking . It is the same with social media. Add value and bring to your network, don’t just take.

You can answer questions people ask – great for positioning and for value, you can share useful articles or videos, you can share current relevant trends that people may not be aware of. In doing this, people will see you as someone who knows what they are talking about and will be able to use your or refer to you when there is a need for what you do.

So remember your manners, have some fun and build some great, mutually beneficial relationships.

It’s not all about the sale; it’s all about the relationships and the sales will follow.

So get out there have some fun, build your network, build your business, develop it and do it with some common sense and some manners, it is social media after all.

If you would like to use this post in your ezine or blog you are welcome to and you must include the following information.

Business Development and Networking Specialist Ruth Thirtle works with Small Business owners all around the world on how to get greater results for their networking and attract the right clients. This article is directly from her blog www.businessnetworker.co and you can access previous blog posts there if you liked this one.

Written by Ruth Thirtle

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